The Warsaw mermaid, "Syrenka Warszawska" in The Old Town Market Square . This figure was made in 1855. It is a zinc cast of the sculpture by Konstanty Hegel, in the shape of half-woman and half-fish, made in 1855.
It is the symbol of city and is featured in Warsaw's coat of arms since the mid of 14th century. It appears on a shield of every municipal building, on buses, trams and taxis.
Legend by Artur Oppman:
Once upon a time there were two mermaid sisters, who swam to the shore of the Baltic Sea from their home deep in the sea. They were very beautiful. One of them decided to swim towards the Danish straits, to the port of Copenhagen.
The second swam up the Vistula River and came out of the water onto the sandy bank to rest. It was at the foot of today's Old Town and she decided to stay.
The fishermen living in this area noticed, that during their fishing someone was churning the waves of the Vistula River, tangling the nets and releasing the fish. But the mermaid enchanted them with her beautiful singing, and they did not harm her.
One day a wealthy merchant saw the mermaid and heard her lovely song. He quickly calculated how much money he could make displaying her at market fairs, so he captured her and imprisoned in a wooden shed without any water.
A young farmhand heard the mermaid's cries, and with the help of friends he freed her at night. Grateful that the townspeople had defended her, the mermaid promised to help them in time of danger. This is why the Warsaw Mermaid is armed: she bears a sword and a shield to defend the city.