The Manneken Pis is the most representative and well-known symbol of Brussels. Who has not heard of this little boy? It’s impossible! All the souvenirs related to the European capital feature the Manneken Pis or the Atomium.
Manneken pis de Bruselas
El niño meón de Bruselas
Manneken pis de Bruselas
History of the Brussels Manneken Pis
The bronze statuette made in the 17th century by Jeremy Duquensnoy, in exchange for 30 ducats, perfectly embodies the rebellious spirit of Brussels. In its day, the Manneken Pis was one more fountain in the city that supplied Brussels with water. However, nowadays, it has ceased to be a simple figure to become the symbol of Brussels and acquire the rank of legendary.
In 1745 it was stolen by the English and two years later it would be the French who would repeat the robbery. The original statue has been under protection in the City Hall since 1965, after suffering two robberies and because the figure suffered various damages. The first robbery was in 1963, carried out by a group of young people from Antwerp, and two years later the statue disappeared and was not found, by chance, until a year later on the Brussels canal.
It seems that the adventures of the Manneken Pis are over because the current figure on rue L’Etuve is a replica of the original.
Legends about the Manneken Pis
Thanks to the legends about its creation, the Manneken Pis became a symbol of Brussels. The model for sculpting it is said to have been a boy who urinated on a torch with which the enemy forces intended to set the city on fire. Another story tells of a citizen who lost his only son during parties and did not find him until 5 days later, urinating. Happy to reunite with her son, he ordered to build a statue there.
There are many fantastic legends but the most truthful turns out to be the following: in the seventeenth century the tanners' guild paid children a symbolic price in exchange for peeing on the skins. From this fact the figure of the Manneken Pis arises. The figure can also be seen in cities like Antwerp or Ghent.
Everyday thousands of tourists want to have their photo with the Manneken Pis, more for the grace and fame that precedes it than for the beauty of the sculpture. Many people imagine the Manneken boy more spectacular than he really is due to his small size.We hope you are not disappointed!
Te contamos la historia del Manneken PisFree Tour Bruselas
Manneken Pis Dresses
Louis XV gave Manneken Pis the first suit to honor him after the robberies suffered by the English and French. It was a luxurious gold brocade suit and he imposed the statue the Cross of Saint Louis. Thus, a wardrobe was inaugurated, and today amounts to nearly 1,000 pieces. All of them are presented to the public in a fun exhibition montage that can be seen in the King's House (Museum of the city of Brussels).
The repertoire of dresses at the Manneken Pis in Brussels is very diverse. He even has the sports equipment of Real Madrid and Futbol Club Barcelona, but also Elvis, a bullfighter, a vampire ... With so many suits, it is not surprising that he dresses up. For example, at Christmas the little boy usually dresses as Santa Claus. For about 130 days a year, the Manneken Pis is dressed, hopefully you'll see him in costume.
If you want to read a little more about the incredible wardrobe of the Manneken Pis read our post: The Wardrobe of the Manneken Pis.
The Manneken Pis secret of fame
It may be the secrecy of the figure, all the legends that speak about the Manneken Pis, the adventures with the thieves or even his diminutive size what have given him world fame and give him the title of being the symbol of Brussels. However, for the inhabitants of Brussels it represents the spirit of the revolt and the nonconformity of the city, which is much more important than any outfit.
Landmark of Brussels
After centuries and attempts at robberies, the Manneken Pis is still in Brussels and has survived like the city, adapting to the times and fighting for its existence. Along with the Atomium and the Grand Place it is considered the symbol of Brussels and Belgium. Discover the entire history of Manneken Pis on our Free tour in Brussels.
Location of the Manneken Pis
Address: Rue de l’Etuve 31 1000-Bruselas.
How to get to the Manneken Pis
- Líneas 1 y 5 - Paradas "Bourse" y "Gare Centrale"
- Líneas 3, 4, 31, 32 y 33 - Parada "Anneessens"
- Líneas 29, 34, 47, 48, 60, 63, 65, 66, 71, 95 y 96