Mermaid of Warsaw

Krakow has a fire-breathing dragon, Gdansk has a Neptune-the god of freshwater and sea, but what does Warsaw have?

The capital of Poland does not stay behind, having its own unique symbol- a mermaid. Being in Warsaw, it’s impossible not to stumble upon Syrenka – enchanting guardian of the city, with a captivating story.

There are numerous eye-catching statues of mermaid dotted around the city, reflecting the artists’ inspiration. Warsawians often claim that capital without a mermaid would not be the same, that its identity and uniqueness would be lost.

Why is the story of the mermaid so fascinating? What’s behind all that legend?

Legend of Syrenka

There are numerous exciting legends linked with the Warsaw mermaid. The most widespread legend says about two beautiful mermaids who lived in deep parts of the Atlantic ocean. Bored-to-tears with life in the depths, they decided to go on a journey to explore the unknown. At some point in their journey, their paths diverged. One of them fell in love with Kopenhagen, Denmark, and chose to settle down there. 

While the other decided to go on, swimming across the baltic sea, she eventually reached the Gdansk coast. She liked the city but seeing a river leading deep in the land, she could not resist and swam further. Following the queen of the Polish rivers, she reached the shores of the Old Town in Warsaw.

She swam for a very long time, and finally, resigned, decided to rest. She sat down on the river bank and admired the beautiful surroundings that she immediately liked. Relaxing, the mermaid started singing and aroused the attention of a wealthy merchant who heard her blissful singing.

The merchant kidnapped her wanting to make money out of her. As it turned out, his plan failed when a young fisherman came to rescue a gorgeous mermaid. In appreciation for the freedom, the mermaid promised to protect the city of Warsaw and its inhabitants.

Since then, she stands proudly with a shield and sword guarding the capital of Poland.

Where To Spot Syrenka?

In Warsaw, we can find many monuments depicting a beautiful mermaid. However, the exact number of sculptures representing the Warsaw Mermaid is unknown. The most famous are:

  • The mermaid monument in Powiśle

When you think about the monument to the Warsaw mermaid, you will most likely see the image of a mermaid standing by the Vistula River. This is the most famous image of a mermaid in Warsaw. The monument was erected in Warsaw just before the outbreak of World War II and, interestingly, survived it unscathed.

  • The mermaid monument in Old Town

The Mermaid Monument, located in the center of the Warsaw market, was built in the mid-nineteenth century. This monument was the first to show the mermaid in the Warsaw coat of arms. It depicts the mermaid emerging from the foaming waves, with her tail twisted, holding a sword in her right hand and a shield in her left hand.

If you happen to visit Warsaw, make sure to gaze at syrenka sculptures dotted around the city. Ah, and don’t forget your camera to shot perfect pics with a legendary mermaid.

Bartosz is a travel writer, photographer & founder/editor of theuniquepoland who tells stories of adventure, history and current affairs. He writes mainly about travel, with special focus on Poland. He loves travelling, discover new unknown and inspire others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *