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Brussels monuments | The famous Manneken Pis


Brussels has a number of interesting sculptures and unique monuments. There is a formal sculpture that is also a symbol of Brussels called “Mannequin Pis”, there are also funny monuments (like a peeing girl), and there are romantic like the “Kiss.” The main monument in Brussels is doubtless a famous “Manneken-nuc” – “Manneken Pis”. This often stolen and recovered figure appeared in the XVII century and is the embodiment of the rebellious spirit of the Brussels burghers. Manneken Pis became a legendary character, a hero, which fame went out of the country.

Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis

There are many legends about its origins. One of them, for example, tells the story about the scamp who was caught off guard on a fairy. As a punishment, the angry fairy turned him into stone. Another legend says that the figure of the most popular monument in Belgium portrays a young son of the Duke of Brabant, which was made in 1619 by the famous Belgian sculptor Jerome Dyukenua. Following legend says that the fountain was created in Brussels, at a folk festival when a merchant had lost his only son in a crowd. The father was looking all over and finally found him at the corner of two streets. And then the happy father decided to erect a monument on the site to a favorite child.

However, this prose does not suit everybody – many locals prefer more patriotic version. The legend says about the boy who saw the enemy firing up the city. And then the “pioneer” has decided to save Brussels by simply peeing on the fire. True or not, in 1619, his father Jerome Dyukenua Brussels citizens asked to cast a bronze statue of the famous citizen. “Manneken Pis” is a very small fountain. It is placed on a stone platform in the appropriate position. The sculpture’s height is 61 cm; this size was made in the XIX century under another reproduction.



Peeing boy is has a great wardrobe. It is said to be an honor to make a suit for the statue. The tradition of dressing the Manneken Pis in a variety of costumes has been around 300 years and has its origins from the Elector of Bavaria, Maximilian II Emanuel, who in 1698 presented the first suit for the statue. The tradition was continued by the king of France, Louis XV, passing Brussels suit of gold brocade To date, the sculpture has already about one thousand costumes, presented by representatives of different nations.

This is a guest post by Vera Petryk, an author for

Brussels photos: John Karakatsanis, haos,

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