The town of Solvang, California was founded in 1910 by a group of Danish immigrants. In the middle of a state which was mostly settled by the Spanish, this pocket of Scandinavian culture makes it a fun and unique town to explore. Many of the attractions in Solvang celebrate this uniqueness and highlight the contributions of Danish culture. Denmark’s most famous writer, Hans Christian Andersen, wrote many of the fairytales that are embedded in our popular culture today. The Hans Christian Andersen Museum is dedicated to the author’s life and legacy and is a great place to visit during your stay in Solvang.
Visiting the Hans Christian Andersen Museum
The Hans Christian Andersen Museum is a small Solvang museum space located above the local bookshop, The Book Loft. The Book Loft is an independent bookstore and has been a staple of Solvang since 1970, specializing in local authors and Danish works. Upstairs resides the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, which is open daily from 10am to 5pm. The museum offers tours and mini lectures, as well as an annual Andersen celebration each year on April 2nd, in celebration of the author’s birthday.
The Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Solvang may be small, but it is packed full of knowledge and artifacts! There are countless displays that exhibit the history of Andersen’s life, particularly his unrequited love of singer Jenny Lind, who was an important influence on his work. See a model of Andersen’s childhood home and view Danish shoemaking tools similar to those that the author’s father would have used. There are hundreds of volumes of Andersen’s works, including several early and first editions that will delight any book lover. Additionally, illustrated volumes are on display that truly bring the stories to life. Personal poetry and letters of correspondence are displayed alongside photographs of Andersen, giving an intimate feel to his works.
Fairytale Stop in Solvang
The experience at the Hans Christian Andersen Museum is truly what you make of it! Whether you desire a casual walk through or want to pour over every detail, this Solvang museum certainly should not be missed!
Photo By Kåre Thor Olsen – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=186062