Manneken Pis in Brussels

The fountain of the Pissing Boy (Manneken Pis) is often called a symbol of Brussels. It is located on the corner of the Rue des Chenes, 250 meters from the Grand Place. The boy`s figure is very small, only 61 cm, but it is associated with many traditions, and the Belgians love the symbol of their country.

The figure of a boy stands on a high pedestal. An arch in the form of a large shell is above figure of boy. The fountain is enclosed by a powerful cast-iron grating. Boy pees in the pool. There are many souvenir shops and cafes around the fountain, as well as on the pedestrian street leading to the Grand Place.

The legends about this boy are quite contradictory. According to some sources, this is the son of Gottfried III of Leuven. During the battle, his cradle was suspended from a tree to encourage the soldiers, but he urinated on the soldiers out of fear. According to another legend, this boy with a stream of urine from the wall extinguished the ammunition that was laid by the enemy to blow it up.

According to some sources, the statue appeared in the 15th century, but the date of 1619 is more accurate. It was in this year that the sculptor Jerome Duquesnoy de created the entire composition of the fountain, and it immediately attracted the attention of citizens.

In 1698, the Elector of Bavaria, Maximilian Emmanuel, sent a festive costume for the boy. Since then, it has become a tradition. On various holidays, the Pissing Boy is dressed in costumes. Over time, they accumulated more than 800 pieces, and on the Grand Place in the Royal Museum opened an exhibition dedicated to the history of Manneken Pis’s costumes. On some holidays, there is a tradition to replace water with beer, cider, wine or other beverages.