The Legend of The Mermaid of Edam
Mermaid of Edam
The Zuiderzee was a place where the most fantastic creatures swam, such as a mermaid. The mermaid was very happy in the sea. One night, a great storm arose in 1403. The waves made large holes in the dike and the mermaid floated in the Purmer Lake. She couldn’t find her way back to the sea, and when the dikes were once poem she had nowhere to go.
The people who run across the lake noticed her and took the creature back to Edam. They took all the seaweed off the mermaid, combed her hair and gave her beautiful clothes to wear. They tried to talk to her, what was not easy at all. People gave her food which she clearly enjoyed.
Meanwhile, everyone naturally became very curious about this particular sea creature. People from far away came to Edam to see it with their own eyes. Also from Haarlem whole groups of interested parties came by to see the mermaid. Haarlem was a powerful city with influence in the whole region and the visitors of Haarlem behaved like that too. After they had seen the beautiful mermaid they asked the habitants of Edam if they could take her home. Such a special creature naturally belonged more to a big city like Haarlem than the small Edam. The habitants of Edam were very sad when they heard about this, but couldn’t do anything but give her.
With great pride the mermaid was led by the gate of Haarlem. She has been taught a lot: how to spin, how she had to clean etc. For years she lived amongst all these people, but if she was ever really happy ashore? No one will ever know. She converted to Christianity and was buried as a pious woman in the cemetery.
In 2014, the mermaid returned to Haarlem, in the form of a statue at the Niewegracht.