“The capital city of Belgium is a laid back and friendly place, with tons of bars, boutiques, and beautiful buildings. It has a reputation for being relaxed and liberal, with an open mind and a great sense of humour, so it’s little surprise that, when it comes to symbols representing Brussels, the most famous in the city is a little statue of a peeing boy…’
I’m not even kidding. Manneken Pis (possibly the best name EVER), or Petit Julien, as he’s also known, occupies a tiny space in the corner of Rue de Chene, and stands at 61cm tall. He’s sculpted in bronze and spends his entire days urinating into the basin of the fountain below his feet. It’s hard to describe just how popular the little man is but, as you approach him, you will undoubtedly become embroiled in the scrum of the people trying to take his photo. He also gets dressed up quite often, depending on what the people of the city are celebrating, and has hundreds of outfits to don on any given day.
What a lot of people don’t know is that, although Manneken is by far the most famous statue in the city, he’s not the only one. In 1987, in the interests of gender equality (and why not?…) Manneken Pis was joined by a sister, Jeanneke. She’s not located next to him, but she’s only a short distance away, down the side of the world-record holding Delirium Bar. Jeanneke is squatting (obvs) and not *quite* as appealing (I hesitate to use the word ‘attractive’ in terms of peeing statues, so let’s go with ‘appealing’…) as her big brother. She also attracts a crowd, albeit not as large as her sibling, and I often think it might just be because she lives outside one of the most famous bars in the city. Regardless, she’s located behind a steel, padlocked cage for reasons we probably don’t really want to explore. Jeanneke squats on the Impasse de la Fidelitie.
So, I know you’re thinking that this post is called The Peeing Trio and you’re desperately trying to work out who the third one is, right? Well, wonder no more, good people of…where ever you’re from; let me tell you that the final peeing statue isn’t human: It’s canine. Yep, the last piece of this particularly bizarre puzzle is Zinneke Pis, the peeing pooch. And, he’s literally the best peeing dog I’ve ever seen. Even better than actual real peeing dogs. Het Zinneke, the beautiful bronze mongrel, has cocked his leg against a bollard at the corner of Rue des Charteux 35, next to the Halles Sant Gery, since 1998. Created by the same man responsible for Jeanneke, this doggo is the least popular and least well known of the trio and is located a little further out of the main city centre. He’s also the only one of the three that can be touched, which is obvious from the fact that his snout and tail have turned gold from all the pawing of interested passers by. It will surprise no one who knows me that Zinneke is my favourite from the three statues because he’s a dog. Little peeing boys and girls I can live without, but a peeing dog? I’m so here for that.
Have you visited the famous peeing statues in Brussels?