Denmark: Copenhagen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’

Denmark: Copenhagen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’

Many cities have an image that tends to reflect and identify with that image in the popular imagination. In Denmark’s capital city of Copenhagen there are many landmarks, statues and sculptures. Some of them are well known and many of them are less known that are sprinkled across Copenhagen’s streets, squares, parks and intersections.

Apart from the statues and sculptures of Danish kings and historical figures is a sculpture of a girl from a fairy tale called ‘The Little Mermaid’. The bronze and granite statue of ‘The Little Mermaid’ is sculpted by by Edvard Eriksen that almost reflects Copenhagen. The Little Mermaid is seated on a rock in the water with poise and optimism. The statue is 1.25 metres tall and weighs 175 kilograms. The statue is located at Langelinje Pier and it is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Copenhagen.

The Little Mermaid celebrated its centenary on 23 August 2013: She has been there in Copenhagen since it was unveiled on 23 August 1913. The statue is a gift from the Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen to the City of Copenhagen. The idea of ‘The Little Mermaid’ comes from the famous Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale titled ‘The Little Mermaid’. The Little Mermaid, the protagonist of the short story, sacrifices everything to be united with the prince! Carl Jacobsen was inspired to have ‘The Little Mermaid’ in one or the other form when he watched a ballet performance based of the fairy tale at the famous Royal Danish Theatre, and he commissioned Edvard Eriksen to sculpt the sculpture of the mermaid in to a visible everyday character of Copenhagen.

VICTIM OF VANDALISM: The Little Mermaid has been the victim of vandalism on several occasions. Once her head went missing, once her arm was sawn, and at another time she drenched in red paint. However, Copenhagen repeatedly restored it: The Little Mermaid is there, irrespective of the weather to welcome the people to the harbour and beyond with her poise and with her optimism.

Photo Credit: Maria Rapti. Maria Rapti is a Scandinavian-based travel photographer of Greek origin.


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Denmark: Copenhagen’s ‘The Little Mermaid’

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