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The (very) Little Mermaid
The one thing I knew about Copenhagen, since I was a child, is that it has a statue of a mermaid in the harbour. My mother visited on a school trip in the 1960's and had a black&white photo of her sitting next to the statue.
So I had strong romantic notions of a brave Danish mermaid heroicly challenging everything that Scandinavia's weather could throw at her in the middle of a cold sea.
Nothing could be further from the truth! Copenhagen's mermaid is (as I guess you would expect) very little. She is perched on top of a medium-sized pile of rocks within 2-3 metres of the shore. Nowadays she even has a 'close-circuit TV' camera guarding her! She faces the shore, but is a great distance from the main city, so from the tourist boats you only see her back!!
Unique Suggestions: Well, it is a good excuse to take one of the boat rides along Copenhagen's canals and harbours. Most of them stop briefly near aforesaid aquatic lady for a photo opportunity. The boat trips are well worth the money because Copenhagen's history is bound-up with its watery location.
The Little Mermaid represents a character created by the storywriter, Hans Christian Andersen. I think she fell in love with a human and the relationship didn't work out - a romantic tale a lot of us can relate to ;-)
The statue was put in place in 1913. Since that time it has been regularly vandalised - for example her head has been chopped-off and she has become the proud wearer of painted underwear. Hence the CCTV camera.
Fun Alternatives: Buy a postcard of the Mermaid and pretend to your friends you have been there :-)
There is lots and lots of other more exciting things to see in Copenhagen. It is a beautiful city.
The large Kastellet, with its five-pointed moat is nearby, so you can go to have a look at the statue if you have spare time.
- Sailing and Boating
- Arts and Culture
The Really Little Mermaid
Yes, yes, we have all heard it before... The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, symbol of Denmark... people expect her to be as big as The Statue Of Liberty on Ellis Island in New York, but no.. she's a little lifesized mermaid, no bigger than me!
When I went, she had all her body parts intact, so that was nice! Apparently they steal her head or her arm all the time! Poor little mermaid...
Unique Suggestions: It's fine to go and see her anyway, but it's probably more worth it to see her when you do a harbour canal cruise so you see other things as well... just don't expect a big statue.
- Historical Travel
If you have never been to Copenhagen, like me, you have to go see the Little Mermaid. Apparently this poor unappreciated girl has a few enemies and on more than one occasion, has had her head removed!
She was in good shape when I went to see her and the only problem I had was in waiting to get a picture of her minus the excited tourists climbing all over her!
Unique Suggestions: You can walk from Nyhavn along the boardwalk out to the Little Mermaid and although it's kind of an industrial area along the harbour/canal it was interesting to see the cruise ship and a couple of tall ships.
The Little Mermaid
Over the years I've been to see many touristy places in Copenhagen over and over again with visitors. Not so with the little mermaid. Don't get me wrong, it's a pretty little statue...but not much more.Since Denmark is often a windy country, you will probably get really cold on the long walk out to see her, thinking it will all be worth it of course....but no.
Unique Suggestions: Go see her if it's one of the things you've always associated with Copenhagen, just don't have too high expectations.
What this bunch of Germans are looking at??? The Mermaid! Can you see her??? Nope, she's so small they're obscuring her totally! By all means, go for the trek it means to see her but don't blame me afterwards :-) Although you might get some good pictures of Copenhagen harbour and of starry eyed tourist groups if you go! :-))) See my travelogue pics if you want to see what she really looks like.
Unique Suggestions: See her quickly from one of the DFDS tour boats starting from Nyhavn. Alternatively, go for a walk in nearby Churchill Park.
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The bronze statue of the little mermaid is visited by so many tourists. It's actualy a vey small bronze statue. You probably would not have noticed it if they put it in a park in your own neigbourhood.
Unique Suggestions: If you want to take a picture of it, at least don't stay in one of the boats. Then you'll only see the back of this strange fish.
Fun Alternatives: Copenhagen if full of much more impressive statues if you like bronze artworks.
The Little Mermaid - Take "little" literally
This has to be the most over-hyped tourist spot in Copenhagen. The bronze statue was smaller than I expected. The plain coastal backdrop didn't help either. The only interesting thing about the statue was the local gossip behind it - the poor mermaid was beheaded and maimed by pranksters ( or by disillusioned tourists?)
Unique Suggestions: Take a canal cruise that bypasses the statue. Look at the landlubbers from the comfort of your ferry as they try to take an obligatory shot of the statue . It's quite funny to see how bewildered the tourists look when they see the statue for the first time.
Fun Alternatives: There are some coastal factory outlets and extensive picnic grounds near the statue. You can either shop for your souveniers over there or simply buy an ice cream and watch seagulls and windmills in the distance.
- Budget Travel
Forget it- Look around
I think that the famous mermaid is the least interesting thing, several kilometers around.
So take my advice: when you go there (because you will, like everybody else...) use your time, looking around: the harmonious strength of a fountain, the calm of the park, the art pieces on parade, and... yes, somewhere by the canal there's a little common statue that... you know!
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Symbol of Denmark?
The statue of the Little Mermaid has been a recognizeable symbol of the city of Copenhagen and Denmark for years. So every visitor should see her, right? Well, I guess you'll be in the area anyway, so why not. But don't expect much. The statue isn't any more exciting than any other piece of public sculputer you'll see in the city and the view over the water is particularly unattractive - a typical port view of cranes and the like. So if you don't find her, don't sweat it. If you stumble across her, take the oblig snap shot and move on.
Unique Suggestions: While in the area, go visit the lesser-konwn Gefion Fountain. It's the largest monument in Copenhagen and much more worthy of being the symbol of the city than the Mermaid. Gefion was the Nordic goddess who is credited with the creation of the island of Zealand where Copenhagen stands.
Little Mermaid-yeah key word is Little!!!
Ok if your going to Copenhagen ,then you've heard of the Little Mermaid. Ok don't waste your time. It's quite a walk to see her, and you'll only be disappointed when you do. You can see so many other more spectaculare sculptures all around town that are just way more impressive. But if ya wanna waste your time feel free. But dont say I didn't warn you.
Unique Suggestions: If you have to go see the Mermaid then at least take some beer with you, so maybe when you get there you'll be drunk and it wont seem so disappointing. Also dont wear dress shoes. Wear some sneakers or good walking shoes.
Fun Alternatives: If you really want to see some of the best statue's around then just tour down town area. There are more than enough statue's to wet your appetite, and they are much more impressive. Trust me on this one.
- Family Travel
The Little Mermaid is probably Copenhagen's best known tourist attraction though I have no idea why it is so popular. There is so much more to discover in Copenhagen yet for many people this is probably the highlight of a trip to the city.
Unique Suggestions: The nearby Castellet area is worth exploring. Also don't miss Churchill Park where there the excellent museum tells the story of Danish resistance in WW2. This was the only museum we visited on our trip and it was very interesting, giving a balanced account of Denmark during the war.
The Little Mermaid
No matter how many times I was told how disappointing this would be I still thought it couldn't be as iconic as it is if there wasn't something special about it. Not only is it underwhelming, but its surprisingly out of the way.
- Arts and Culture
Mermaid fans look away
They just can't help themselves. I realize most major cities have icons that represent the city. Paris has the Eiffel Tower. New York has the Statue of Liberty. Copenhagen has Nyhavn and the Little Mermaid. Hans Christian Andersen, the fairy tale writer, lived in Copenhagen and the statue is the character of one of his stories, The Little Mermaid. She is a small sculpture sitting on a rock, placed in the harbour near the outskirts of the city centre of Copenhagen. It's not very big, it's not in a very pretty part of the city. There is a park on the side of the harbour where she is but as you look at her, you see the industrial port across the water.
This year, 2010, the Mermaid isn't on her rock. She's on tour in China for a few months. Instead, the city has erected a video screen on the spot so tourists can see her on her rock...in China. Weird and very bizarre. Yet they still go there and take pictures. Of the screen. We took a hop on hop off tour of the city and people actually got off the bus to go look at the screen! We stayed firmly in our seats but i couldn't resist taking a photo of the tourists!
Unique Suggestions: There's a lovely park and old star shaped citadel in the area with some nice statues including the huge Geflon with his ox ploughing up the earth that created Denmark. Allegedly. And there's a pretty stone English church there as well, St. Albans.
Fun Alternatives: Nyhavn, the colourful harbour also attracts tourists by the hundreds but at least you can get a coffee, a beer or sit and people watch in the sun there.
The little mermaid
Sure, whoever thinks of Copenhagen, thinks of the little Mermaid. Well get ready for a big deception, it's not half as exciting as you'd think. It's just a small statue in the sea.
Don't put up your hopes, there are more impressive sights in the center of Copenhagen.
The Statue of the Little Mermaid
The Statue of the Little Mermaid is vastly over rated. It is small and in the middle of a port. If you’re like me, you’ll want to see it for yourself anyway – and feel disappointed afterwards that it didn’t live up to expectations.
It is a little walk out of the centre and when we arrived we couldn't get near to it at first because two coach loads of tourists were there trying to get photos of the statue from every possible angle. We lingered over our packed lunch until they disappeared and managed to get some shots without people in the way!
There have been numerous attempts over the years to vabdalise the statue but still Edvard Eriksen's statue remains intact.
The worst part about seeing the statue was my brother gloating 'I told you it wasn't worth visiting!'
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