Copenhagen Freebie: The Little Mermaid beckons (with a fascinating history!)

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The Little Mermaid statue at the Copenhagen Harbor. Photo by StePagna.
The Little Mermaid statue at the Copenhagen Harbor. Photo by StePagna.

Today, I take off for a 20 day-trip to Europe. Aside from visits to Berlin, Helsinki, and Stockholm, I’ll be updating EuroCheapo’s Copenhagen guide. I’m really thrilled to visit this Scandinavian capital.

There are many reasons I’m excited to visit Copenhagen: the smorrebrod, the bicycling, the Danish design! But I’m particularly looking forward to stopping by the Little Mermaid for a visit. The iconic statue is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations, and, with a harbor-side location, it’s absolutely free.

The Little Mermaid: A brief history

It’s well known that the Little Mermaid is inspired this was years before Disney’s red-headed “The Little Mermaid” was released!)

The poor Mermaid’s head was sawed off on April 24, 1964 by artists affiliated with the revolutionary Situationist movement.

On September 11, 2003, the Little Mermaid was blasted off her rock, apparently with dynamite.

On March 3, 2007, the statue was yet again covered in paint—this time pink.

The statue was found draped in a Muslim dress and hijab on May 20, 2008.

The Little Mermaid has had company since September, 2006. A “genetically modified” version of the statue was created as part of the sculpture group Genetically Modified Paradise and sits just a few hundred meters away from the original.

The Little Mermaid seems to be sitting safe and pretty for now, but she will be making waves in China in 2010, when she travels to the World EXPO in Shanghai.

Getting there: How close can you get?

The statue is located in the Copenhagen harbor at Langelinie 1. Take Bus 26 to Langelinie.

I’m all set to sidle up to the statue for a snapshot. So Cheapos, how close do you think I can get to the Little Mermaid? Tom said I should pack a swimsuit if I really want to get a photo right next to her. I’m not sure I’m ready to brave the water with the cold Copenhagen temperatures, so perhaps I’ll have to settle for some tricky camera angles!

About the author

Sarah Silbert

About the author: Sarah joined the EuroCheapo team as an intern while studying languages and writing and Sarah Lawrence College. Upon graduating, she became a listings editor (and occasional hotel reviewer). She’s currently contemplating a move to Berlin, her favorite European city.

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