Exterior view of the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Solvang, CA

Exploring the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Solvang

Since Denmark’s most famous writer was Hans Christian Andersen, it’s unsurprising that Solvang has a museum dedicated to his life and legacy. Andersen wrote many famous fairy tales that are still well-known today, like ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘The Princess and the Pea.’ 

If you read his original texts, you will easily see why he is Denmark’s very own Shakespeare. Each story he wrote was incredibly complex, with eloquent prose and memorable plots. Those visiting Solvang should pop around to this Museum to get a glimpse into the life of this phenomenal writer. With so many wonderful sights to see at the world-famous Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Solvang, you won’t be sorry.    

So book a stay with us at the King Frederik Inn and visit this quaint but memorable museum. Our hotel has all the amenities you could need when visiting the area. We are also situated close to this museum alongside wineries, a golf course, and other worthwhile attractions. 

The History Of Hans Christian Andersen—Namesake To This Solvang Museum

Bust of Hans Christian Andersen
Bust of Hans Christian Andersen, the hero of Solvang” by Frankoism is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

To understand why this museum is so popular with those who visit Solvang, you need to know more about the history of Hans Christian Andersen. 

Andersen was the son of a shoemaker, which was a common profession during the 1800s. His family was humble, and they were not wealthy or highly regarded in their community. 

If you would like to see the home he lived in, you can look at the model replica displayed at the museum. You can also look at how his father would have carved wooden shoes during the 1800s in the exhibit displayed in this museum. Interesting right?

Like countless writers, past and present, Andersen went through many struggles and life challenges before he achieved fame with his extraordinary fairy tales. Through it all, one of his biggest supporters Edvard Collin stuck by his side and advised him for over 50 years. 

Over the years, thanks to Collin and his talents, Andersen became popular. Thus elevating his status from a humble writer to an entertainer of royalty in Europe. A few of the fantastical paper-made figures he created to entertain aristocratic families can be found in an exhibit at this wonderful museum. 

Yet, some would say that Andersen wouldn’t have become anything without his greatest muse Jenny Lind. Although he loved several women during his lifetime, he never married, which is likely because of his near obsession with Lind—a famous singer. Elements of her personality were immortalized in Andersen’s work ‘The Nightingale,’ which can be seen at this museum. 

What Are A Few Hans Christian Andersen Museum Highlights?

‘The Little Mermaid’ has become a symbol of Danish culture, and luckily you can see a mermaid statue when visiting the museum. You will also get to see multiple copies of this literary masterpiece. 

Yet besides this statue, what are a few of the other highlights you can look forward to when you visit this museum? Have a look below to find out. 

1. A Working Model of a Gutenberg Press

Even though it isn’t technically a part of the museum’s exhibit, we think it’s worth mentioning that a working model of a Gutenberg Press is displayed at the entrance. This is especially exciting for those who are avid writers or literature historians. 

This press is made of entirely authentic pieces except for a small piece of metal and a singular nut—so it’s as original as it could be for its age. Interestingly, this press is not known as a Gutenberg Press at the museum, but rather a McClure Press, so use this name when asking to see it when you visit. 

2. Jean Hersholt Display

The Hans Christian Andersen Museum doesn’t only have exhibits of Andersen. This museum has a display of Jean Hersholt, an Actor on a radio series in the US. Why, you might ask? 

Well, Hersholt was one of the biggest collectors of Andersen’s work. He went to extreme lengths in collecting, and many believed him to be one of the world’s leading authorities on Andersen. 

According to accounts, Hersholt had about 1,500 documents, including first editions, manuscripts, and other written materials of Andersens. When he died, these priceless masterpieces were given to the US Library of Congress. 

3. First Editions

Although the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Solvang is small, it is crammed with must-see artifacts, exhibits, and knowledge. Some of the must-see items when visiting include the hundreds of volumes of Andersen’s many works. Several of these works are early and first editions, so if you’re a book lover seeing them might make your day!

There are also many illustrated volumes on display, and they help you visualize the story that Andersen brought to life with his words. There are also letters of correspondence, personal poetry, and photographs of Andersen to be seen. 

Downtown Solvang, CA
Solvang, California” by Ken Lund is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Hans Christian Andersen Museum: Location And Hours

The Hans Christian Andersen Museum is situated in downtown Solvang and is easy to find. If you look for a bookstore and cafe side by side, you will find the museum above the bookstore. The address is 1680 Mission Drive, Solvang, CA 93463 or you can call 805-688-6010 for more information.

You can access this museum from either of these two shops. You need not pay to visit, and it is open every day between 10 am and 5 pm. You can also arrange a tour if you want the full experience. 

Stay At The King Frederik Inn To Visit The Hans Christian Andersen Museum In Solvang

It’s clear why the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Solvang, CA is worth visiting. So why not book a stay with us at The King Frederik Inn today to see what attracts so many to our quaint Danish town? Our cozy hotel is situated in the heart of Downtown Solvang, so you’re a short walk away from this museum. 

We’ve also got all the facilities and amenities you could need. For example, free breakfast, a heated spa and pool, free Wi-Fi, and luxurious bedrooms. So contact us and we’ll help you with your reservation. 

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