Everyone who has visited the capital of Europe at least once should remember so called Manneken Pis (Peeing Boy) – a small monument that is by far the most popular and well-known symbol of Brussels. But not many people know that he’s not the only peeing symbol of Brussels!
But first things first :)
Manneken Pis was designed by Jerome Duquesnoy and put in place in 1618 or 1619. There are several legends behind this statue, but the most famous is the one about Duke Godfrey III of Leuven. In 1142, the troops of this two-year-old lord were battling against their enemies. The troops put the infant lord in a basket and hung the basket in a tree to encourage them. From there, the boy urinated on the troops of the enemies, who eventually lost the battle.
Another legend states that in the 14th century, Brussels was under siege by a foreign power. The city had held its ground for some time, so the attackers conceived of a plan to place explosive charges at the city walls. A little boy named Julianske happened to be spying on them as they were preparing. He urinated on the burning fuse and thus saved the city.
The statue is dressed in funny costumes several times each week, according to a published schedule which is posted on the railings around the fountain.
His wardrobe consists of several hundred different costumes, many of which may be viewed in a permanent exhibition inside the City Museum, located in the Grand Place, immediately opposite the Town Hall.
The costumes are managed by the non-profit association The Friends of Manneken-Pis, who review hundreds of designs submitted each year, and select a small number to be produced and used.
However, Manneken Pis is not the only one peeing sculpture in Brussels!
Figuring that if one Peeing Child statue in Belgian capital was a good thing, then two Peeing Child statues would be twice as good, a local artist created Jeanneke Pis.
Jeanneke Pis is a modern fountain and statue in Brussels, which forms a counterpoint in gender terms to the city’s trademark Manneken Pis, as it does aurally and geographically, being about the same distance away on the other side of the Grand Place / Grote Markt.
It was made by Denis-Adrien Debouvrie in 1985 and erected in 1987 as a monument ‘in honor of loyalty’. This half-meter-high statue depicts a little girl with her hair in bunches, squatting and urinating, apparently very contentedly.
It is less well known than its male counterpart, perhaps because of its relative modernity or because of its location near the closed end of the street.
And so Zinneke Pis was created by Belgian artist Tom Frantzen.
Zinneke Pis is a life-size statue of a dog lifting its leg to take a piss at the corner of the street.
“Zinneke” is based on a Flemish word for “mongrel”. As the artist says, “Because he is a dog of mixed breed, he symbolizes the multicultural nature of Brussels.”