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In sports, Odense has a number of football clubs including OB, BM, B1909, and B1913, the Odense Bulldogs professional ice hockey team, and the city also hosts the H. The earliest community was centred on the higher ground between the Odense River to the south and Naesbyhoved Lake (now dry) to the north.Nonnebakken, one of Denmark's former Viking ring fortresses, lay to the south of the river.In 1720, Frederick IV ordered the rebuilding of Odense Palace, partly on the foundations of the 13th century St.Hans’s Monastery, and the construction of St Hans’s Church by the Knights Hospitallers.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.
At the beginning of the 12th century, Benedictine monks from England founded St Canute's Abbey.
The first recorded bishops of Odense were Odinkar Hvide and Reginbert, who was consecrated by Archbishop Æthelnoth of Canterbury, in 1022.
Canute IV of Denmark, generally considered to be the last Viking king, was murdered by unruly peasants, discontent with the high taxes he imposed on the town, in Odense's St Alban's Priory on 10 July 1086.
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.