Mermaids of Denmark
“The Little Mermaid” Sculpture is based on the fairytale of the same name written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen and it would appear that the whole country (or at least Copenhagen) has fallen in love with Mermaids and have various statues around the town to showcase this mermaid.
First thing we did, once we found our hostel, was to set out on foot and walk to the shore of the main canal in the city where the famous “Little Mermaid” Statue sits out on the rocks. (Location)
The statue was inspired by a character in H.C. Andersen’s 1837 fairytale. The statue weighs about 175kg and was designed by Edvard Eriksen in the early 1900’s. This is the statue that everyone is referring to when they talk about the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, however, it is not the only one.
The next day, when we visited the Carlsberg Brewery, we found a Replica Statue as a feature of a fountain in their Statue Collection. (Location)
I guess that it is only fitting for the Carlsberg folks to feature the mermaid on their grounds since it was Carl Jacobsen, the son of the founder of Carlsberg breweries, who commissioned the original Little Mermaid statue some 100 years or so ago.
Later, we visited the Danish National Museum (Nationalmuseet) and found the Haraldskaer Mermaid Skeleton which was very mysterious. (Location)
Finally, on our last day in Copenhagen, before we headed to Amsterdam, we visited the Copenhagen Annual International Sand Sculpture Competition on Ofelia Beach and found yet more mermaids among the 20 fantastic sand sculptures on display at this beach location.
One last note: For years, it has been thought that the Little Mermaid might be a bit lonely sitting on her rock looking out over the waters. Well, in 2012, the folks of Helsingør (Shakepeare’s Elsinore), provided a new ‘prince’ for the Little Mermaid. Crafted of shiny stainless steel a young “HAN” now looks out over the waters of the Helsingoer harbour. With a similar pose to the Little Mermaid, he now gazes out at ships passing by in the Oeresund Strait and provides one more reason for tourists to visit the newly renovated 600 year old Culture Yard which showcases the long history of Helsingoer in the history of Danish maritime activities. (Location)
Over the years, the original Little Mermaid statue has been decapitated a couple of times, has had an arm sawn off and has been the centerpoint for various protest actions. Hopefully, this new addition to the Danish shorelines will have a better life as HAN winks at visiting tourists.
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