If you book a room in a quaint budget hotel near the Gefion Fountain in Copenhagen, make this remarkable sculpture the first stop on your sightseeing tour of the city. It will acquaint you with a dramatic story from Danish mythology. The Gefion Fountain (Gefion Springvandet in Danish) is beside St. Alban’s Church, not far from the famous statue of the Little Mermaid. It is a work in bronze, created in 1908 by Anders Bundgaard, and is one of Copenhagen’s largest and most recognizable public monuments.
The main figure on the fountain is a statue of the Scandinavian goddess Gefion. According to ancient legend, the king of Sweden promised Gefion as much land as she could plow in a single night. To outfox the king, Gefion turned her four sons into oxen and used them to plow up a big piece of Sweden. Then she picked up the chunk of land her oxen-sons had plowed, and cast it into the sea. That land became the Danish island of Zealand. The hole it left behind became Sweden’s Lake Vanem, whose shape somewhat resembles that of Zealand. The sculpture depicts Gefion with one hand on the plow while the other cracks a whip over her laboring oxen. It’s a charming story for you and your fellow vacationers to talk about back in your discount hotel in Copenhagen near the Gefion Fountain.
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