History and legends of the "Manneken Pis", symbol of Brussels

History and legends of the


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The "Manneken Pis«, Whose translation would be“little man who urinates”Was sculpted by Jerome Duquesnoy 'the Elder' in 1619, although the current sculpture was sculpted in 1965.

With the 'Atomium' and with the ‘Grand Place’, it forms the trio of most important monuments of the Brussels city, being symbols of their identity.

History of the Manneken Pis

In the archives of the Cathedral of Santa Gúdula Mentions have been found around the year 1388 on a stone statue similar to the current one, although there is knowledge of one from the 15th century.

In 1619, it was replaced by a bronze one built by Jerome Duquesnoy the Elder, Franco-Flemish Baroque sculptor.

It originally stood on a column carved by Daniel Raessens, which was replaced by the current rock-style niche in 1770.

Duquesnoy's original work was stolen in 1960, a fact that gave him international fame when it was published in press around the world. The original work was later found, and deposited, along with a gilded bronze copy from the 17th century, in the Musée de la ville in Brussels.

In 1965, the current statue was installed, which, as a curiosity, is usually disguised on various occasions through a program managed by the association «Friends of the Manneken Pis«.

Legends of the Manneken Pis

The first legend says that a father who had lost his son at a fair, promised to erect a statue of his son in the form in which he found it.

Another recounts the heroic action of a small Brussels called Juliaanske, who, during one of the revolts against Felipe II, extinguished the fuse of a bomb thrown by the troops of the Duke of Alba urinating on it and saving the city.

The third and most commented to tourists by local guides is the following. A wealthy merchant visiting the city as a family lost his young son and search parties were organized.

The boy was found laughing and urinating in a small garden, so the father decided to help build a fountain, which has his son urinating on the top.

After studying History at the University and after many previous tests, Red Historia was born, a project that emerged as a means of dissemination where you can find the most important news of archeology, history and humanities, as well as articles of interest, curiosities and much more. In short, a meeting point for everyone where they can share information and continue learning.


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