The Loreley mermaid as a statue at the Loreley harbor. A present from artist Natasha Alexandrowna Princess Jusoppow 1983 to the city of Goarshausen.
Photo: Von Georg Dahlhoff, CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons
The myths about the Lorelei only began including a female figure after the work of Clemens Brentano was published in the early 19th century. In his novel “Godwi oder das steinerne Bild der Mutter” he wrote a ballad about a sorceress whose beauty captivated all men. However, the sorceress fell from the rock into her death after thinking she saw her love on a ship.
The most popular version of the myth derives from the German poet Heinrich Heine. There are numerous song versions of his poem from 1824. “Die Loreley” tells the story of an eponymous female whose song distracts the sailors from paying attention to the narrow Rhine passage, causing them to crash on the rocks.