Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis is a small bronze statue, 30 cm tall, which represents a young boy pissing into a fountain. This bizarre statue is surely one of Brussels’s most known symbols. Legend has it that the statue was inspired by a real episode: during a harsh fighting the son of a duke was caught in the act of pissing against a tree.

The statue later became the symbol of the military virtue of the Country. The Manneken Pis is a work by Jerome Duquesnoy, and was exhibited for the very first time in 1619.

Its popularity grew considerably with the passing of time, and in 1698 the governor Maximilian-Emanuel offered a dress to cover the statue. Ever since then, according to the tradition all Head of States in visit to Belgium offer a miniature of their typical dresses. All these miniatures (more than 650!) are kept in the city museum.

By the XVIII century there were numerous attempts to steal the statue by French and English soldiers. In 1817 the statue was finally taken away by Antoine Licas and destroyed. The following year a copy was constructed, which can be admired today.

  • rue de l’Etuve e du Chene
  • Bus: 34, 48, 95, 96
  • Metro: Gare Centrale, Bourse

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