One of the most popular and beloved tourist attractions in Denmark is the Little Mermaid statue that has sat on a rock in Copenhagen harbor since 1913. But, if you’re in the American Midwest and can’t make it all the way across the ocean to check it out, have I got a treat for you: there’s an exact replica Little Mermaid Fountain in Kimballton, Iowa.
The original bronze statue was created by artist Edvard Eriksen. Through the years, many copies have been created and live all across the world. There are also versions of this famous statue in Connecticut, California, Michigan, Utah, Romania, Spain, South Korea, Canada, Brazil, China, Japan, and the Virgin Island along with another replica at the Copenhagan Airport.
The full-sized, four-foot tall, replica Little Mermaid Statue in Kimballton, Iowa was originally sculpted out of fiberglass by two California college students in 1978. It was built to celebrate the town’s strong Danish roots.
For many years, the statue was moved inside over the winter to protect it from the harsh elements. Even still, the weather did a number on the statue, wearing it down significantly.
In 2008 the Little Mermaid was recast in bronze and permanently installed in Kimballton’s Mermaid Park. It’s now surrounded by a lovely fountain, lush landscaping, and a variety of other sculptures themed after writer of the fairy tale, Hans Christian Andersen’s other stories.
If you’re in the area and looking for more Danish culture, be sure to also visit the giant Windmill in nearby Elk Horn (along with their impressive gift shop). And for some not quite Danish culture, Albert the Bull in Audubon is not too far away, and a must-see Iowa road trip stop.
The Little Mermaid Fountain in Kimballton, Iowa
Address: Mermaid Park, 310 N. Main St., Kimballton, IA
Park Hours: 6:00am – 9:00pm, daily
Cost: Free to See