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.
The Manneken-Pis is as famous in Brussels as its Frites, Waffles and Beer. To say he is a bit small is a very big understatement! I was a bit surprised and disappointed that he hadn't been dressed up for Easter. Looking around the small streets here we noticed Santa climbing up some buildings so it is possible the powers that be hadn't got around to it. Don't let the crowds around this very small boy put you off taking his picture - just use your zoom lense and you'll be fine.
Okay, be careful on a windy day or the Manneken Pis may do it on YOUR HEAD...
The website below is the best place to find out about the history of this little pisser.
It also has a map with directions on how to find it.
We visited with our friends Gillian and Guy, but if not for their guidance we may never have found this small object that is so well known.
I think that most people are probably familiar with Manneken Pis which is a famous Brussels statue in a very unimposing street in an out of the way corner of Brussels.
He's a small bronze sculpture depicting a little boy urinating into the fountain's basin. There are many legends about this little man (and believe me he is quite small) including that he put out the fuse of explosive charges set in the city walls by urinating on it thus saving the city.
Personally, I think that the statue was at one time used to dispense liquor.
Since the mid-1990s, the Manneken has had a female equivalent, Jeanneke Pis.
And man, were there squeaks and squeals among the folks (I happened to run into an overly excited bunch of Japanese tourists) who were actually queueing up not only to see a little boy peeing, but also photograph the act too!
Imagine this: In the real world, all of us would probably be hauled to jail for being paedophilics!!
There are many legends attached to the origin of this statue. One claimed that a rich bourgeois who had lost his only son in a crowd during a popular festivities had the statue made to commemorate the happy occasion when he found his son 5 days later at the corner of Etuve Street, doing exactly what the statue was doing. Another legend claims that the statue was made to commemorate the heroics of a little boy who saved the city from its enemies from arson by extinguishing a wick. Regardless of its true origins, it was in 1619 that Jerome Duquesnoy Senior was entrusted by the Brussels tax collectors to make a statue in bronze of their most famous citizen. So it other words, little boy has been peeing for close to 400 years now.
My buddy informed me that from time to time, visiting dignitaries will dress the boy up in various costumes which makes a welcome change from his usual naked glory.
The Manneken Pis is a major tourist attraction in Brussels but it's very easy to miss it as it's tiny (I'm referring to the statue!). Therefore, you really do have to keep your eyes peeled when you're looking for it. Follow the direction signs from the Grand Place.
Mannekin Pis is the most famous site in all of Brussels. It is a statue of a 2 foot tall boy pissing into a pool of water. Originally built in the 1400s, the current statue dates from 1619. Many legends exist as to its origin.... some say it was built by a gracious king who found the boy pissing on his palace to stop a fire from spreading. Others say it was built by a vengeful king who found the boy pissing on his palace because the boy didn't like the king.
Whatever the origin, all I can say is "Manhecanpiss!".
Manneken is a Dutch word that literally means 'little man' and is the basis for the English and French word Mannequin, or dummy.
How can anyone visit Belgium, no wait Europe, without seeing the Pis Mannekin ?
There are a lot of legends surrounding this statue, but I think that the Belgians just wanted a good laugh. And laugh they can considering countries from all over the world send clothing to dress up this little statue of a boy peeing!!!
The sad thing is that it used to serve alcohol...Perhaps it is a good idea that it doesn't now.
The funny thing is that I actually made a trip to Brussels just to see this nice statue. After that, I headed on to Brugge, which is a smaller city but very picturesque.
As with so many well known, statues, you can be underwhelmed by what you find. This famous statutes is small and out of the way. However it is always a focus of tourist cameras.
The city museum also has an extensive collection of different statues in different costumes.
The statue of a little boy is a major tourist attraction in the city.There are many legends about the Manneken. According to one of them a little boy had watered against the door of a witch who lived where the fountain now stands. The witch was so angry that she turned the little boy into a statue.
ok you have to go and see this but i must warn you that unless there a huge crowds around (which there normally is!) you could quite easily miss this! - I don't honestly know what I was expecting, perhaps something a little bigger :-) But it did made me laugh , as it highlights the Belgium peoples sense of humour!
Manneken Pis is, in spite of it's small size, the most popular tourist attraction in Brussels. The famous statue of a small boy urinating has many legends. The legends vary from a small boy getting lost and being found by one of his parents while urinating on a street corner to the boy saving the city from both invation and fire.
The statue itself is a 60 cm high bronze statue that was designed by Jerome Duquesnoy and placed there around 1618. Before this statue was put in place, there have been other Mannekens in the place from as early as 1388.
Manneken has several hundred costumes and his outfit is changed several times a week. The schedule for his outfits is hanging on the railings next to the statue. While I was in Brussels I was very happy to see him celebrate the Norwegian constitutional day (see the picture). Some of the costumes can be seen in an exhibition in the city musem.
Being the most popular inhabitant in Brussels, I guess the statue is something you just have to visit during your stay in Brussels It is very centrally located and you can get there easily with a short walk off Grand Place. The time consuming part will be getting through all the other tourist to get a good shot at him.
Manneken Pis is a fountaing with a statue of a child peeing. The statue is dressed in costumes according to a schedule, and most of the costumes are on exhibition at Musée de Ville at Grand Place. In our case, he (it) had a black and red costume, with a golden hat and a medal.
There's several legends as of why this statue came about, going from little boys putting out fires with their urine to boys peeing on a tree...
Personally, I thought the statue was too little...or rather that in pictures it looks bigger than it actually is, so during high season I guess there's a lot of cameras trying to get that perfect shot but we went off season and had no problem getting a picture.
I had heard a lot about the Manneken Pis and was surely on my list of things to see while in Brussels. It is located just behind the Grand Place and was slightly disappointed when I saw it. I was probably expecting to see much more.
It is said that this statue was cast in bronze on the orders of the city council in 1619. many legends have been attached to the figure who is said to be representing the rebellious and teasing nature of the locals.
Copies of the statue are available in many colors and is by far the best selling souvenir of the city.
Manneken Pis, meaning "pee man" in Dutch, is a very famous Brussels landmark. It is also known in French as the petit Julien.
It is a nice little bronze statue of a boy urinating into a basin, and the remarkable thing is that there is a non-profit association (The Friends of Manneken-Pis) which changes its clothes regularly in ceremonies with brass band music!
We specifically brought our three year old twins to the Manneken Pis to see who was taller...the twins were! And at the time we visited, the statue was wearing some kind of military outfit (it has hundreds of costumes donated from all over the world).
You won't get lost looking for it - just follow the crowds along the streets of Brussels!