The Manneken Pis, a bronze fountain statue by Jerome Duquesnoy, dates from 1619 when it replaced a stone statue from the 1400s. The residents of Brussels have embraced this diminuitive statue of a small boy urinating into a fountain as a symbol of their irreverence.
There are many stories behind the Manneken Pis with most either referring to a young boy urinating on a fire/explosive device thus saving the city from destruction by invading armies or the lost son of a nobleman who was later found urinating in a fountain.
The well-loved statue has over 800 costumes and will often wear the national dress of visiting dignitaries. You might otherwise see him dressed in football colors or as a plumber or even Elvis. His costume is changed around 30 times a year. These occasions are marked with brass-band music and an unveiling of the newly kitted-out statue. Sometimes Manneken Pis produces beer to celebrate with the people of Brussels.
Mannekin Pis is an inconspicous city emblem. He's tucked away at the corner of rue de l'Étuve and rue du Chêne in Ilôt Sacré. From Grand-Place take the street to the left of the Town Hall and walk for three blocks, he is on the left. Keep an eye out as he is only 18 inches (45 centimeters) tall and if there's not a crowd you might miss him!
Tours & Tickets
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