postcard of manneken pis in many costumes

Want a good laugh while in Belgium’s Capitol? Head straight to the historic district of the city, have a beer and then begin your hunt for the three statues that have captured the real-life look of a dog, boy, and little girl while urinating!

Read on to learn more about the history of each of these darling statues that add to the ever growing character of Brussels!

Manneken Pis

mannekin pis urinating in a costume

Standing in his naked glory, most days of the week, is a two-foot statue of a little boy urinating into a fountain! And, if it weren’t for the hoards of people crowded around the inconspicuous fountain you would walk right past him and never know he was there.

There are many myths about the original statue which appeared in 1388 but my favorite version is that a wealthy merchant lost his son and when the boy was finally found, he was unzipped and relieving himself on the street corner. Out of gratitude to the city’s residents who helped search for the boy, the merchant built a fountain and erected a statue of the boy.

The original statue is broken but viewable at the Maison du Roi.  To see his clothes, some dating back to the 17th century, take a walk to the GardeRobe.

Het Zinneke

zinneken pis statue

Het Zinneke is the perfect addition to the playful statues positioned throughout the heart of Brussels.

Designed by Frantzen and erected in 1998, the dog was erected next to a street barrier.  He is perfectly accessible to the public to mock the lifted leg and in his nearly 20 years in place, he has only been damaged once when struck by a car.

To find the happy little street dog, head to Rue des Chartreux 35.

Jeanneke Pis

Jeanneken Pis Statue

Where would Manneken be if he didn’t have a female counterpart? Tucked away on a small alley across from Delirium and next to Floris Absinthe Bar is a 19inch girl happily squatting.

Above a small basin, the smiling statue has been relieving herself since 1987. Sadly she has been imprisoned behind bars to protect her from vandals.

To find the sweet little pigtail pee’er, ask any local to point you in the direction of Delirium which sits North of the Grand-Place or enter the following address into your map: Impasse de la Fidelite 10-12.

To Learn More

Click the names below to be taken to the websites created for each of the statues.

If you want to combine the hunt for the peeing statues with beer, chocolate, mussels and waffels, book a food tour with Global Enterprises Tours.  They have group departures as well but for a more private experience, you can pay 250 euro for two people.  It’s a great way to learn the history of the city, taste the best foods and get in some good laughs!

Gallery of Brussels