Legend about Warsaw’s Mermaid
A long time ago, when Warsaw was a fishing village, the sea and the river were inhabited by golden-haired mermaids. One day, one of them set off from the Baltic to the south. She swam along the Vistula, admiring the landscapes she passed, and when she got tired, she decided to rest on the sandy bank of the river at the foot of today’s Old Town. The area seemed beautiful to the mermaid. “How nice it is here! “Why would not I live here?” she thought, and she did. During the day she splashed in the shallows and she spent the nights in the deep. She liked to play tricks, and the local fishermen suspected that someone was stirring the water and taking fish from their nets!
“We have to do something about this pest!” they shouted. The mermaid was not scared of the fishermen and began to sing a song about the Vistula.
The animals listened to her singing: the beavers raised their snouts from their burrows, and the cormorants sat on drifting logs. The fishermen were moved so much that they gave up their plans and promised that they would not harm the mermaid.
There was still danger, however, for the mermaid. One day, a greedy merchant decided to get rich on her beautiful voice by putting her on display at fairs. He tricked her, kidnapped her and imprisoned her in a wooden chest. The mermaid, accustomed to freedom, was very unhappy. Her crying was heard by the young son of a fisherman who with his friends released her and punished the evil merchant severely. The joyous mermaid, thankful for being free again, pledged to the fishermen that she would always guard them and their village. Over time, the small fishing village became a large and beautiful city.
Today, the image of the mermaid armed with a sword and shield appears in the coat of arms of Warsaw.
It is said that from time to time, the mermaid emerges from the Vistula and looks at the ever-changing capital. Who knows, maybe you will see her? Look around carefully, because the mermaid can be found in many places in Warsaw. There are mermaid monuments in the Old Town Square, on the Vistula River and on the Markiewicz viaduct near the Hotel Bristol. Find the one that will charm you!