Monday, August 16, 2010

Manneken Pis

Some cities have mascots or a landmark that everyone associates with the city.  New York has the Statue of Liberty, DC has its monuments, San Francisco the Golden Gate bridge, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, and Brussels, Brussels has the Manneken Pis (roughly translated - peeing little man).
you can see the bills of a couple of baseball
caps at the bottom of this photo
to give you an idea of his height

He has been in the city for centuries now and he is little.  He's only about 12 inches high, so the city has made this elaborate niche for him and installed him high enough that he can be seen over the heads of mobs of tourists.  He even has security cameras watching him.

He has a wardrobe of over 800 outfits and is dressed with great ceremony three or four times a month.  About 100 of his outfits are displayed at the Brussels City Museum.

If you want to find international tourists in Brussels this is the place to be.  There are mobs of them.  In this small square is where we have heard the most English (other than on base) since our arrival.

Manneken Pis is a mascot.  In all the tacky tourist shops you can find the assorted souvenirs.  Manneken Pis postcards, shot glasses, magnets (with a thermometers!) and corkscrews.  Guess which part of the anatomy has been transformed into the corkscrew.  At the time of our visit, Brussels was having a music festival so we saw print ads of the Manneken Pis with a guitar .  He is truly everywhere.

Here he is a little closer up.

I've been having difficulty with my links lately, so I'll just give you the web address if you'd like to learn a bit more about this little guy -

1 comment:

  1. This little guy with all his outfits reminds me of a goose that used to live in the big window of the house of the lady at the end of my street. She used to dress him in different outfits every month for special occasions, holidays, the seasons and such. I think I would very much like to have a Manneken Pis corkscrew such as you describe!