Peeing Boy Statue Brussels - Manneken Pis
Upon arrival in Brussels the first attraction you are shown is definitely the Manneken Pis (little pee man in Flemish). Located close to the Grand Place on rue de l’Etuve 31 (Lievevrouwbroersstraat 31, 1000 Brussels, Belgium) he stands at just 61cm (24 inches). The peeing boy is a tiny bronze fountain statue. One would not normally call this art piece ‘majestic’, but the locals have so many stories and ways of celebrating festivals with the little peeing boy that even the toughest critic would leave with fondness for the bronze doll.
Stories of Manneken Pis
Many great legends bring this little statue to life in the hearts of visitors, and the question is why was this statue erected? One story tells of a tourist father who lost his son in the city and after receiving help from villagers to find the boy, he gifted this statue to them. Another, more daring, tale is one where the boy was a spy during a siege of the city. He literally put out a ploy to bomb the city by urinating on the explosives! Many stories such as this have given the Mannekin Pis a firm place in Brussels’ city-life but none would compete with its present-day glory.
Celebrations with the Manneken Pis
The people of Brussels don’t simply look upon the cute statuette and show it to tourists. The Manneken Pis plays a full part in the city’s annual calendar and even has an outfit for every occasion. Manneken Pis’ wardrobe ranges from Santa suits to national costumes from countries around the world. The most recent addition is a red leather Chinese costume presented by the city of Haining, China. On special occasions, brass-bands would play and Manneken Pis would be hooked up to different flavours of Belgian beer, which is poured from his fountain tip and given out to the public. With such love and care for the Manneken, who needs Big Ben?
In the 80s another statue was built called Jeanneke Pis to give Manneken Pis a playmate. This other statue is a little girl fountain, but she is lesser known and hides in an alleyway a short distance away from Mannekin Pis.
Location in Brussels
The Mannekin Pis is located southwest of the Town Hall. If you are at the Grand Place facing the Town Hall take the exit on the left, the Mannekin Pis is two blocks behind the Town Hall. Alternatively, you can walk from one of the metro stations below.
Mannekin Pis Statue
Rue de l’Etuve 31 / Lievevrouwbroersstraat 31
Jeanneke Pis Statue
Metro stop: Anneessens, Central, Bourse