When we arrived, the street was already crowded with busloads of tourists jostling for selfies.
Well, did we get the pay-off we had come all the way to see?
The Manneken Pis was quite literally what it means "little peeing man".
Unimposing, overrated and underwhelming the statue is merely 24 inches tall! Even more disappointing, the diminutive sculpture is only a replica of the 1619 original, which is now in the nearby Brussels Museum.
Mannekin Pis ranks #4 on TOP10HQ's Top 10 Most Disappointing Tourist Destinations list!
|Size does matter!|
Manneken Pis is a little statue with a big wardrobe! Pee Boy gets dressed in different costumes several times each week. The costumes are managed by a non-profit organization called The Friends of Manneken-Pis. The organization reviews hundreds of designs submitted by fans each year, and selects a small number to be made and used. The schedule of costumes is published on the web and on the posters plastered around the fountain.
Over the years, Mannekin Pis dressed as Santa, Elvis Presley, Nelson Mandela, Uncle Sam, an astronaut and even as a condom on World Aids Day!
THE MOST FASHIONABLE STATUE IN THE WORLD
Photos from Manneken Pis' FB page.
There are many stories surrounding the inspiration for this statue.
Here are just three:
1. During the Middle Ages, tanners let children and street urchins urinate on their leather as the ammonia in urine made the leather more supple. The peeing statue was most probably a homage to the tanners.
2. The most popular story suggests that it was a tribute to a local boy named Julianske who saved Brusssels by urinating on a burning fuse of an explosive lit by enemies who were trying to blow up the walls of the city.
3. According to a folklore, the son of a noble abandoned a procession to urinate on the wall of a house where a witch lived. Pissed, the angry witch cursed the lad to pee for eternity by turning him into stone, thus a peeing statue!
It was amusing to see this mascot of sorts gracing the streets of Brussels. His likeness appears on all things imaginable – from street art to tourist souvenirs to lollipops. You’ll even find him made of chocolate!
|image credit - Teeny Tiny|
According to our guide, not many people who live outside Brussels know about this female counterpart of Manneken Pis.
A video of the thousands of costumes worn by Mannekin Pis throughout the years.
Which one is your favourite?