The Manneken Pis was designed in 1388 and is one of the most representative and loved symbols of Brussels. The Manneken Pis is a small bronze statue that measures 50 cm and represents a small boy without any clothes urinating into a fountain’s basin. It is located in the old part of town, between rue de L'Étuve and rue Chene, next to the Grand Place.
Given the importance of the statue, many armed forces have tried to steal it throughout the years, until an ex-convict was finally able to do so. The Belgian inhabitants were extremely worried until a few years later, in 1619, a copy was put in the same place and has been maintained there to the present day.
Throughout the years, many legends have surrounded this tiny, surprising statue. These are the most famous:
In 1698, a governor gave the little statue its first tunic. It was the first of the 650 outfits the Manneken Pis owns currently. These costumes have been given by the various presidents that have visited Brussels. In the Musée de la Ville, housed in La Maison du Roi, visitors can discover all the little hero’s wardrobe including regional dresses, a bullfighter or Elvis costume.
In certain occasions it’s the Town Hall that dresses the Manneken Pis up.
The Manneken Pis has become of the most important landmarks in Brussels. Other representative attractions include the Atomium and the Grand Place. We believe that it is definitely worthwhile visiting, as well as taking a photo.
Very close to the Grand Place visitors can also find the Manneken Pis’s “sister”, Jeanneke Pis. A female version of the little boy urinating, which is a lot less famous but also curious to see.
Between the rue de L’Étuve and rue Chene, on the south side of the Grand Place