Little Mermaid

Little Mermaid

One of the many fairytale characters of Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen is immortalised in the form of a statue on the shore of the north-eastern part of Copenhagen.

The Little Mermaid has become an icon of the city and is certainly a must-see sight, as the ever-present crowd of photographers and tourists will attest.

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In Danish, the name Den Lille Havfrue is used for this statue.

A metre and a quarter symbol of Denmark

For many visitors, the likeness of the statue, which has quickly become one of Denmark's most famous symbols, may be a slight disappointment. The bronze statue sits on a rock by the waterfront and measures just 1.25 metres tall.

The Little Mermaid was unveiled in 1913, and the sculptor Edvard Eriksen gave the bronze statue its form.

Ellen Price, a ballerina at the Royal Theatre, was the model for the creation, but she refused to undress, so only the head was modelled after her. The sculptor then used his own wife, Eline Eriksen, as a model for the body of the Little Mermaid.

How to get to the statue

The statue of the Little Mermaid lies a bit out of the way from the main centre, and although you will read on many websites, somewhat incomprehensibly, the misleading information that it is located right in the old harbour of Nyhavn, this is not true and never has been.

The statue sits on a stone on the Langelinie seafront promenade at the northern entrance to the old harbour, next to Kastelet Fortress.

If the weather is nice, take a nice walk from the centre to the statue through the old town and the park along the sea. The distance of 2 km can be walked at a slow pace in about 25 minutes, see the walking route map. Use the following stations when travelling by public transport:

  • Metro M3, M4 and train - Østerport station approx. 1 km
  • Bus 27 - Indiakaj stop approx. 500 metres

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