Manneken Pis, Brussels

3 out of 5 stars 3 Stars - 164 Reviews

Corner of Rue de l' Etuve and Rue du Chêne

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  • breughel's Profile Photo

    't Menneken Pist.

    by breughel Updated Jan 2, 2014

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    het Menneken Pist.
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    I still wonder from were came the idea of building a fountain with the water streaming out a pipi, zizi or as used in Brussels and Brabant dialect a "pisellewiet" or "tichke".
    What we know is that according to documents from 15th c. there was at the same place already a stone statue called " Juliaenekensborre " or " ‘t Menneken Pist " supplying the residents with drinking water but no representation of this stone statue is left.

    In 1619, the city authorities asked Jerome Duquesnoy Senior to make a bronze statue. This statue experienced a turbulent history. A copy attracts now the tourists (and deceives some because the statue is only 58 cm; others are deceived because they expected to be there when Manneken Pis is peeing beer).

    Many legends exist to explain the peeing little boy fountain but I wonder if they were not created afterwards to explain this original fountain. I have seen hundred of fountains but none with somebody peeing like here.
    The Manneken Pis of Brussels is not really alone, there is in the Flemish town of Geeraardsbergen (Grammont) a similar statue also called Manneken Pis that goes back to 1459. It is older than the bronze statue of Duquesnoy (1619) but the stone ‘t Menneken Pist of Brussels has the anteriority.

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    The ex-libris

    by solopes Updated Jan 1, 2014

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    Brussels
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    Why millions of people merge each day before this 61 cm high bronze statue of a child, pissing water to a small basin?

    Well... because everybody goes.

    No surprise that the ridiculous "monument" became the theme of many legends, traditions, and... business.

    "I was there" or "I saw it" are two versions of the same common objective between two bites in the mandatory chocolate.

    Serve yourself!

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  • Roadquill's Profile Photo

    Manneken Pis - hold that thought?

    by Roadquill Updated Aug 27, 2013

    On the corner of a rather nondescript intersection is the infamous Manneken Pis, the 2 foot statue of a little boy taking important matters in hand and taking a whiz. All sorts of stories abound as to why this effigy gets all this attention. I came, I saw, I shook my head and I still wonder why. More interesting were the 100's of costumes for this little pee for all dude located in the City's Municipal Museum. There is enough of a crowd during the day and night to make it hard to get an unobstructed shot. Maybe if they put a little more power behind the fountain effect on an at random basis viewers would be at risk of getting more of Manneken Pis than they bargained for, and also provide for some comedic affect... I'm just sayin....

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    Manneken Pis

    by ValbyDK Updated Jul 16, 2013

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    Manneken Pis

    The Manneken Pis is a 61 cm tall bronze statue of a little boy urinating into a fountain's basis... I can't say I was disappointed when I saw the statue; I knew Manneken Pis was small, and we also have the Little Mermaid statue in my hometown, Copenhagen, and sometimes the history behind the monument is the main attraction...

    The Manneken Pis was made by Brussels sculptor Hieronimus Duquesnoy the Elder in 1619, but the present statue is a copy from 1965. It has been repeatedly stolen, and now the original is kept at the Maison du Roi on the Grand Place. There are several legends behind the statue; the two-year-old Duke Godfrey II of Leuven who urinated on the troops of the Berthouts, the little boy Julianske who in the 14th century saved the city by urinating on some kind of explosives which was placed by foreign forces at the city walls, and many other stories...

    Several times each year, the statue is dressed in different costumes, but not when I visited....

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    Manneken Pis

    by zadunajska8 Written Aug 16, 2012

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    Manneken Pis
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    When you get to the corner which is home to this tiny little statue with the big reputation listen out for how many languages you hear "isn't it tiny!" said in!

    The statue really is very small which is quite unexpected with all the hype about it. I don't actually see what the big deal about the statue is, but it's become such a well known cultural symbol of Brussels that it is now a must see when visiting the city.

    You will know you are getting close as the density of tacky souvenir shops sells replicas of teh statue increases to a critical level!

    The first bronze statue of the little boy was commissioned in 1619 by the city's officials but this may have been replacing an earlier stone version (but there is disagreement about this point it seems). The statue has been stolen on a number of occasions. In 1745, French soldiers took him and hid him in a warehouse. He was returned when Louis XV ordered a full scale search and then knighted the statue ( Sir Manneken Pis! ) in an attempt to avoid it being stolen again?

    In 1817 it was stolen by an ex-convict for it's bronze content. The thief had smashed the statue up before being apprehended. He was publicly branded in the Grand Place and sentenced to a life of hard labour whilst the new (and current) statue was forged from the broken remnants of the old statue.

    The statue gets dressed up in a variety of costumes for various events and you can see a number of these costumes on the top floor of the Brussels City Museum in the Grand Place.

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  • lina112's Profile Photo

    The little boy....

    by lina112 Written Jul 26, 2012

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    This small bronze statue about 30 inches high is a little boy in the act of peeing in a fountain, is definitely one of the symbols of the city. Legend has it that the origin of this statue is inspired by the gesture of the son of a Duke in the twelfth century in the course of a bloody battle, was discovered pissing on a tree. Work by the artist Jerome Duquesnoy the Elder, was first exhibited in 1619. Its popularity grew significantly over the years and in 1698 the governor-Emanuele Massimiliano offered a dress to take the statue symbolically and from that day is a tradition that heads of state visit to the city offer thumbnails representing their costumes, all these models, more than 650, are conserved in the Musée de la Ville. We were fortunate to visit Brussels on July 21st day of the Belgian nation and was dressed in the national costume.

    Esta pequeña estatua de bronce alta unos 30 centímetros representa un muchachito en el acto de mear en una fuente, representa sin duda uno de los símbolos de la ciudad. La leyenda cuenta que el origen de esta estatua está inspirada en el gesto del hijo de un Duque que en el siglo XII en el curso de una cruenta batalla, fue descubierto meando en un árbol. Obra del artista Jerome Duquesnoy el Viejo,fue expuesta por primera vez en el 1619. Su popularidad creció notablemente en los años, y en el 1698 el gobernador Massimiliano-Emanuele ofreció un vestido para revestir simbólicamente la estatua y desde aquel día es tradición que los jefes de Estado en visita a la ciudad ofrezcan miniaturas que representan sus trajes típicos; todas estas miniaturas, más de 650, están conservadas en el Musée de la Ville. Tuvimos la suerte de visitar Bruselas el día 21 de Julio día de la nación Belga y estaba vestido con el traje nacional.

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    Mannekin Pis

    by Gillybob Updated Jul 9, 2012

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    Mannekin Pis
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    The Mannekin Pis is Brussels' most famous statue; it is a small bronze fountain sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating into the basin of the fountain. This little statue attracts thousands of visitors every year and yet is actually very small (when you can eventually find it). Whilst there are many sign posts around Brussels to help you into the general locale, once in the area, it's easily missed if the usual crowd of tourists is absent.

    During the year you will often find the statue wearing costumes. When notable dignitaries visit Brussels, it is common practice for them to present a version of their national costume for the statue to wear on their national day.

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  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    The Little Guy

    by lmkluque Updated May 21, 2012

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    Fun to See!!

    I know some people categorize this as a tourist trap, but I see it differently.

    I had not heard of Manneken Pis, so had no pre-concieved notions of what to expect. Like the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, the little guy is very small. Unlike the Little Mermaid, his wardrobe is huge, over six hundred outfits!

    There are several legends about him that I have heard--mostly that he saved Brussels from destruction because he urinated on a bomb. What ever the truth is, the people of Brussels are proud of him and for that reason I'm happy that I was able to see the statue in action!

    If nothing else, it was a great indication of the wonderful sense of humor the Belgians have.

    The truth is that he was part of a water delivering system created in the early 1600's! Of course what we see is a replica. The original Manneken Pis is kept safe at the Musée de la Ville de Bruxelles
    Maison du Roi
    Grand-Place
    1000 Brussels

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    Manneken-Pis in 1950

    by grandmaR Written May 19, 2012

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    Manneken-Pis - closer
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    Manneken Pis is the name of the statue of a little boy who is urinating - he supplies water to what was at one time a water supply for the city. He no longer has that function. He was 'dressed' in costumes four times a year, but we did not see that. Now he has many costumes and there is a schedule that you can consult so that you can time your visit to the costume schedule.

    I can only find two black and white photos that my dad took of Manneken-Pis, but I know he was fascinated by the statue.

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  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    Inspired by Brussels’s First Citizen

    by von.otter Written Apr 21, 2012

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    Inspired by Manneken-Pis, Bruxelles, May 2011
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    “I raised my eyes, and beheld each pupil perched on a barrel, in the same attitude and performing the same action, as the Manneken-Pis fountain of Brussels. The fountains were playing in honour of my arrival.”
    — from “My Memoirs” Volume 1 by Alexandre Dumas, writing of his reception on his day teaching at Abbé Grégoire’

    Like icons from other cities, Manneken-Pis has inspired many imitations. Here are but a few found near-by to the fountain, usually employed to sell something, from Belgian waffles to chocolates.

    Many legends swirl about the Manneken-Pis. One of them tells the story of a little boy who had pissed against the front door of a witch’s house, which stood where the fountain now stands. The witch grew so angry that she cast a spell that turned the little boy into a two-foot tall bronze sculpture.

    Another legend says that a man had lost his young son. After two days, the father found the boy near the corner where the Manneken-Pis fountain is. The little boys was peeing when the father spotted his child. Out of gratitude, the father commissioned the fountain showing a bronze boy peeing.

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    Brussels’s First Citizen

    by von.otter Updated Apr 7, 2012

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    Manneken-Pis, Bruxelles, May 2011
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    “One of the curiosities of Brussels is the Mannikin Fountain, near the Hotel de Ville or City Hall. It has stood there since 1619, and all guide books note it. It is a great favorite with the lower classes, and its destruction would cause a revolution to which the French disturbance of 1789 was not a beginning. I can not describe it; but if you go to Brussels hunt it out and then exclaim as we did, ‘How ridiculous!’ ”
    — Stephen Girard Nye, (1834-1906, California State Judge) on a 1901 trip through Europe with his family

    POPULAR CURIOSITY Lower classes indeed! Judge Nye did not know that Russia’s Peter the Great paid court to Manneken-Pis, and, bowing before him, said, “Sir, I have come to see you, because you go to see no one.” Peter added to the pension that Emperor Charles V had settled upon him.

    In the Middle Ages the Manneken-Pis was a decorative top to a fountain where locals collected fresh water. The current version dates to the 13th of August 1619 when the city commissioned sculptor Jerome Duquesnoy to design a new bronze Manneken-Pis. Over the centuries the two-foot tall pissing boy has been hidden to protect him from the bombs of invading armies. He has also been stolen several times by plundering soldiers.

    Because of Mannikin-Pis’s popularity, we had to rise early for our crowd-free photo-op with the little man wearing his gay pride outfit (see photos #4 & #5). Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave him his first suit of clothes in 1698. Forty-nine years later Louis XV gave him a full uniform, and invested him with the Order of St. Louis.

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  • rivercalm's Profile Photo

    A tiny statue

    by rivercalm Written Jan 5, 2012

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    Manneken Pis

    A very small statue, almost missed it. Crowded, hardly possible to get a picture of you taken standing in front of it without any other tourists in it! But lovely and of course a must-see while you're in Bruxelles!

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    Le Manneken Pis

    by Tom_Fields Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Manneken Pis
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    A whimsical piece of sculpture created by Jerome Duquesnoy in 1619, this is one of the cutest attractions in Brussels. Its keepers dress it up in all kinds of costumes, which change frequently. Thousands of visitors muse at it each year. It's also been the target of vandals and invaders. This city just wouldn't be the same without it.

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    Everyone Visits Manneken Pis

    by Mikebb Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Little Boy
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    There are always crowds around this fountain in fine weather and it makes you wonder why you went out of your way to see this small statute of a boy. I guess it is history with the original bronze statute first placed on the site in 1619.

    In 1817 the original statute was stolen and broken, a replica was cast and that is what you see today.

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    Brussels' answer to the Eiffel Tower

    by csordila Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    On the corner of Rue de L'Etuve and Rue du Chene
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    This peeing little man is an answer of Brussels to the Eiffel Tower. There is a small fountain spouting from, well, his ... you guessed it. The first reaction you can hear : Look, I would have never believed that he is so small ! But I myself am on that opinion, it hasn't have to be big to be beautiful. Could you imagine what would be happen if he would be the size of the Eiffel Tower? I think the city would be always under water!
    During high season, visitors from around the world gather to see the little statue's ever-changing wardrobe.

    There are many stories about the little man. According to one of the many legends the little boy had peed against the door of a witch who lived where the fountain now stands. The witch was so angry that she turned him into a statue.

    You should take some photos while you're there, otherwise, the family back home will never believe you.

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