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Manneken Pis of Brussels : peeing statue!

Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Berlin has the Brandenburg Gate, Giza has the Pyramids…and Brussels has the Manneken-Pis.

As well as the little peeing boy, it also has an extremely vulgar peeing girl, a peeing dog and even a public urinal up against the church in Saint-Catherine. But we digress..

The famous portrayal of a totally unself-conscious toddler, with tiny todger in hand while taking a leak, has had people wetting themselves laughing for several centuries.

People are amazed at how small he is - but then he IS only a little boy and it does get cold in Brussels.

Despite there being several theories, no one really knows the origin of the Manneken-Pis. One legend, though, tells that the son of a local merchant went missing for a couple of days, much to the dismay of his father. The boy was eventually found on a street corner doing exactly what he does today. Daddy was so grateful that he commissioned the statue.

Another states that he was caught peeing against the door of a local witch. So, naturally, she turned him into a fountain. As you do…

On record, though,  is the fact that, in August 1619, the city commissioned sculptor Jerome Duquesnoy to make a new bronze statue of the Manneken to replace an older version.

And although often nude, the Mannekin has more than 600 costumes, preserved in the King's House and City Museum at Grand’Place. He wore his first costume in 1698, and all these years later is still dressed up for cultural events.

Drinkers please note: on St Patrick’s Day he pees Guinness.


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