The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue), Copenhagen

2.5
Despite its small size, The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue) serves as one of the city's major symbols. Based on the well-known fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, this unimposing bronze mermaid is the work of sculptor Edvard Eriksen. Commissioned by Danish beer baron Carl Jacobsen in 1909, the artist modeled the mermaid's face after ballerina Ellen Price and the body after his wife's. The statue miraculously survived the destructive forces of World War II undamaged, becoming a kind of city mascot over the years. Our Copenhagen online tour itinerary planner makes visiting The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue) and other Copenhagen attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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The Little Mermaid (Den Lille Havfrue) Reviews
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  • A 30 minutes walk from the city center the little mermaid sits alone watching the harbor. A little small mermaid.  more »
  • You are going to the port of Copenhagen looking for the Little Mermaid, thinking that the sculpture you were looking for is big and you find yourself with a little Mermaid in bronze. Despite all memory walk through the port forward, looking for the symbol of the city, to find it and leave in our faces certain astonishment, not disappointment, but if an ah was this?
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  • Just coming from so far I was amazed by just being in Copenhaguen. I had a layover of around 6 hours so we went from the airport to this attraction to take a few pictures as is the most famous attract...  more »
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  • Plot summary[edit] The Little Mermaid dwells in an underwater kingdom with her widowed father (the sea king or Mer-King), her dowager grandmother, and her five older sisters, each of whom had been born one year apart. When a mermaid turns fifteen, she is permitted to swim to the surface for the first time to glimpse the world above, and when the sisters become old enough, each of them visits the upper world one at a time every year. As each returns, the Little Mermaid listens longingly to their various descriptions of the world inhabited by human beings. When the Little Mermaid's turn comes, she rises up to the surface, watches a birthday celebration being held on a ship in honor of a handsome prince, and falls in love with him from a safe distance. A violent storm hits, sinking the boat, and the Little Mermaid saves the prince from drowning. She delivers him unconscious to the shore near a temple. Here, she waits until a young woman from the temple and her ladies in waiting find him. To her dismay, the prince never sees the Little Mermaid or even realizes that it was she who had originally saved his life. The Little Mermaid becomes melancholy and asks her grandmother if humans can live forever. The grandmother explains that humans have a much shorter lifespan than a mermaid's 300 years, but that when mermaids die, they turn to sea foam and cease to exist, while humans have an eternal soul that lives on in heaven. The Little Mermaid, longing for the prince and an eternal soul, visits the Sea Witch in a dangerous part of the ocean. The witch willingly helps her by selling her a potion that gives her legs in exchange for her tongue and beautiful voice, and she warns her that once she becomes a human, she will never be able to return to the sea. Consuming the potion will make her feel as if a sword is being passed through her body, yet when she recovers, she will have two human legs and will be able to dance like no human has ever danced before. However, she will constantly feel as if she is walking on sharp knives. In addition, she will obtain a soul only if she wins the love of the prince and marries him, for then a part of his soul will flow into her. Otherwise, at dawn on the first day after he marries someone else, the Little Mermaid will die with a broken heart and dissolve into sea foam upon the waves. After she agrees to the arrangement, the Little Mermaid swims to the surface near the prince's palace and drinks the potion. She is found by the prince, who is mesmerized by her beauty and grace, even though she is considered mute by everyone in the kingdom. Most of all, he likes to see her dance, and she dances for him despite suffering excruciating pain with every step. Soon, the Little Mermaid becomes the prince's favorite companion and accompanies him on many of his outings. When the prince's parents encourage their son to marry the neighboring princess in an arranged marriage, the prince tells the Little Mermaid he will not because he does not love the princess. He goes on to say he can only love the young woman from the temple, who he believes rescued him. It turns out that the princess from the neighboring kingdom is the temple girl. The prince declares his love for her, and the royal wedding is announced at once.
  • I recommend you to go as early as possible. The statue is small and if you want to get near to take pictures, you have to deal with lots of other tourists. Even if you want to get a decent picture from a distance. Also, if you walk there, from the center is about 30 - 40 minutes. The whole are is well kept and beautiful. Don't miss seeing this famous symbol!
  • The statue is pretty small and it's just as much of a tourist trap as everyone says. It's a zoo, but if you like the Little Mermaid, it's worth stopping by to see. If you do go, definitely go see the Genetically Modified Little Mermaid statue down the street. It's much better and no one is down there
  • The Little Mermaid was fun to see. All the locals that I spoke with about it don't seem to think it is a big deal to see. But as a tourist it is one of the main attractions in Copenhagen. We did the boat tour and saw the back side of her, but had to go back to get a better look. If your on vacation it is fun to see. You can also walk down from there into the city and there is a lot to see on the way.
  • If you're into Disney's little mermaid, then it's a great suggestion to visit this Little Mermaid statue in Denmark. The real story of the mermaid is far more melancholic than what's in the Disney movie which is why the seriously sad tone of her face and body. If you wanna have a great photo of it, just get a good angle and lighting on the statue while working your way through layers of tourists trying to do the same. Goodluck! :)

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Most of the hotels in Copenhagen are located in the central Vesterbro or hip Indre By areas, though there are many more adventurous (and somewhat more affordable) places to stay during your vacation. As in the rest of Denmark, accommodations in Copenhagen are quite expensive. If you're traveling on a tight budget, consider camping along the Mølleå River or staying in one of the city's many backpacker hostels. If you prefer an inexpensive hotel, explore options in the Helgolandsgade and Colbjørnsensgade neighborhoods. For a taste of Denmark's art scene, head to the up-and-coming Kongens Nytorv and Nyhavn areas. Travelers who like to stay outside of the main tourist areas should set their sights on one of the city's suburbs, like the northern section where you can stay at a beachfront hotel or on a houseboat.
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