Hans Christian Andersen is well-represented in many locations throughout his native Denmark. Now, the Danish author’s writings will become the subject of a new museum set to open this summer.

Based in Odense, the city in which Andersen was born, the H.C. Andersen House will not merely be about Andersen. Rather, it will bring both the man and his fairy tales to the forefront. 

According to Creative Director Henrik Lübker, the new attraction also reflects changes happening in Odense. The current H.C. Andersen Museum in the city center is right near a major redevelopment project now underway. Also, its format centers more so on facts about Andersen than his fiction.

“And that felt strange when we are dealing with the greatest fairy tale author in the world,” said Lübker. “His stories are the opposite of such a museum of facts because they instill a certain sense of richness and depth to the world around us making it much more multifaceted and with many more perspectives than what can be conveyed in facts.”  

Lübker explained the new approach was to “try not to frame Andersen through our lens, but to try to investigate how the fairy tales themselves communicate and tell their stories, and how this way could be brought into existence as a museum experience.”

Andersen’s fairy tales include The Snow Queen, The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Princess and the Pea, The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina and The Little Match Girl.

For this new attraction, Japanese architect Kengo Kuma’s vision will evoke the feeling of stepping into Andersen’s fairy tales with architecture, sound, light and a stream of images constantly inviting new encounters between visitors and the fairy tales. As part of the design process, Kuma drew upon Andersen’s The Tinderbox, with a tree revealing an underground world.

The venue will cover an area of 5,600 square meters (18,373 square feet) and will contain a children’s house and a lower-level museum, which will intertwine with a surrounding magical garden.

“Visitors will experience the most famous of Andersen’s fairy tales brought to life – not as retellings, but as actual experiences in a cohesive world,” said Lübker.

Learn more about the H.C. Andersen House through its website. Odense is on the island of Funen and an hour-and-a-half hour train ride west of Copenhagen. Odense also has 13 locations that had a major impact on him and his future storytelling.

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