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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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Is that it?

    by toonsarah Written Mar 2, 2007

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    Mannekin Pis

    This statue can be thought of as the emblem of Brussels, but when you see it I think the reaction is likely to be “is that it?”, or “what is all the fuss about?” This is no Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty – it’s simply a small water fountain on a street corner, albeit a somewhat suggestive one! Nevertheless, I don’t suppose anyone can come to Brussels and not visit the Mannekin.

    I hadn’t realised that the Manneken Pis is very often dressed. He has a wardrobe of more than 600 costumes, which are all preserved in the King's House, or City Museum at the Grand-Place. I’d have liked to see him in one of these, but he was naked when we visited.

    I read several legends about the Manneken. According to one of them a little boy watered against the door of a witch who lived where the fountain now stands, and the witch was so angry that she turned the boy into a statue. Another tells how a man lost his little son. He found the child after two days, peeing near the place where now the statue stands. As a token of gratitude the father had the fountain with a statue of a peeing boy constructed.

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  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    taking the pis* out of the Mannekin

    by richiecdisc Updated Mar 11, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    the little bugger does his thing

    I think most people are quite disappointed the first time they see the Mannekin Pis, or "Little Pis* Man" in English. Perhaps if the name were in English people would be better prepared for the size of the little bugger! As it is, you are left looking in wonder at just how small the statue is considering the big deal that is made of it. There are many legends as to why the statue was made obviously connected in some way with a child urinating. More interestingly they dress the statue up on various occasions and even have the wardrobe in the city museum. In fact, the statue is such a big deal that they even made a female equivalent called the Jeannekin Pis in the mid-90s. I actually only found it once and have not been back since. It seems beer and its resulting by products in a town lacking in public toilets are more a concern to me!

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  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo

    All this fuss for a little wee!!

    by scottishvisitor Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Little Boy who pulls the crowds
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    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.

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  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    See what the Manneken Pis is wearing today...

    by jumpingnorman Written Mar 27, 2009

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    Manneken Pis, peeing boy, Brussels, Belgium

    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!

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  • sue_stone's Profile Photo

    Unusual local icon!?!

    by sue_stone Updated Apr 19, 2004

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    Mannekin Pis
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    The Manneken Pis or "pissing little boy" is a symbol of Brussels and was created in 1619

    It is a bronze statue, which is only around 60cm tall - you would walk right past it if it wasn't surrounded by tourists...

    When we went to Brussels he was naked, but he in fact has hundreds of costumes, and you may come across him dressed in a particular one at certain times of the year.

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Manneken Pis

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Feb 16, 2006

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    Brussels - Manneken Pis
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    The Maneken Pis is a symbol of Bruxelles but nobody knows whom he represents actually. The legend says, that he put out a fire from bombardment of the city by Frenchmen. It is known, that he was created in the seventeenth century in fashionable style of game fountains. They speak, that from time to time water is replaced with beer. Each tourist should visit the boy and be photographed confirming to the stay in Bruxelles.

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  • marielexoteria's Profile Photo

    Manneken Pis

    by marielexoteria Updated Mar 15, 2010

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    Manneken Pis

    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.

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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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  • melissa_bel's Profile Photo

    Symbol of Brussels

    by melissa_bel Updated Jan 27, 2006

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    Some people would do anything to have their pictur

    What else can be said about Manneken Pis? He's the spirit of Brussels: unpretentious and irreverent.
    Everybody wants to see the peeing boy, everybody giggles at it (Oh, he's sooo tiny) and he should be thanked for offering a smile on everybody's face, hordes of tourist shoot him from every angle and he's got a wardrobe that would put Carrie Bradshaw to shame (which you can see at the Museum inside the Maison du Roi)... from samurai to firefighter, from Elvis to Tintin. Don't miss it. Talking about the famous reporter, just opposite Manneken, one of the newest Comic Strip mural is finaly depicted Belgium's finest exemple of the 9th art : Tintin, Haddock and Snowy are climbing down flights of stairs obviusly on their way to another great adventure.

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  • tere1's Profile Photo

    The littlle boy statue!

    by tere1 Written Apr 10, 2008

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    Manneken Pis: This statue of a little boy in a somewhat compromising position has since several centuries been a major tourist attraction in the city. When most people see our 'manneken', the first reaction is always one of amazement: "Look, how small he is ! Why does everybody want to see him ?" The people of Brussels, however, accept him the way he is. After all, it doesn't always have to be big to be beautiful. Imagine he would be the size of the Statue of Liberty : Brussels would be continuously flooded !

    Nobody actually knows why the manneken is there. He is believed to be nothing more than a decoration on top of a fountain, where people in the Middle-Ages came to get fresh water. Already in the 15th century a fountain called 'manneken-pis' existed in the Stoofstraat/Rue de l'étuve. The official origin can be traced back to the 13th of August 1619 when the city ordered the sculptor Jerome Duquesnoy to make a new bronze statue of manneken-pis to replace an old and withered one. During the course of the centuriesthe little manneken has often been hidden to protect him against bombs of invading armies. He has also been stolen several times by plundering soldiers and even by the citizens of Geraardsbergen, a city in Flanders that claims to possess the oldest statue of a peeing boy in Belgium.

    Lot of people do not know that the manneken-pis is very often dressed. At the moment he has a wardrobe of more than 600 costumes, which are all preserved in the King's House, or City Museum at the Grand-Place, the central market square of the city.

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  • Luchonda's Profile Photo

    Manneken Pis

    by Luchonda Written Feb 14, 2004

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    Manneken Pis

    The famous little man in BXL where every tourist is looking for.(When i'm not in Town-haha) - The statue is located near the Grand Market - Leftside the townhall - Stoofstraat.
    There should be also a female version called Jeanneke.

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  • diageva's Profile Photo

    Your way to Manneken Pis

    by diageva Written Jun 4, 2004

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    Your way to Mannenken Pis

    Is easy to find the little boy making pis ... the one that saved Brusselas from the fire. From Grand Place you have flags that will take you there ... and ... lots of tourist going in your ways ... all wanting to see that little boy ... a way full of souvenirs shops, waffles, chocolates shops ...

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  • sourbugger's Profile Photo

    Laugh? I nearly pissed myself

    by sourbugger Updated Mar 9, 2004

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    No more than 2 shakses allowed

    This little pissing boy is one of the real “Must see” sights of Belgium. it is located on a streetcorner a couple of roads back from the Grand Place. We approached the statue though a small crowd of Americans who were posing with the statue. The statue is often dressed in a little uniform or outfit to commemorate a particular event of festival, but on this day he was only wearing his emperor's new clothes outfit : i.e Nothing.

    My wife on approaching it exclaimed “ God, it’s so small”, to which I obviously replied : “Yes, that’s what they all say !”. The Americans seem to find this highly amusing – in fact they were pissing themselves.

    Just next door to the boy the yanks also seemed highly amused by the wooden cut-out standing in front of the tacky souvenir shop. You put your head though it, in place of the boys head, but then there was also a cut-out where his willy (John Thomas, todger, wanger etc - take you pick) would be. The Americans of course used an index finger, although I suspect many a drunk European would be less reserved.

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  • MATIM's Profile Photo

    manneken-pis the symbol of Brussels

    by MATIM Written Dec 29, 2003

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    Manneken-pis

    Manneken-pis is the symbol of Brussels. It was already there in the middle ages, he got the name manneken-pis in the 16th century.
    Daniel Raessens made a 6 ft high pedastal for this tiny creature. Because believe me it is a tiny statue. I was very disappointed when I saw it for the first time.
    Manneken- pis is not always naked, he has a lot of costumes, the costumes are exhibit in the museum at the grand place.
    You can find Manneken-pis a few metres of grand place at the corner of rue de Chere and L'Etuve.

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