the little mermaid of copenhagen

Dive deep into the rich history and enchanting allure of the iconic Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen. This mesmerizing sculpture, standing tall on a rock in the harbour, has captured the hearts of millions of visitors from around the world.

Adorned with an uncanny level of detail, the statue is a testament to the exquisite craftsmanship of Danish sculptor Edvard Eriksen. Nestled on the Langelinie promenade, this landmark immerses you in the timeless tale of Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved mermaid.

I had heard all the stories about how small it actually is when you see it in person. It is Just just 1.25 meters tall. The stories are true it is is small and petite but for me it added to the charm.

The Little Mermaid represents the harmony between myth and reality, seamlessly blending the whimsical with the historical. As you explore the statue’s origins and its enduring significance, you’ll uncover fascinating stories and legends associated with this cultural gem.

Social Wellness Walks

From surviving numerous acts of vandalism to symbolic acts of selflessness, this magnificent symbol of Copenhagen has become an emblem of resilience and the city’s maritime heritage.

little mermaid statue

Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a lover of fairy tales, or simply seeking an iconic sight to marvel at, the Little Mermaid Statue promises a captivating experience like no other. So, join us as we embark on a journey to unravel the secrets behind this beloved Danish treasure.

History and significance of The Little Mermaid statue

The Little Mermaid statue holds a special place in the hearts of both locals and tourists alike. Erected in 1913, the statue was commissioned by Carl Jacobsen, the founder of the Carlsberg brewery, who was captivated by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale. Sculptor Edvard Eriksen was chosen to bring the mermaid to life, and he succeeded in creating this little masterpiece that has withstood the test of time.

The statue’s significance goes beyond its artistic appeal. It has become a symbol of Copenhagen, representing the city’s maritime heritage and the enduring spirit of its people. Over the years, the Little Mermaid has witnessed countless historic events and has come to embody the resilience and strength of Copenhagen.

small mermaid statue in copenhagen

The statue has also played a role in diplomatic relations. It has been loaned to various countries as a goodwill gesture, promoting cultural exchange and friendship. Despite its petite size, standing at just 1.25 meters tall, the Little Mermaid has left an indelible mark on the world stage.

The story behind The Little Mermaid

The story of the Little Mermaid dates back to the 19th century and was written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The fairy tale follows the journey of a young mermaid who dreams of becoming human to pursue her love for a prince. The statue captures a poignant moment from the story, depicting the mermaid sitting on a rock, gazing longingly towards the shore.

The tale is a bittersweet reflection on sacrifice, unrequited love, and the search for identity. It resonates with audiences of all ages and has been translated into numerous languages, captivating readers around the world. The Little Mermaid statue brings this beloved story to life, allowing visitors to connect with the mermaid’s longing and desire for something more.

close up the little mermaid

Location and design of The Little Mermaid statue

The Little Mermaid statue is strategically located on the Langelinie promenade, offering a picturesque view of the Copenhagen harbour. The statue sits on a rock just off the shore, seemingly floating above the water. Its placement allows visitors to approach the statue from various angles, offering different perspectives and enhancing the overall experience.

The design of the statue is a true testament to Edvard Eriksen’s craftsmanship. The mermaid’s features are exquisitely carved, capturing the delicate curves of her body and the intricate details of her hair. The bronze sculpture has a weathered patina, adding to its timeless appeal. Despite enduring numerous acts of vandalism and attempts to damage or steal the statue, it has been carefully restored and remains a breathtaking sight to behold.

the little mermaid on the rock in the harbour

The cultural impact of The Little Mermaid statue

The Little Mermaid statue has become deeply ingrained in Danish culture and holds a special place in the hearts of the local population. It has become an enduring symbol of Copenhagen, representing the city’s rich history, artistic heritage, and connection to the sea. The statue is frequently used as a backdrop for cultural events, celebrations, and even political protests, further cementing its significance in the collective consciousness of the Danish people.

The impact of the Little Mermaid extends far beyond Denmark’s borders. It has inspired countless works of art, literature, and even adaptations in film and theater. The statue has become an iconic landmark, attracting visitors from all corners of the globe who are drawn to its enchanting allure.

Interesting facts about The Little Mermaid statue

– The statue was inspired by a ballet performance of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, which Eriksen attended with his wife.

– The Little Mermaid statue has a sister statue in Solvang, California, gifted by the city of Copenhagen in 1976.

– The statue has been decapitated twice, had its arm cut off, and even been painted numerous times as acts of vandalism.

– The statue’s head was stolen in 1964 but was eventually returned after a ransom was paid.

– The Little Mermaid has been exhibited in various countries, including China, Japan, and the United States, symbolizing cultural exchange and friendship.

mermaid over the river in copenhagen

The controversy surrounding The Little Mermaid statue

Despite its beloved status, the Little Mermaid statue has not been without its fair share of controversy. Some critics argue that the statue perpetuates a stereotypical portrayal of women, presenting them as passive objects of desire. Others have raised concerns about the statue’s connection to Denmark’s colonial past and its role in celebrating a fairy tale that may not align with contemporary values.

However, defenders of the statue argue that it should be appreciated as a work of art and a cultural landmark, rather than being judged solely through a modern lens. The statue’s endurance through acts of vandalism and its ability to spark dialogue and debate are seen by many as a testament to its significance and resilience.

sunset at the little mermaid

Visiting The Little Mermaid statue – tips and recommendations

Visiting the Little Mermaid statue is a must for anyone traveling to Copenhagen. Here are some tips and recommendations to enhance your experience:

1. Timing: The statue is a popular tourist attraction, so try to visit early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid crowds.

2. Photography: Be prepared for crowds of people trying to capture the perfect photo. Patience is key, and consider exploring different angles and perspectives to create a unique shot.

3. Weather: Copenhagen can be unpredictable, so dress accordingly and check the weather forecast before your visit.

4. Walking: Take a leisurely stroll along the Langelinie promenade to fully appreciate the surroundings and enjoy the harbour views.

5. Local Guide: Consider booking a guided tour to learn more about the statue’s history, significance, and the fascinating stories associated with it.

full Gefion Fountain

Other famous statues in Copenhagen

While the Little Mermaid steals the spotlight, Copenhagen is home to several other notable statues that are worth exploring. Here are a few to add to your itinerary:

1. The Gefion Fountain: Located nearby, this impressive fountain depicts the Norse goddess Gefion and her four oxen.

Gefion Fountain copenhagen

2. The Royal Danish Playhouse Statue: Situated in front of the Royal Danish Playhouse, this statue represents Danish actor Ludvig Holberg.

3. The Holger Danske Statue: Found in the heart of the city, this statue portrays the legendary Danish hero Holger Danske.

4. The Ivar Huitfeldt Monument: Located in Kongens Nytorv, this statue commemorates Admiral Ivar Huitfeldt, a national hero.

More Tips When Visiting Copenhagen

Of course you didn’t travel to Copenhagen just to see the Little Mermaid. Why not go to the glorious Nyhavn. The wonderful busling and colourful harbour.

Or to get a great view over the whole city then wander up the Rundetaarn. The inside is unique even before you het to the top.

Conclusion

The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen is more than just a piece of art. It represents the fusion of myth and reality, capturing the hearts of visitors from around the world. Its rich history, enduring significance, and cultural impact make it a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts, fairy tale lovers, and anyone seeking a touch of magic.

As you gaze upon the exquisite craftsmanship and immerse yourself in the timeless tale, you’ll understand why the Little Mermaid has become an emblem of resilience and a beloved symbol of Copenhagen’s maritime heritage. So, dive into the enchanting world of the Little Mermaid and let its captivating allure leave you spellbound.

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5 Comments

  1. No Roads and No Horizons says:

    Great pictures! She looks so sad. 🙁

  2. I really like the site. Everybody alway thinks the little Mermaid is smaller than they imagined. I think I was prepared to be underwhelmed because I had heard so many things about it. Still though it is good to see and its great to know the full story behind it.

  3. Hi Cindy,
    Did you walk in Copenhagen on the footprints of Björn Wiinblad too?
    Sincerely Ludolf

  4. It has been a long time since I’ve been to Copenhagen. Thanks for letting me revisit it.

    1. Cindy Vriend says:

      Thanks Colin, I’m so glad I could take you back to Copenhagen a little 🙂

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