The Little Mermaid of Copenhagen, Denmark

The Little Mermaid of Copenhagen is a 125cm tall bronze statue sitting on a stone at the Copenhagen harbor. The fairy tale character by Hans Christian Andersen became a landmark of the city.

"The Little Mermaid" is a bronze statue at the harbor of Copenhagen and is considered a landmark of the capital of Denmark. In Danish, the dainty statue is called "Den Lille Havfrue". Based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, the girl with the fish tail sits on a rock on the Langelinie waterfront and gazes longingly out to sea.


The Little Mermaid is only about 125cm tall, making it one of the smallest landmarks in the world. The Little Mermaid was commissioned by art lover Carl Jacobsen, founder of the Carlsberg brewery. The figure was designed by Danish sculptor Edvard Eriksen.

PICTURES: The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen

Photo gallery: The Little Mermaid of Copenhagen

Creation of the Little Mermaid

If you visit the Little Mermaid at the harbor of Copenhagen, you should also take a closer look at the surroundings, Denmark - © S-F / Shutterstock
© S-F / Shutterstock

For the head of the Little Mermaid, the Copenhagen artist was inspired by prima ballerina Ellen Price, who portrayed the Little Mermaid in Hans Beck's ballet performance of the same name. Eriksen's wife Eline was the model for the statue's body. He would also have chosen Ellen Price's body as the model, but the celebrated dancer refused to be available to him as a nude model. By the way, half of the Little Mermaid's fish tail has already turned into human legs.

In 1913, a copy of the "real" Little Mermaid was placed on the Copenhagen waterfront Langelinie. This is 125cm tall and weighs 175kg. Where the original is, is not known to this day, it is only known that it is in the possession of an heir of its creator.

Template for Disney: At the end of the Disney film "The Little Mermaid", the mermaid Arielle also sits in exactly this pose on a rock before her father finally grants her the long-awaited human legs.

The Little Mermaid as a victim of vandalism

"The Little Mermaid" at the harbor of Copenhagen is considered a landmark of the capital of Denmark. and is called in Danish "Den Lille Havfrue" - © warasit phothisuk / Shutterstock
© warasit phothisuk / Shutterstock

Probably due to the fame of the Little Mermaid, the petite statue has been mutilated many times. Twice she lost her head and once her right arm. In 2003, the bronze statue was blown off its rock and fell into the sea. In 2007, during a demonstration, she was sprayed with pink paint.

However, the Little Mermaid was restored again and again and still sits on its ancestral place of granite on the Langelinie. In the meantime, however, it is being considered to move the mermaid further into the sea in order to make it less easy for possible vandals.