Many countries are known for their iconic figures, statues, or trademarks. Iconic figures are one of the must-sees in tourists´ travel itineraries such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Statue of Liberty in New York. In Copenhagen, one of the most-visited tourist attractions is The Little Mermaid.

Based on the romantic fairytale by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid sculpture that stands by Langelinje Pier in Copenhagen was made out of inspiration.  It was the Danish brewer magnate, Carl Jacobsen of Carlsberg, who fell in love with the fairytale´s character in a ballet performance in 1909 and later commissioned a Danish sculptor, Edvard Eriksen, to create a statue of it.

Inspired by the theater play itself, Jacobsen asked the Danish ballerina Ellen Price to model for the statue.  Price wouldn´t pose nude, so only her head was used.  The body of the Little Mermaid was instead sculpted after Eriksen´s wife, Eline Eriksen, who also stood model for some of her husband´s sculptures.  The statue made of bronze and granite was unveiled on August 13, 1913. It has since been one of the trademarks not only of Copenhagen but also of Denmark. You can buy little copies of the statues and other collectibles in Langelinje Pier itself and in all souvenir shops around Copenhagen.

But, like the tragic story, the Little Mermaid sculpture has endured cruel deeds from the past. She was once beheaded; her arm got chopped off, was vandalized and paint was poured on her. Nevertheless, the statue has remained a great pride of the city even after a series of restorations.

How to Get To The Little Mermaid

Boat or canal tours offer a quick view of the mermaid statue, among other tourist sights in Copenhagen.  But, if you want to take a selfie or two or see the sculpture up close, it is highly recommended that you take time out of your schedule to visit it.

Coming from Copenhagen Central station (Hovedbanegården), take the train lines A, B, C, E, H, and get off Østeport Station. Langelinje is located 900 meters (11 minutes) away from Østeport Station. You just take the Folke Bernadottes Alle, then turn right to Ved Norgesporten. Continue until the intersection, then, turn left to Langelinje. It´s not hard to find the statue if you follow this road.

Busses like 1A, 26 and 37 also drive by near Langelinje. Depending on your location, it´s always best to check or the Google Map for easy routes. There are also free pamphlets/maps in busses and trains. Make sure to grab one.

2 comments on “H.C. Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid”

    1. Hi, Christine! We share the same opinion. The statue had been a target of political, religious, and public outcry in the past. It´s a sad reality that everything nowadays can be a target of bulllying and any other form of hate crimes.

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