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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.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.
He was born in the city in 1805 and spent his childhood years there.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.All this provided an ideal basis for industrialisation, attracting a wide range of industries including iron and metals, textiles, and food and beverages.Separate areas of the city were devoted to increased industrial and residential expansion, Odense's most famous landmark was Odinstårnet (The Odin Tower) constructed in 1935, as the second-tallest tower in Europe, only surpassed by the Eiffel Tower with its 177 meters.