Little Mermaid, Copenhagen

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    The mermaid - Den lille havfrue

    by jonkb Updated Dec 3, 2013

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    The little Mermaid

    All, right. No Copenhagen page is complete without it. Here it is: The little Mermaid. Mind you it is out of the way for something so small. I'd almost call it a trap, if it hadn't been free to watch I'd call it that.

    The place is sourounded with tourist, just for this small statue, and with the factories in the background it can be a little disapointing.

    The mermaid is the main figure in a fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen (insidentely: You can see a statue of this man next to the town hall). In short the fairytale goes like this: The little mermaid is the youngest daughter of the king of the sea. When the mermaids was 15 years, they could peak above the surface of the sea for the first time. When the little mermaid did this, she saw a shiip. Later on that ship was shipwrecked in a storm, and she rescued an unconsious prince that was onboard. She fell in love with this prince. She wanted so much to be with her prince, that she drank a magic drink to make her human, forsaking living as a mermaid for several hundred years.The prince, however did not recipicate her love, and married a princess from another kingdom. As he did this, the little mermaid died.

    The statue is made by Edvard Eriksen in 1913, and paid for by Carl Jacobsen. Jacobsen commissioned it after seing a ballet from the fairytale. The ballerina Ellen Price stood model for the head of the statue. She did not agree to model in the nude, so the body is modelled after Eriksens wife, Eline.

    The mermaid hasn't been left alone. In 2010 she was temporarely moved to Shanghai during the Expo2010. She has lost her head twice (in 1964 and 1998), her arm (in 1984), and been painted several times, as well as dressed in various creations (Muslim head dress, Burka, Braziers). The last act of vandalism was in 2003, when she was pushed of her place (possibly by explosives).

    Today the biggest threat to her (besides pure vandalism) are the noumerous tourist crawling all over her.

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  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo

    The Wonderful Little Mermaid

    by easterntrekker Written Nov 25, 2013

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    Little Mermaid
    We took a nice stroll from our hotel to the waterfront and the little Mermaid was easy to spot ...just looked for tour buses.
    I was excited to finally see her . She is on every brochure and tour guide of Copenhagen I have ever seen . Erected in 1913 she stands serenely watching mover the harbour.

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    Den Lille Havfrue

    by lmkluque Updated Nov 3, 2013

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    Den lille havfrue (The Little Mermaid) is located at Langelinje Pier. It was a shock to see that The Little Mermaid was, in fact, LITTLE! I guess I expected to see something larger. Why? I haven't a clue. It seems that I am not alone in finding her size as a surprise. Many others have too.

    She sits on her rock out in the water for us to view, and during low tide, some brave souls walk out to touch her! It was cold the day I went and the tide was too high so I observed her from afar.

    That bit of land just behind her is Sweden, not at all far away. The statute has been vandalized quite a few times over the years so it was good to hear the rumor that the "original" statute is kept safe with the family of Edvard Eriksen and what is seen in the harbor is an exact copy.

    I was interested to find out that there are 13 replicas around the world and one can be found in Solvang, California also a replica, of a Danish Town.

    Den Lille Havfrue is a delicate tribute to the wonderful story teller, Hans Christian Anderson. She celebrates 100 years in 2013.

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  • grayfo's Profile Photo

    Little Mermaid

    by grayfo Updated Aug 7, 2013

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    In the water near Langelinie is Copenhagen's best-known attraction the tiny statue of Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue), which is literally the size of a young girl. The Little Mermaid statue is quite a walk from the centre and although it’s not as small as I’d been led to believe, it’s still tiny. Photographs make it look more exciting than it actually is. The Little Mermaid was sculptured in bronze by Edward Eriksen (1876-1959) in 1913 using his wife as the model.

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    The Little Mermaid

    by antistar Updated Jun 1, 2013

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    The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen
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    If anyone knows anything about Copenhagen, it's probably the Little Mermaid. The star of a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, and a series of Disney Movies, there are probably few who haven't heard of the young mermaid who gave up everything for the love of a human prince. Over the years the story has gone from a tragedy, where the mermaid basically kills herself, to one where she gains an immortal soul with the daughters of the air, to a Disneyfied version of the tale where she is transformed into a human so that she can marry her beloved prince.

    The statue of the Little Mermaid, surprisingly far out from Copenhagen's centre, sits on a rock in the harbour. Despite the statue's fame, and its iconic status in Copenhagen, it is quite small, understated and easily overlooked if you aren't aware of its existence. It's been vandalised many times, including have its head cut off, but this isn't a problem as it's not even an original, but one of many copies. The original belongs to its sculptor's heirs.

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    Little Mermaid

    by PeterVancouver Updated May 24, 2013

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    Copenhagens Little Mermaid

    The life size 4' statue was created by the sculptor Edward Eriksen who used his wife Eline as the model. It was presented to the City of Copenhagen in 1913 by the famous brewer of Carlsberg beer, Carl Jacobsen. Although many think the statue is a symbol of the old seaport, the inspiration was Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, "The Little Mermaid."

    On April 23, 1964, vandals decapitated the Little Mermaid and her original head was never found. A new head was made from the original cast. Most visitors to Copenhagen have their pictures made next to the Little Mermaid and many much to the distress of the locals seem to comment "is that it!"

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    Little Mermade

    by kris-t Updated Apr 8, 2012

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    Statue of the Little Mermaid

    The bronze statue of the Little Mermaid was unveiled on Aug. 1913.

    Interesting that the statue displayed in Copenhagen harbour has always been a copy. The sculptor's heirs keep the original at an undisclosed location.

    It seems as a right move: the statue has been damaged and defaced many times since the mid-1960s for various reasons, but has been restored each time.

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    Den Lille Havfrue

    by ValbyDK Updated Mar 31, 2012

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    Den Lille Havfrue
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    Den Lille Havfrue (The Little Mermaid) – and yes, she is little – is located at Langelinie Quay and is a major tourist attraction in Copenhagen! In the summer season it could be very difficult to take a photo of the little lady without also getting the head of another tourist in the photo. Many people climb the stones in front of the statue, but be careful because the stones are very slippery and I have seen more than one walking away with wet clothes.

    The sculpture of the Little Mermaid was done by sculptor Edvard Eriksen and was erected at Langelinie on August 23, 1913. The sculpture is donated by Brewer Carl Jacobsen, who was very interested in ballet and wanted to celebrate the Danish Ballet with some kind of monument. First he considered a fountain, but when the ballet ‘The Little Mermaid’ (after a fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen) was put up on the Royal Theatre, Jacobsen saw the female solo dancer Ellen Price and decided to give a sculpture – and Ellen Price should be the model for this sculpture. There are some uncertainties if Ellen Price actually modelled for the sculpture. It is said that she didn’t want to pose naked, and Edvard Eriksen had his wife to pose for the Mermaids body and Ellen Price posed for the Mermaids head.

    Several times during her life the Mermaid had been vandalised: Painted in different colours, dressed in bra, had the head cut off, lost the right arm, knocked down from her stone and more…

    In 2006, the Little Mermaid got a little sister: The "genetically modified" little mermaid... It is located only a few hundred metres from the original one, and is created by Danish sculptor Bjørn Nørgaard. Like her big sisters, the sculpture is made of bronze - but that's where any other similarity ends…

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  • dplesko's Profile Photo

    Visit Little Mermaid

    by dplesko Written Mar 27, 2012

    "The Little Mermaid" is a popular fairy tale by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince.

    The statue was commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg, who had been fascinated by a ballet about the fairytale in Copenhagen's Royal Theatre.

    This statue has been damaged many times but each time has been restored.

    - statue's head was sawn off and stolen by politically oriented artists
    - right arm was sawn off and returned two days later by two young men
    - statue was decapitated
    - statue was knocked off its base with explosives and later found in the harbor's waters
    - statue was draped
    - the statue head scarfed
    - paint has been poured on the statue several times

    Copenhagen officials announced that the statue may be moved farther out in the harbour to avoid further vandalism and to prevent tourists from climbing onto it.

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    Little Mermaid

    by mindcrime Written Mar 13, 2012

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    little mermaid
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    Usually, the landmark of the big touristic cities is something big in size like Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, the Acropolis etc In Copenhagen it is something small, a small statue sitting on a rock at the harbour!

    Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue in danish) is based on a Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale, a young mermaid that gave up everything (her life as a mermaid in the sea so to gain a human soul) for the love a human prince but the pain when she walks her feet bleed and the pain is terrible. But the prince marries someone else and mermaid’s sister brings her a knife telling her that she has to slay the prince and let his blood drip on her feet, this will turn her again into mermaid but she cant do it and prefers to kill herself… (ok, I know you prefer Disney’s version).

    Brewer Carl Jacobson(Carlsberg founder) got excited by a ballet based on the fairytale that he saw at Copenhagen’s Royal Theatre he commissioned the statue in 1909, he asked Ellen Price (prima ballerina at the ballet to be the model but she refused because she didn’t want to get undressed :) Edvard Eriksen was the sculptor that made this small statue that weights 175kg and it’s only 1,25 metres high. He used his wife as a model…

    It was unveiled in 1913 and suffered a lot through out the next centuries with many vandalisms including decapitation, her arm was sawn off, covered with paint, dressed with clothes etc
    Not much to do there except to wait in line and take a picture with the statue (you can pose right beside her but watch out the slippery stones or you may transformed into a mermaid yourself!)… So we took some pictures too and then tried to avoid the crowds (if a tourist buses arrive expect hordes while some others watch the statue from the boat tour point of view). There’s a small stand selling small replicas as souvenirs… it was time for us to moved further up to check the marina (pic 3)

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    The Little Mermaid statue

    by Twan Updated Feb 21, 2012
    The Little Mermaid statue
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    The image of the little mermaid is a world famous statue in the Danish capital Copenhagen. It allows the main character in the tale of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen.

    The image of the mermaid was created by Edvard Eriksen (1876-1959), commissioned by Carl Jacobsen, founder of the Carlsberg. It is 1.25 meters and was on 23 August 1913, put a rock in the harbor. It has become one of the major tourist attractions in Copenhagen.

    By the boat tour you also come by the Little Mermaid statue a most see if you go to Copenhagen, just because you have to. It is realy small by the way.

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  • TrendsetterME's Profile Photo

    Little Mermaid, Copenhagen, Denmark ...

    by TrendsetterME Written Feb 17, 2012

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    Little Mermaid, Copenhagen, Denmark
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    It was crazy snowy this time as ı was in Copenhagen, and was freezing cold at the Mermaid area, but I still did succeed in to shoot some photos w my ice cold fingers ... :)

    The Little Mermaid is a statue of a mermaid in Langelinie, based on the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, the small and unimposing statue, w a height of ca. 125 cm, is a Copenhagen icon and a major tourist attraction.

    Its said that the statue displayed in Copenhagen harbour has always been a copy and the sculptor's heirs keep the original at an undisclosed location ...

    The Little Mermaid sits close to the shore of the cruise harbor "Langelinie" on her granite resting place, in the old port district of Nyhavn. It is a short walk from the main cruise pier, nearby many of Copenhagen’s other major attractions and locations to see the architecture in Copenhagen.

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    The Little Mermaid

    by mickeyboy07 Updated Oct 16, 2011

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    The Little Mermaid
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    The Statue of the Little Mermaid sits on a rock in the harbour of Copenhagen.Based on a tale by 'Hans Christian Anderson',the small and uniposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and major tourist attraction.The statue was commissioned in 1909 by 'Carl Jacobson'son of the founder of Carlsberg,who had been fascinated by a ballet about the fairytale in Copenhagen's Royal Theatre and asked the Primaballerina,Ellen Price,to model for the statue.The sculptor 'Edvard Eriksen'created the Bronze statue,which was unveiled on 23rd august 1913.The statue is only 1.25 metres high and weighs around 175kg.It has been vandalised on numerous occassions for many reasons including having her head sawn off and her right arm removed,vandals have thrown paint on her numerous times and draped her in all types of clothing.
    The Little Mermaid as just been returned to the harbour after a three month exibition in China.

    There is also small coffee shop selling snacks and souvenirs just a few mins walk away.

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    She Was Gone

    by fred98115 Written Jun 22, 2011

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    The Little Mermaid Webcam Display

    Everyone can visualize the Little Mermaid, the bronze statue that represents one of Hans Christian Andersen's characters. We went there and found that she was gone. Specifically, the Little Mermaid had been moved to an International Exposition in Asia. The authorities placed a large television screen on the site of the Mermaid and showed a live webcam of the Mermaid on display at the Exposition. It was different.

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    Iconic Statue

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 11, 2011

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    Head (which she has lost a couple of times)
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    Everyone knows the Little Mermaid and it is one of the things one must do in Copenhagen. She is somewhat remote from the normal tourist routes. I am sure that we saw the Little Mermaid in 1950, but I have no photos of it that I can find.

    The Hans Christian Anderson story is a bit bloodthirsty and not so romantic as you might imagine. It isn't the Disney version.

    The mermaid gives up her life in the sea, her voice, and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince. When she walks or dances it feels like she is walking on sharp swords, and her feet bleed most terribly. When the prince marries someone else, the mermaid's sisters bring her a knife and tell her that if she slays the prince with the knife and lets his blood drip on her feet, she will become a mermaid again, all her suffering will end and she will live out her full life. But she can't do it.

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