Astoft

Hans Christian Andersen
Homes and Manor Houses
Dansk

After his childhood in Odense, Hans Andersen did not really have a fixed home but spent his life in lodgings or as a guest of others. His hosts were frequently upper class families who befriended him and were pleased to have him stay at their country seats. This page shows most of his homes and the manor houses where he stayed frequently. Browse the whole page or click a location:

Odense   Nyhavn   Hotel d'Angleterre   Sorø   Borreby   Bregentved   Gisselfeld   Glorup   Hesselagergård   Holsteinborg   Lerchenborg   Lykkesholm   Nysø

(For comprehensive information about Hans Andersen, his life and works, see The Hans Christian Andersen Center. Much of the information below has been obtained from the Center's Timetable of Andersen's life.)

Click photos to enlarge

Odense On the island of Fyn (Funen) in the centre of Denmark 

Hans Christian Andersen birthplace Odense            Dscn2760-levmid-u1-540-u0.5-q60.jpg (84104 bytes)            Dscn2755-lev-u1-540-u0.5-q50.jpg (68601 bytes)

The house in Odense where Hans Christian Andersen was born on 2. April, 1805, is a corner house in Hans Jensensstræde, now the Andersen Museum.


Hans Christian Andersen childhood home Odense

Andersens childhood home 1807-1819 in Munkemøllestræde. It was shared by 3 families (12 persons). "The home where I spent my childhood was one single little room where almost all the space was taken up by the workshop, the bed and the settle on which I slept. The walls, however, were covered with pictures ... and over my father's bench there was a shelf containing books and songs."

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The plaque on the side of the house dates from 1875 and reads: The dearest childhood memories of the writer Hans Christian Andersen are connected to this house.  Odense Council placed this tablet here on 2nd April 1875, the writer's 70th birthday. 
He died on the 4th of August that year.



Nyhavn Copenhagen

Dscn2839-lev-u1-540-u0.5-q60.jpg (75171 bytes)              Hans Christian Andersen Nyhavn 20              Dscn2836-crp-u1-405-u0.5-q80.jpg (74705 bytes)

Nyhavn 20: 1834-38
"I have a nice room facing the canal where the ships lie and the wind whistles in the sails ..." (Andersen in a letter to B.S. Ingemann 26.9.1834).

     
Dscn2838-lev-u1-540-u0.3-q60.jpg (37066 bytes)              Hans Christian Andersen Nyhavn 67               Hans Christian Andersen Nyhavn 18 Nyhavn 67 (first two pictures):
1845-65, with interruptions.

Nyhavn 18: 1871-73



Hotel d'Angleterre

Hans Christian Andersen Hotel d'Angleterre


Frequently stayed here between lodgings or during shorter stays in town.
 
"I am now in Copenhagen and residing for the moment at the Hotel d'Angleterre where I have a nice room on the ground floor looking out on the square; in the course of next week I hope to find private accommodation." (Andersen in a letter to B.S. Ingemann 25.11.1860)
15th October 1965: Is moved to two "small, neat rooms" (diary, same day) on the 2nd floor of the hotel, facing Kongens Nytorv, as he cannot stand the quietness at the back of the building. For the same reason, he later turns down an offer from the Henriques family of rooms in their home, as it turns out that these rooms are also in the back building. He wishes to have a daily view of the pulsating life of the town.


Sorø

B.S. Ingemann's house in Sorø with Hans Christian Andersen link

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B.S Ingemanns house by Sorø Lake and Academy 

"Here I visited the writer Ingemann ... - His life out there seemed to me like a lovely fairy tale; his excellent, lovable wife treated me as if she were my older sister ... We sailed on the lake ... Ingemann related in so lively a manner; I loved these people, and our friendship has grown over the years; since then I have been there nearly every summer as a welcome guest and felt that there exist people in whose company one somehow becomes better ... "  (The True Story of My Life)

Sorø Church and Academy



Borreby   Near Skælskør, West Sjælland (Sealand).  Owned by the family Castenschiold. 
Borreby Hans Christian Andersen

One of three manor houses close to each other where Andersen was a frequent guest. The others were Holsteinborg and Basnæs.
 
In the 17th century this Renaissance house was in possession of the Daa family. In 1859 Andersen published his story "The Wind Tells about Valdemar Daae and His Daughters", a tragic tale of how Valdemar Daa lost the property through his own foolishness . A small masterpiece. English version here at hca.gilead.org.il.
 
More pictures and information about the house


Bregentved Near Haslev, central Sjælland.       Belongs to the Moltke family.
Bregentved Hans Christian Andersen

Andersen stayed many times at Bregentved, both in summer and at Christmas.
 
It was here that Andersen started writing The Ugly Duckling, the opening scene being inspired by the park at Bregentved. The final scene, however, in which the swan comes into its own, is in the nearby park of Gisselfeld (see next house below).
 
The right wing of the house is as Andersen knew it, but not the left. That was built in 1890 on 18th century foundations.  More...


Gisselfeld Near Haslev, central Sjælland.      The Danneskiold-Samsøe family were his hosts.
Gisselfeld Hans Christian Andersen

Gisselfeld and Bregentved lying close together, Andersen often divided his visits to the area between them. Regarding the first stay at Gisselfeld, Andersen tells Edvard Collin in a letter dated 2nd July 1842: "I have been given a nice, sunny room on the ground floor with a beautiful view, service fit for a king. In the evenings, when the butler [...] has lit my room he even says "most humbly good night".
 
More
pictures and information about Gisselfeld


Glorup Near Svindinge, east Fyn.      Belongs to the Moltke-Huitfeld family.
Glorup Hans Christian Andersen

"Count Moltke of Glorup invited me to his beautiful country seat  ... ; I have enjoyed a hospitality, an attentiveness I can never return"  (Andersen in a letter to B.S. Ingemann 31.7.1839).
He returned no less that 24 times in the following 30 years. However, on one occasion in 1850:
Goes to Glorup Estate on 10th June, where Danish soldiers are billeted. ... Is irritated by both the countess and the guests at Glorup: "How ghastly it is to hear the empty-mindedness of the high-born, talking emphatically and off-handedly about everything. Ignorance, stupidity! [...] Oh swaggering foolishness, with crest" (the diary, 20th June).
 
More about Glorup and Andersen at Svindinge village web-site 


Hesselagergård  East Fyn         Owned by the Dons family throughout the 19th century.

Hesselagergaard Hans Christian Andersen

June 1850: Visits Hesselagergård Estate, where he feels ill at ease when he sees the portraits of the Duke of Augustenborg and the Prince of Nør "plastered on the walls of the lavatory" (the diary, 22nd June).
 
More about the house



Holsteinborg Near Skælskør, Sjælland.        Seat of the Holstein family.

Holsteinborg Hans Christian Andersen

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Visits Holsteinborg in May 1856 for the first time. In a letter to B.S. Ingemann 23.5.1856:
"It is very beautiful here at Holsteinborg ... ; The beach comes up below the windows and the islands beyond are beautifully tree-covered ..."
In his diary: "The food was sumptuous, I was placed in a very elegant bedroom and a cabinet facing the great courtyard, which is rather similar to Kronborg [castle]".
 
In a letter to Mrs Ingemann 15.12.1865:
"... outside on the water, in their hundreds, wild swans that sing morning and evening"
 
More
about the house



Lerchenborg Near Kalundborg, Sjælland     Owned by the Lerche family since 1742 
Lerchenborg Hans Christian Andersen Andersen stayed here a week in 1862 as guest of count C.A. Lerche.
"... At dinner was a Pastor Knudsen and wife, he has been a missionary at Tranquebar ... He hurled a load of Bible language which became thorn bushes between myself and the love of God; I said that God's nature made me feel more rejuvenated than a bad sermon. 'But nature does not preach Christianity!' was his answer. I became nervous, did not feel happy or at ease in the presence of this presumptuous man! - Yes, the professor can't take opposition, said Helsted who in all sided with the pastor, the count on the other hand with me." (Diary 12.7.1862). Helsted was most likely the composer Edvard Helsted, since the count himself was a composer. Helsted had written the music to musical plays by Andersen.

More about the manor house 

Lykkesholm East Fyn.            His hosts were the family Lindegaard.
Lykkesholm Hans Christian Andersen

 

In July 1832 Andersen visits Lykkesholm - where he feels that the young Mrs Lindegaard makes almost too much fuss over him and is willing to fulfil his every wish.
In the summer 1835 Andersen writes to Edvard Collin of the young ladies who, all having read about Lara and Flaminia in The Improvisatore, "crowded around the poet".
In the 1830s it was the favourite manor house of the young Andersen, but the teasing by the youngest family members caused the sensitive poet to withdraw to other hospitable estates on Fyn. (Niels Peter Stilling in "Danmarks slotte og herregårde").
 
More about the house


Nysø Near Præstø, Sjælland              Owned by the family Stampe since 1800
Nysø Hans Christian Andersen

 

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Andersen visited Baron Hendrik Stampe and his wife Christine at Nysø for the first time in 1838 and returned several times in the following years.
 
From a letter to B.S. Ingemann 20th November 1843: "Concerning life at Nysø, I have so far only been here two days and yesterday (Sunday the 19th) was Thorvaldsen's birthday, he was especially lively and had completed a beautiful bas-relief "Architecture and the Art of Sculpture"; we had many strangers at table and in the evening a comedy, Heiberg's "Intrigue at School" ... I have a room with a beautiful view of Præstø Bay! [So it must have been in the wing to the right in the bottom picture] ... I will stay here 8-10 days and am thinking of getting some work done, at least writing a fairy tale or a new scene for Ahasverus! ..."
 
From a letter to Ingemann 4th May 1856: "Now I am to go from Basnæs next week to Holsteinborg ... and from there to Nysøe, where I have not stayed since Thorvaldsen lived there; I am able to meet with the baroness but to live under her wings, by which one can be so easily struck, I don't really have the courage, and now that the time comes closer when I must fulfil my promise, I become more and more frightened, I am really afraid it won't work out ...  " [He escaped and went to Ingemann in Sorø instead]
 
More pictures and information about Nysø
 

Links:

Map of Denmark

The Hans Christian Andersen Center - Hans Christian Andersen's life and works - texts and information

Timetable of Andersen's life and works in the above website


Front page of Astoft's Danish section

 

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