Mermaid has become almost a symbol of the city of Copenhagen.
Actually many have been wondering why exactly this small
figure should have this unique status. Maybe
because of the link to the fairytale of Hans Christian
Andersen. Maybe because of her innocent position over viewing
the harbour of Copenhagen.
Not only is The Little Mermaid among the most
photographed motives in Denmark. She also is among the
most sold souvenirs.
surprises most tourists is the small size. The Little
Mermaid is in fact little. The bronze statue is
only 165 centimetres high sitting on a natural rock just at
the waterfront at Langelinie - Northern part of the Copenhagen
World famous sculpture she is not very old either. The statue
is made by the Danish-Icelandic sculptor Edvard Eriksen and was
presented in 1913. It was made on the order of Carl Jacobsen
(gave name to the Danish brewery Carlsberg). The
inspiration for his wish was his joy of seeing the ballerina
Ellen Price dancing the ballet The Little Mermaid on
the Royal Theatre of Copenhagen. The ballet was written on the basis of the fairytale
The Little Mermaid of Hans Christian Andersen.
The size of The Little Mermaid is often a surprise for
Mermaid is placed on Langelinie which is the preferred place
for cruise ships to enter when they visit Copenhagen. I It is North of Copenhagen. In good weather a nice
walk along the waterfront from the Royal Castle Amalienborg
and even from Nyhavn and Kongens Nytorv.
times the statue has been a victim of insult. Both in 1961 and
1963 she was painted. The most famous attack was at the 24th
of April 1964 when her head was cut of. The head was never
found and the present head is a reconstruction. Also in 1990
there was an attempt to decapitate her and in 1998 she lost
her head again. In 2003 she was pushed into the harbour. As
late as in 2008 a paint bomb covered her with white paint (see
exact days of the life of the mermaid)
The Genetically Modified Little Mermaid is to be
seen only a few hundred meters away from the original
Only a few
hundred meters away a newer version of The Little Mermaid is
placed. It is called The Genetically Modified Little
Mermaid and is made by the Danish artist Bjørn Nørgaard.
In 2010 The
Little Mermaid will be moved to Shanghai to be part of the
Danish pavilion at EXPO 2010 in Shanghai. She will be placed
in a small indoor lake an stay in Shanghai for six months.
At 23rd of
august in 2009 the 96th birthday of The Little Mermaid was
celebrated by 96 women who were swimming in the harbour
shaping the number 96 with their bodies (see video at the
bottom of this page).
The Little Mermaid in the Danish pavilion at Shanghai
2010 (model photo.
To get a photo of The Little Mermaid is almost a "must"
for the visitor coming to Copenhagen for the first time.
The Canal Tours of Copenhagen always pass The Little
Mermaid on the tour.