My family is off soon on a wonderful trip to London, England (quick trip to Bath), then Paris and finally Belgium to visit some of our relatives.
When I was growing up, my mother used to talk about this one statue in Brussels, Belgium that she really would love to see. I think she told me when I was about 12 years old, and now it’s one of my quests in life to see this statue; Manneken Pis (As I used to think – Monica Piss….sorry!):
This statue of a little boy in a somewhat compromising position has since several centuries been a major tourist attraction in the city. When most people see our ‘manneken’, the first reaction is always one of amazement: “Look, how small he is ! Why does everybody want to see him ?” The people of Brussels, however, accept him the way he is. After all, it doesn’t always have to be big to be beautiful. Imagine he would be the size of the Statue of Liberty : Brussels would be continuously flooded !
Nobody actually knows why the manneken is there. He is believed to be nothing more than a decoration on top of a fountain, where people in the Middle-Ages came to get fresh water. Already in the 15th century a fountain called ‘manneken-pis’ existed in the Stoofstraat/Rue de l’étuve. The official origin can be traced back to the 13th of August 1619 when the city ordered the sculptor Jerome Duquesnoy to make a new bronze statue of manneken-pis to replace an old and withered one. During the course of the centuries our little manneken has often been hidden to protect him against bombs of invading armies. He has also been stolen several times by plundering soldiers and even by the citizens of Geraardsbergen, a city in Flanders that claims to possess the oldest statue of a peeing boy in Belgium.
There are many legends about the Manneken. According to one of them a little boy had watered against the door of a witch who lived where the fountain now stands. The witch was so angry that she turned the little boy into a statue.
This website goes on to let us all know that, once you come upon this statue, if it inspires you….please contact authorities. What???!!?