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.Although the city was burned in 1249 following a royal rivalry, it quickly recovered and flourished as a centre of commerce in the Middle Ages.After a period of decline, large-scale plans for development were made during the 18th century, which led to the rebuilding of Odense Palace and the building of a canal to the Port of Odense, facilitating trade.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.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.
The city is home to Odense Palace, erected by King Frederik IV who died there in 1730, the Odense Theatre, the Odense Symphony Orchestra, and the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, situated in the house that was the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen. Odense is served by Hans Christian Andersen Airport and Odense station, which lies on the line between Copenhagen and the Jutland peninsula.
The local nobility also participated in the city's development by building residences where they spent the winter months.
But the city's prosperity came to an abrupt end in the late 1650s heavy taxes were imposed after the end of the Swedish Wars.
Odense has close associations with Hans Christian Andersen who is remembered above all for his fairy tales.
He was born in the city in 1805 and spent his childhood years there.
In 1720, Frederick IV ordered the rebuilding of Odense Palace, partly on the foundations of the 13th century St.