Little Mermaid, Copenhagen

3.5 out of 5 stars 98 Reviews

Langelinie

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  • ... or den lille havfrue
    ... or den lille havfrue
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    St Albans Church
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    Harbour Front
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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    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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  • Gillybob's Profile Photo

    Beauty Perched

    by Gillybob Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Little Mermaid
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    After attending a performance of the ballet of "The Little Mermaid", an interpretation of the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen, Brewer Carl Jacobsen asked sculptor Edvard Eriksen to create a sculpture. At the ballet, the title part was danced by Ellen Price but the sculpture is modelled on Edvard Eriksen's wife Eline.

    Den Lille Havfrue is one of Copenhagen's most famous sights and many will tell you that it will disappoint and that it is "only small" - I found I was not disappointed. After all, how large would you expect a sculpture of a mermaid to be? I would say that it is of natural size. My personal disappointment was its location which is outside the main city centre near the Kastellet barracks. She still is a pretty sculpture - even after all the abuse she has taken which includes being beheaded on 25 April 1964, having her right arm sawn off on 21 July 1984 and being smeared with paint on 2 October 1985. Who knows what abuse she will have to endure in the future?

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  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo

    The little mermaid

    by cachaseiro Updated Mar 22, 2011

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    The little mermaid

    Of course you have to see the mermaid just like all the other tourists.
    Just be aware that there is a reason why it's called the LITTLE mermaid.
    It's very small indeed and many tourists are dissapointed, but if you prepare yourself for a tiny little statue then you might just like it.

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  • alyf1961's Profile Photo

    WHERE IS SHE?

    by alyf1961 Written Nov 22, 2010

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    WHERE IS SHE?
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    On a recent visit to Copenhagen, I was looking forward to seeing "the little mermaid". I was to be disappointed as when I visited she was on her holidays in Shanghai. The stone that she normally sits on was empty, but there was a live feed from the place she was visiting in Shanghai.

    The statue was commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen, who was the son of the founder of Carlsberg lager. Carl was fascinated by a fairytale ballet in Copenhagen’s Royal Theatre. He asked the prima ballerina, Ellen Price to be the model for the statue. The sculptor was Edward Eriksen. The statue was unveiled on 23 August 1913. The statue’s head was modelled after Price, but as the ballerina did not agree to model in the nude, the sculptor’s wife Eline Eriksen was used for the body.

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  • DAO's Profile Photo

    VANDALIZE THE LITTLE MERMAID

    by DAO Updated Jan 15, 2010

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    Why not? Everyone else seems too. I think there are 2 problems here. One is that the statue is so close you can get to her and two - that alcohol is freely available. If you add in the fact that she is a national icon - you have the recipe for disaster. Why do you think the Statue of Liberty in America is on an island? So what’s happened to her? Quite a lot actually.

    • Unveiled 23 August 1913
    • 1961 hair painted red and a bra painted on as well
    • Decapitated 25 April 1964! The head was never recovered
    • 21 July 1984 right arm sawed off, but given back next day
    • 2 October 1985 painted blue
    • 1990 cuts on her neck left after a decapitation attempt
    • January 6th 1998 decapitated again!
    • September 11th 2003 knocked completely off her rock and into the water
    • December 18, 2004 covered head to tail in a Muslim burqa
    • March 8, 2006 painted green and other vandalism
    • March 3, 2007- covered with pink paint
    • May 2007 painted again
    • 21 May 2007 covered with Hijab (breasts left exposed)
    • Next time?

    Needless to say, the authorities have never moved her farther into the Copenhagen harbour

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  • csordila's Profile Photo

    Copenhagen's cover girl - Little Mermaid

    by csordila Updated Jun 28, 2009

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    The modell was a sole ballet dancer
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    New York has the Statue of Liberty, Paris has the Eiffel Tower and Copenhagen has its Little Mermaid inspired by Andersen's famous fairy tale, in that she saved the life of a shipwrecked prince and started a futile quest to win his love.

    You can hear from visitors very often, "She is so small" when they see her for the first time. And yes, she is small, only 1.65 meter high, but nowhere near as small as the Mannekin Pis in Brussels and nevertheless, she attracts more than one million visitors yearly.
    When you visit, then first you see a big crowd, nothing else just people surrounding this little statue right next to the shore.
    The statue done by sculptor Eriksen was donated by Carl Jacobsen, owner of the Carlsberg brewery, in 1913. The modell was Ellen Price, a sole ballet dancer at the Royal Theatre.

    Every year on August 23 a birthday ceremony takes place, in 2008 she was already 95 years old.

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  • Durfun's Profile Photo

    Not a tourist trap!

    by Durfun Updated Jul 18, 2008

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    Thinner crowds..
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    This sweet mermaid has a tragic tale. She has been attacked & vandalised so many times. What is the point? Absolutely uncalled for if you ask me!

    The poor thing is quietly minding her own business. Her pose & features are far from haughty!!

    Yes, she is a bit out of the way, but shouldn't that make the trip all the more memorable & worth it?

    The setting is great, one could wade in and pose right beside her by clambering onto one of those boulders.

    And if you walk further up you reach Amalienborg Palace, to see the Changing of the Guard.

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  • JoostvandenVondel's Profile Photo

    Go and see her!

    by JoostvandenVondel Written Jun 24, 2008

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    Ok, I admit, each tourist destination has a site which, due to heavy tourism, seems to have been dragged down into the depths of despair despite being attractive in its own right. Den Lille Havfrue (or Little Mermaid) is no exception.

    Inspired by Andersen's fable, the landmark was commissioned by the brewer Carl Jacobsen in 1909 and created by Edvard Eriksen in 1913 (having gotten his wife Eline to pose as the model).

    Seeing her cofirms your visit to Copenhagen, and she is a lovely statue to view. The Little Mermaid is located just outside the Kastellet and the Royal Pavillions where the Royal Family awaits before embarking the Royal yacht are not far away.

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  • PierreZA's Profile Photo

    She is small

    by PierreZA Written Apr 20, 2008

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    Little Mermaid

    The Little Mermaid is definitely little and one of Copenhagen's most famous tourist attractions. The statue was created by Edward Eriksen in 1913 who was inspired by a fairytale of Hans Christian Andersen.

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  • Bigs's Profile Photo

    Little Mermaid

    by Bigs Updated Mar 15, 2008

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    Little mermaid
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    One of the main tourist attractions is this (really little!) statue which is overlooking the harbour. I always thought it's overrated, but found it not too overcrowded in winter and liked the view over to the harbour cranes from here. Well, the sun was out too.....

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  • sourbugger's Profile Photo

    The story the sourbugger way...

    by sourbugger Written Dec 11, 2007

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    Some old tart

    They try and give you the soft soapy version of the Little mermaid statue story- a symbol of Denmark - on the tourist circuit.

    The truth of the matter is that the Brewer Jacobson (a founder of Carlsberg) found a solution to a case of brewers droop in the form of a fine young filly who graced the stage of the ballet in Copenhagen. Being a pit of a perv he tried to get her to pose for a statue. When the ballerina realised that she would have to get her kit off for this honour, she refused.

    Jacobson had already commissioned the piece, and the sculptors wife gamely stepped up to the plate, even though she was up the duff by this time.

    The resulting statue has been a resounding success - even if she is on oversized pregnant bird who smells faintly of fish.

    She is a tough old girl. I'll give her that. She has survived decapitation, being thrown into the sea, having her her dyed red and a bra and panties painted onto her.

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  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo

    The Little Mermaid

    by HORSCHECK Updated Dec 9, 2007

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    The Little Mermaid

    The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfue) is definitely Copenhagen's most famous tourist attraction.

    Nervertheless, it is not too exciting, but as all tourists go there I had a look at the lovely lady as well.

    The statue was created by Edward Eriksen in 1913 who was inspired by a fairytale of Hans Christian Andersen.

    Directions:
    The Little Mermaid is located on a rock at Langelinie, just north east of the city centre.

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  • SWFC_Fan's Profile Photo

    The Little Mermaid

    by SWFC_Fan Updated Sep 16, 2007

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    The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen
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    I visited The Little Mermaid (or "Den Lille Havfrue") statue during a visit to Copenhagen in August 2007.

    This small statue (notoriously much smaller than many people imagine it to be), depicting the mermaid from Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairytale, has been perched on its seaside rock since 1913 and is one of Copenhagen’s most recognisable landmarks.

    Over the course of its lifetime, the statue has been the victim of vandalism on countless occasions, ranging from having its head and arms sawn off, being covered in various coloured paints and being dressed in various clothing by protesters seeking a high profile victim for their cause.

    It remains a very popular attraction with tourists. Groups of people, with cameras in hand, jostle to get the best spot to take their photographs. I walked from the centre of Copenhagen to visit the statue, but many others had arrived there on tour buses. It is also possible to visit by boat (trips leave from Nyhavn) to see the Mermaid from an alternative angle.

    Curiously, the Little Mermaid was actually bigger than I thought it would be. But that was only because I had read and been told so many times that it was much smaller than people imagined, and so had downgraded my expectations accordingly. If that makes sense!

    Unsurprisingly, there is a small souvenir stand located close to the Mermaid.

    Join the crowds and visit Copenhagen’s most famous landmark!

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  • JennysTravels's Profile Photo

    Million and one ... now.

    by JennysTravels Written Aug 13, 2007

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    The Little Mermaid
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    I really didn't want to write a tip on The Little Mermaid because of the million or so other tips that have been written, but I enjoyed our time here. It was a beautiful May afternoon and we set out from Hotel Jorgensen and hiked the one hour walk to see her. We passed beautiful canals, busy pedistrian streets, rugby teams screaming out big red buses, families having a picnic under a tree and millions of shiny happy people. I love this country and it's people. They are so happy, healthy and friendly. The streets are spic and span clean and hints of glimmer glow from the street lamps. So go ahead, if you have a beautiful day ... walk to The Little Mermaid.

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  • Joacim's Profile Photo

    A lovely lady

    by Joacim Written Jul 10, 2007

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    The little mermaid
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    The statue of the little mermaid is a symbol of copenhagen and sits on a rock in the Copenhagen harbour. She is on of the major tourist attractions in Copenhagen and a must to see if you visit the city.

    For more information about the statue see Wikipedias page:

    The little mermaid

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