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An 8 kilometre (5.0 mi) long, 7.5 metre (25 ft) deep canal from Odense Harbour to Odense Fjord was built between 17 to facilitate the growth of Odense as a port city, radically increasing its level of trade and population.

From the 1840s, the city enjoyed a period of rapid expansion beyond its traditional boundaries, becoming Denmark's second largest city.

The first recorded bishops of Odense were Odinkar Hvide and Reginbert, who was consecrated by Archbishop Æthelnoth of Canterbury, in 1022.

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One of the main sources of income was the sale of cattle, providing substantial funds for the construction of fine half-timbered houses for the local merchants.In sports, Odense has a number of football clubs including OB, BM, B1909, and B1913, the Odense Bulldogs professional ice hockey team, and the city also hosts the H. The earliest community was centred on the higher ground between the Odense River to the south and Naesbyhoved Lake (now dry) to the north.Nonnebakken, one of Denmark's former Viking ring fortresses, lay to the south of the river.It was here the English monk Ælnoth wrote Denmark's first literary work, Vita et Passio S. In the Middle Ages, a number of churches and monasteries were built in the town. Knuds Kirke), now the cathedral, dates from the end of the 13th century and was closely connected to the Benedictine Order.The town's other old churches are St Mary's (Vor Frue Kirke) and St John's (Skt. Greyfriars Monastery (Gråbrødre Kloster) was founded by the Franciscans in 1279.

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A period of stagnation ensued until the end of the 18th century.Dramatic changes began in Odense in the 18th century to modernise the city and a great plan was drawn up for development.In 1482 Bishop Karl Rønnov brought the German printer Johann Snell to Odense to print a short prayer book, Breviarium Ottoniense, considered to be the first work to be printed in Scandinavia.In parallel Snell printed De obsidione et bello Rhodiano, an account of the Turkish siege of the island of Rhodes.Odense has close associations with Hans Christian Andersen who is remembered above all for his fairy tales.


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