The bronze Užupis Mermaid sculpture, also known as the Užupis girl, was created in 2002 by sculptor Romas Vilčiauskas. It sits in a niche on the bank of the Vilnelė River, right across the river from the renowned Užupis Cafe. Whether you go over the Užupis Bridge or are enjoying the water flowing under it, you will surely notice the Mermaid.
The sculpture, with its flowing hair, tail and thoughtful glance following each and every person, is small, simple and yet so special. The Užupis Bridge, first mentioned in the 16th century, connects Užupis with the Old Town. Today, it is made of metal beams following a reconstruction project in 1955; although back then it was made of wood. It’s a particularly popular place to hang symbolic padlocks in Vilnius.
The bridge itself is short, which makes it easy to perform the tradition of carrying a bride across it, and the beautiful environment surrounding it makes it great for pictures. The name Užupis itself means a place beyond the river, and the Vilnia River is often referred to as the Vilnelė.