Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid

A surprisingly incredibly popular site in Denmark is the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen.  There is no clear reason for its popularity however, other than that many people seem to like it.  It isn’t huge, or gaudy or even in a conspicuous location so you could very easily miss it if you aren’t already aware.

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A Brief History

The story goes that a Danish brewer by the name of Carl Jacobsen saw a Little Mermaid ballet in the early 1900s and loved the fairy tale so much that he commissioned sculptor Edvard Eriksen to design a statue of the mermaid.  Jacobsen actually asked the star of the ballet to be its model.  She did and in August of 1913, Eriksen’s mermaid was gifted to the city of Copenhagen.

The Statue

If possible, even more endearing than the statues riveting history is its popularity.  For some reason this mermaid has gained immense exposure and fame.  Even though it very much appears as though she has legs…  (Does it not look like her feet are crossed and covered in kelp?)  She’s in a disinterested, hunched over pose and sitting atop a stack of rocks likely unreachable by even the fittest of mermaids.  But don’t get me james-bilbrey-cl
wrong, I mean she’s cute…  Must just be one of those things that  caught on; like “going viral” but in real life.

I find this kind of thing happens often in travel.  Or at least when you’re first starting out.  Everything is foreign and different which is enough to make it unique and important.  At least for me, there’s always this strange feeling you experience after going out to see something (like a super popular mermaid statue) and then ending up less enchanted than you expected. It comes at that moment right after you take a picture and then decide “yeah, I’m done.”

It could be that you were simply never going to find something like that interesting, or perhaps it’s also that we travel too quickly.  When you only have a few days to a week in a place, you usually want to see as much of it as you can.  But this can easily get overwhelming and is quite possibly the reason why we get burnt out by seeing so many sights.  You can only see so many castles before they all start to look the same.

Nevertheless, if you want to go see something for the sake of it simply being a thing that other people go see, then go for it!  At the very least, you may just be able to walk past (or away with a picture of) a charming little mermaid statue.

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2 responses to “Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid

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