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City miniatures - this is what Odense was like

The Early Odense: Bronze Models in 1:1000

Visit the fascinating bronze models at the Cathedral, showcasing Odense across 600 years. Explore the city's development from a cathedral town in the Viking Age to Denmark's second-largest city at the end of the Middle Ages.

Odense 988

In the 10th century, Odense was a central city in Denmark, both politically and geographically. The city was situated midway on the route across Funen, where the road through the city is known today as Overgade and Vestergade. South of the Odense River lay the ring fortress Nonnebakken, built by Viking King Harald Bluetooth in the 980s and now on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The small wooden church, Albani Church, also featured on the model, was first mentioned in 988 and played a significant role in the city's history, including being the site where King Canute the Holy was killed in 1086. The city resembled a village with farms and workshops, and the model shows what we know from archaeological findings and historical sources.

Odense 1593

By 1593, Odense had become one of Denmark's largest cities. The Cathedral, which still stands today, had been built, and the city had developed with churches, city gates, and dense housing including residences, workshops, merchant houses, noble estates, schools, and a town hall. Nonnebakken was still a prominent hill, now called Nonnebjerg after a former nunnery. The model is based on an illustration from 1593, providing a vivid impression of the city's appearance and structure at the time.

The Two Models

The models were created in 2019 by Museum Odense in collaboration with Swedish bronze casters Ludvig and Anders Ödman. Cast in weather-resistant bronze using the traditional cire perdue technique, the models are both detailed and durable. After rain, you can see water in the river, making the models even more lifelike. Each building and tree was meticulously carved in wax and assembled before casting, resulting in precise and impressive models.

Come and experience history with your own eyes and hands at the Cathedral in Odense.

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