Another of the most popular sights in Copenhagen is the famous "Little Mermaid." Known as "Den Lille Havfrue" in Danish, this diminutive statue sits gracefully upon a rock just off shore at Langelinie. Her fame is derived from the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, and her story has been played out in ballets and the famous Disney movie of the same name. The Little Mermaid statue was commissioned by Carl Jacobsen, founder of the also famous Carlsberg Brewery and she was sculpted by the noted Edvard Eriksen. She was unveiled in August, 1913, and given as a gift to the city and people of Copenhagen by Mr. Jacobsen.
Rather than seeing her from shore, we saw the Little Mermaid from a canal cruise which certainly didn't show her best perspective. Much smaller than I would have guessed, still the Little Mermaid was one of the sights that I most wanted to see in Copenhagen but the one I got was disappointing. I was hoping to touch her, but that was all but impossible from the boat. She is extremely popular and there was quite a crowd oggling her the day we cruised close to her. During low tide, some people go out to the rock upon which she is sitting to have a picture taken with her. You can see from the accompanying picture that the Little Mermaid looks a little dark & could use some polishing!
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)
Hans Christian Andersons Little Mermaid sits in the harbour up past the Royal Palace (Amalienborg) near the fortress, about 20 minutes walk from Nyhavn.
Its a nice walk up there though along the harbourside and through park gardens, and certainly makes sense doing the walk and visiting the fortress and statue after attending the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Amalienborg which happens daily at noon.
The prereading i had done before my first visit to Copenhagen had the Lonely Planet writing that the small statue in the large harbour with industrial backdrop may be quite a let down but both times ive visited theres been numerous people there excitedly clicking their cameras - even if not a number one visit after the act its a must do to at least have seen it!
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.
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?
the little mermaid, (den lille havefrue) is probably the most famous symbol of copenhagen. the statue was commissioned by carl jacobson, the head of the carlsberg brewing company in 1913. the mermaid was sculpted by edvard eriksen and was inspired by the hans christian andersen story about a mermaid who falls in love with a prince. sadly this charming statue has been vandalized on several occasions but a repaired version can be seen today.
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…
The statue of the Little Mermaid is a very popular attraction among tourists. I guess, all of them have read Christian Andersen's Fairy Tale about the Little Mermaid in the childhood. Unfortunatelly, a statue of the Little Mermaid has had a tough life: she has been decapitated and covered in paint several times.
The beloved fairy tale of the Little Mermaid was first published by Hans Christian Andersen in 1837. It is the story of the little mermaid who saves the life of a shipwrecked prince and sets off on a perilous quest to win his love. The price she pays is dear: to become human she must give up her lovely voice as well as her mermaid?s tail, and if the prince should wed another, she will turn into foam on sea and disappear forever.
The Little Mermaid has led an harrassed life; Bra & knickers were painted on her and her hair was painted red, she has been covered in red paint, she has been decapitated, the right arm of the Mermaid was cut off, another attempt was made to decapitate her, she was then decapitated again, the Mermaid was not on her stone one the morning. Later she was found in the water blasted off her stone.
She is now well into her 80's isn't it time for her to live a peaceful life.
Little Mermaid as it is called, is so tiny as expected. It is only 1.25 meters high and weighs 175 kilograms. To me, no matter how small this symbol is, it is still the memory of Copenhagen. I will remember this beautiful city in Denmark because of this bronze statue in the harbour of Copenhagen. This is a very popular tourist attraction that if you do not visit my Little Mermaid - then, you did not see the best of Copenhagen! It is a "must see" place in the land of the Danes.
This statue commemorating Hans Christian Andersen's tale of Den Lille Havfrue (the Little Mermaid), written and published in 1837. It's a small statue, and some might say that it's not terribly appealing, but it might appeal to the youngsters. Personally, I don't think it's fair to classify this statue as a tourist trap...no one pays to see the statue!
It's a little bit of a walk from the center of town, and it is on the waterfront, so it might be wise to dress warmly.
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.
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.
The Little Mermaid is located on a rock at Langelinie, just north east of the city centre.
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.
The Little Mermaid is the symbol of Copenhagen and Denmark even. Therefore you really should go see it. Okay, it's just a statue. But it's the symbolism that I liked most. It was based on a fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson, a famous Danish writer. She was first put on display on August 23rd, 1913.
Over the years she has been de-headed a few times, her arm was broken off, and she had red paint all over her.
On your way to the Little Mermaid you will also come across Geffion Springvand, a beautiful fountain.