The University of Southern Denmark was established in 1966.
Nonnebakken, one of Denmark's former Viking ring fortresses, lay to the south of the river.After the Danish Reformation, involving the suppression of the Catholic bishopric in 1536, the city enjoyed a sustained period of prosperity from the 1530s to the mid-17th century, becoming northern Funen's commercial centre.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 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.
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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.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 city gates were demolished in 1851 and soon afterwards development extended to the area south of the river.
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Glove production, which had begun in the 18th century, developed into one of the most important industries while the harbour facilities were further expanded.The priory no longer exists, although a church has been situated on the site since about 900.At the beginning of the 12th century, Benedictine monks from England founded St Canute's Abbey.In 1865, one of the largest railway terminals in Denmark was built, further increasing the population and commerce, and by 1900, Odense had reached a population of 35,000.Odense's Odinstårnet was one of the tallest towers in Europe when built in 1935 but was destroyed by the Nazis during World War II.