The Original Little Mermaid
Located in Copenhagen, where Hans Christian Andersen called home for many years, sits a tribute to one of his greatest literary works: The Little Mermaid. Commissioned in 1909, the Little Mermaid resides as a solitary figure on a single rock in Langelinie, a solemn bronze soul, sulking by the waters edge. I love this statue because it captures the true essence of the original story. Most people are familiar with the 'amended' version of the tale, or the Disney movie of the same name that had everyone walking out of the theater with a smile on their face. But the original story written by Andersen did not have a happy ending at all. In fact, our heroin simply dissolved into the sea, never to be seen again. Not exactly the uplifting children's tale we all know and love now. So venture out to Langelinie via car or boat and pay a visit to our mermaid friend, I'm sure she'd appreciate it.
By Matthew Keesecker, AFAR Local Expert
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The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen
This beautiful sculpture, created by Edvard Eriksen (1876 - 1959) in 1913, graces the harbor in Copenhagen. Based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, the small statue is a major tourist attraction. Ride your bicycle to the Langelinie Promenade, early in the day, in order to photograph her.
The iconic symbol of the city and one of the world’s most famous statues is actually rather small and unimposing close up. If you do head out along with thousands of other visitors to see the bronze figure sitting on a rock gazing out to sea, be sure also to explore nearby Kastellet. It’s a fascinating star-shaped fortress dating back to 1626.