Underwater in Holmens Canal, between Højbroplads and Christiansborg, is probably the least known sight in Copenhagen: the statue of Agnete and the Merman.
The statue is based on old Danish folklore and illustrates the story of a woman, Agnete, that agrees to go to the bottom of the sea and live with a merman as his wife. The story is perhaps best known for Hans Christian Andersens interpretation from 1834.
They live happily together for 8 years and have 7 sons, until one day Agnete hears the chiming of a church bell and asks the merman if she can go to church on land. He agrees on the condition that she doesn’t unbind her hair in the churchyard, doesn’t sit with her mother in the church and doesn’t kneel in the church.
Agnete of course does all of these things and the merman comes to her and asks what she thinks she’s doing as her children miss her. Agnete replies simply that they can miss her as much as they like as she won’t be going back.
Not exactly a happy ending, but there you go.