HCA NEWS The houses facing Andersen's childhood home to be rebuilt

Old Town in Århus is in the process of reconstructing the buildings that faced Hans Christian Andersen's childhood home on Munkemøllestræde in Odense.

By Mikkel Stjernberg - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 01 December 2003

The lumber is being cut for the reconstruction in Århus' Old Town of the houses that faced Hans Christian Andersen's childhood home on Munkemøllestræde in Odense.

The buildings, named Eilschous Boliger [the Eilschou Residence], consist of a row of small structures erected in the 1770s, containing a number of smaller apartments, where the widows of clergy and respectable spinsters lived. They stayed in the apartments free of charge - one of the private, social measures taken in the society of that day to care for those in need.

The inspiration of poetry
In one of the apartments lived a Madam Bunkeflod, who often received visits from a little boy who lived on the other side of the street - Hans Christian Andersen - and it was at Madam Bunkeflod's that the Danish fairytale writer formed his first acquaintance with poetry.

Later, Hans Christian Andersen wrote in "The Fairytale of My Life" that "this was the first refined household in which I found a home." 

The plan is for the Eilschou Residence to be reconstructed in Århus' Old Town and open to visitors by 2005, which is the bicentennial of Hans Christian Andersen.

However, it is expected that the building will be finished as early as the beginning of next year, and visitors to Old Town will be able to follow the whole process first-hand.