The mermaid is a symbol of Warsaw. The oldest Mermaid dates back to 1400 and looked different than today. Then it took the form of a person with wings and a tail. It’s belly was covered with scales. The mermaid turned into a girl with a fish tail only in 1622. Today, the Mermaid holds a sword and a shield in its hand.
How many Mermaids are there in total in Warsaw? No one has counted. There are a lot of them in the Old Town. But not only. You can find them on buildings, lamp posts, stained glass windows, and signboards. Look around carefully, because Mermaids can be found in many places in Warsaw.
Where can you see the Warsaw Mermaid?
1. The Old Town
Go to the Old Town Square. There, in the middle of the square, you will surely notice the Mermaid right away. The monument was made of bronze zinc in 1855. This mermaid was severely damaged during World War II and restored in 1951.
This is the most famous Warsaw Mermaid. It was made of bronze in 1939. It is 4.5 meters tall. The originator of this Mermaid was Stefan Starzyński, the mayor of Warsaw, and the creator – Ludwika Nitschowa. Fortunately, the monument was not destroyed during World War II.
3. Park Mirowski
Here, the Mermaid is a concrete sculpture, and it’s tail is originally bent and forms a bowl shape.
4. Wiadukt Markiewicza, Karowa Street
A mermaid has decorated this viaduct since 1905.
5. Inżynierska Street
You will not find a monument here. Look for the bas-relief located on the building of the former tram depot. Have a nice experience!
6. Katowicka Street, Saska Kępa
To find the Mermaid, you have to walk around the building of the B. Prus High School. On the side wall, from the side of Katowicka Street, there is a bas-relief made by Wojciech Czerwosz.
7. Grochowska Street, Praga Południe
In front of the Praga Południe District Office, the Mermaid modestly looks down. It has neither a shield nor a sword, but it still inspires the respect of passers-by.
8. Filter Station Complex, Koszykowa Street
The Filter Station complex consists of historic buildings built in 1883–1886. The bas-relief of the Mermaid, made by Jan Goliński, was placed on the building of the Rapid Filters Plant.
9. Sejm, Wiejska Street
This Mermaid is hard to see because it is located on the wooden balustrade of government benches in the Seym Hall.
Soldiers of the British Queen’s Royal Hussars wear a patch with the Warsaw Mermaid on the left sleeve of their uniforms. This privilege was granted to them by General Władysław Anders for the support given to Polish soldiers during the Battle of Ancona in 1944.
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Text and photos from Wikipedia: https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warszawska_Syrenka