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Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis is a statue in the streets of Brussels, depicting a nude little boy urinating. A similar statue can be found in the city of Geraardsbergen.

There are several legends behind this statue, but the most famous is the one about Duke Godfried II of Brabant. In 1142, the troops of this two-year-old lord were battling against the troops of the Berthouts, the lords of Grimbergen, in Ransbeke (currently Neder-over-Heembeek) . The troops put the little boy in a basket and hung it in a tree, to encourage them. From there, he urinated on the troops of the Berthouts, who eventually lost the battle.

Another legend goes like this: in (when), Brussels was under siege by a foreign power (which?). The city had held their ground for quite some time. The attackers had thought of a plan to place explosive charges (where?). A little boy from Brussels happened to be spying on them as they were preparing. He urinated on the burning fuse and thus saved the city.

There was already a statue made of stone in the middle of the 15th century. In 1619 it was replaced by a bronze statue, created by Jeroom Duquesnoy. The statue was stolen several times.

On special occasions the statue is dressed in a costume. His wardrobe now consists of several hundreds of different costumes.

According to an article posted in the History section of www.manneken-pis.com, the statue once was used to dispense liquor.



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