Denmark’s famous iconic bronze and granite sculpture, is one of the smallest landmarks in the world, displayed at the Langelinie waterside promenade.
The beautiful sculpture, known affectionately among Danish people as “Lille Havfrue” was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale about a ‘The little Mermaid’. It is an icon of Copenhagen and the most photographed statue in Denmark, attracting more than a million visitors every year.
The Little Mermaid was a gift from Danish brewer, Carl Jacobsen to the City of Copenhagen in 1913. It was inspired by ballerina, Ellen Price, who in 1909 danced the lead role in the ballet by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, at the Royal Theater. Jacobsen was so captivated by both the fairy tale and the ballet that he commissioned the sculptor Edvard Eriksen to create the mermaid sculpture.
The ballerina, Ellen Price was the model for the mermaid’s head, but the sculptor’s wife, Eline Eriksen, was the model for the body. The fairy tale is about a young mermaid who falls in love with a prince whom she has saved from drowning, but to live with him she must become a young woman by means of a complicated spell.