The statue of the Little Mermaid was commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen after he became fascinated by a ballet based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale. The statue has been vandalised many times over the years, including being decapitated twice! On the first occasion the head was never recovered, and on the second the head was returned anonymously to a nearby television station. Happily the original moulds still exist and new pieces can be cast whenever necessary.
The Little Mermaid lives up to her adjective and is much smaller than she appears from some images which show her to be at the mouth of the harbour. I had been forewarned and ironically she was therefore larger than I’d expected. It is a little difficult to get to her with the ground in front of her being uneven and sloping, and she is of course surrounded by tourists, but I found her to be very charming.
Charming describes Copenhagen very well in fact. After a brief coach ride round sightseeing we took a boat trip down the canal which I thoroughly recommend. The buildings are beautifully ornamented, and viewing them from the water gives them an extra je ne sais quoi.
My favourite building is also one of the oldest in Copenhagen: the Old Stock Exchange built in 1619-1640. The beautiful spire is composed of 4 intertwined dragons’ tails.