- Type: Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
- Time to Spend: Less than 1 hour
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This comically sculpted little boy has put Brussels on the tourist map; people travel to this city from all over the world just to catch a glimpse of him urinating from on high. The legend behind the Manneken Pis varies depending on who you ask: some say he illustrates Belgian sentiments toward authorities, especially those in charge of occupying forces. Others claim he memorializes a young boy who took it upon himself to put out a fire with natural resources.
While the statue itself is of a child in the nude, he has been the recipient of more than 500 different costumes, a tradition that began when King Louis XV of France presented the Manneken Pis with his first gold-embroidered suit in 1698. Other stylists include John Malkovich and Dennis Hopper.
There is always a reason to return to the Manneken Pis -- who is mounted just a few blocks south of the Grand-Place -- whether it's to see what he's wearing or to watch him spout wine or beer (which happens several days each year). A female version of the fountain -- the Jeanneke Pis -- can be found nearby on rue des Bouchers.