There is a lot to do about the history of this littlestatue.There are
several legends about this. For this look under the de site of the
Officially HiŽronymus Duquesnoy the old made the original of this
statue in 1619. In fact he got his insiration from oldere statues. Originally it stood
on a pedestal of 6 foot high. During the bombardements of Bruxelles in 1695 by the sun
king Louis XIV, the little statue was taken from his pedestal to protect the little man
from the shootings.
In 1745 the statue was stolen by the english soldiers. The inhabitants of
Geeraardsbergen could take it back from the soldiers. After exposing it on their Great
Place, it was given back to the bruxellars.
A little later, in 1747 it was even stolen twice bij french soldiers. The second
time there were troubles in Bruxelles and a masacre was hardly avoided.Ling Louis XV
had the soldiers punished for their wantonnes. In order to put the Bruasslars back in a
good mood he gave the little Manneken a beautiful outfit embroided with gold, a
feathered hood and a sword. Manneken Pis was knighted it to the nobility to the order
of Saint Louis. This meant that the French had to salute the statue passing by...
The statue became aclassicistic, belgian
limestone niche in 1770 to replace the podest.
Still the original statue did not last till now : in 1817 it was stolen and broken
by a recently liberated hard labour. With help of fragments a new mould was vreated.
With this a new Manneken Pis was moulded and exposed again on 6 december 1818.
The statue has several outfits. Its first outfit was given by Maximiliaan-Emmanuel
of Beieren, which was councelar-general of the Netherlands from 1692 until 1714. He
participated at a feast for the arquebuses shooters in 1698. He was able to shoot the
upper jay and was elected to king of the gild. The happy Maximilian donated al the
brothers of the guild an outfit of blue cloth of Beieren and gave one to Manneken Pis.
At the moment its garderobe exist of 600 outfits, they are stored in the house of the
king or in the Museum of the Town. Manneken Pis received his first outfit 1 may 1698.
The governor of the Austrian Netherlands gave the outfit at the occasion of a fest
organised by a Brussels guild. Manneken Pis still receieves often outfits. As thanks
he gives the donators a barrel of beer that is connected directly to the little statue.
Special outfits are that as Elvis Presley or Mickey Mouse .
There are many histories about Manneken Pis. According to one of the legends a
little boy urinated against a door of a witch living at the polace where the fountain
stays at this moment. The witch was so cross that she changed the boy into a statue. An
other legend tells that a man had lost his son. He found the boy after two days, nearby
the place where the statue can be admired today. When the father saw the child, it was
urinating. As a sign of freedom, the father had made a fountain with a urinating little
In Geraardsbergen they assure that they were the first ones to have a Manneken Pis.
Fact is that they have a Manneken Pis since 1459. According to the
Brussels Archives a little statue stood in 1452 on the corner of the Stovestreet and
the Oakstreet. This statue was called 'Juliaensken Borre' (= in fact fountain of the
little Juliaan). In common language it was often called 'Manneken-Pis' ,because of its
special form. The common denomination had the priority above the official
nomination,which is not to be found after after 1668 . This first statue was made of
(With thanks to Bas van Iersel about the garderobe and the legends!)
'Interestingly useful info'