Present-day Otterup arose from the two old villages, Otterup and Hjorslev. Since ancient times, Hjorslev was the largest of the two, but Otterup has been a church town since the 1100s. This meant that the latter took precedence and provided the name for the present-day town.


The predominantly flat landscape, which extends across a large part of North Eastern Funen, is called Slet-ten.
Sletten was formed from the meltwaters of the Ice Age and was distinct agricultural land as early as the Mid-dle Ages. Here, commoners lived on their small plots of land or worked as agricultural labourers on the church or squires’ land. They led an extremely frugal life.

The railway

The peasants on Sletten supplemented their income by weaving, either for their own use or for selling at the market in Odense. The railway became the gateway that opened Sletten up to a new era and contact with the outside world.


When the railway came to the town in 1882, the station was a bit outside the old town centre. Development extended the town centre towards the railway line and over on to the other side.


The Nordfynske Jernbane was the catalyst for considerable growth in Otterup, which was now able to call it-self a station town with increasing numbers of people settling there and increased wealth in addition to closer contact with the rest of Funen. The railway, new markets and surplus for growth developed the town’s trade and industry with a police force, doctor, vet, pharmacy etc. all appearing. Otterup became the service town for the surrounding area and, throughout the 1900s. it grew to become the main town in eastern North Funen.


The railway’s golden age lasted right up until the 1930s, when cars and trucks became the preferred means of transport between Sletten, Otterup and the rest of the country. The station was demolished in 1970 to make way for the town’s new town hall from 1972.

A hospital and a rifle factory

Otterup Geværfabrik (Schultz & Larsen) is the town’s old, world-renowned rifle factory, which for over a cen-tury (1889-1994) manufactured some of the world’s best rifles and guns. Hans Schultz and his son-in-law Niels Larsen (Olympic Gold medallist in shooting in 1920) jointly developed the fantastic, hand-forged weap-ons using a revolutionary technique which once upon a time made Otterup the focal point of high politics.


Otterup Museum or Otterup Hospital, which was a pensioners’ dwelling for eight poor peasants, was con-structed in 1722. Two hundred years later, a library was established in the beautiful building and, since 1958, it has served as the town’s museum with regularly changing exhibitions.

Did you know…

… that before the railway arrived in Otterup in 1882, the North Funen farmers shipped out their grain, among other things, from Klintebjerg Havn in the fjord? This brought extra trade to Otterup!