- (Rue de L'Étuve, corner of Rue du Chêne)The manneken ("little man") has been an enduring symbol of Brussels since the original statuette was crafted in bronze by Jérôme Duquesnoy the Elder in 1619. A fountain existed on the site since the 15th century called "Little Julian" (Juliankensborre). Consequently, Manneken-Pis is also known as "Little Julian" (petit Julien, Juliaanske).The little statue was removed from its pedestal during the bombardment of 1695 and returned on 19 August. It has been stolen repeatedly, notably by English and French soldiers in the 18th century and, in 1817, by one Antoine Licas, a former convict who smashed it after absconding with it. A mold was made from the fragments, making the current Manneken-Pis a replica.Dubbed the "oldest citizen of Brussels" the little lad relieving himself symbolizes the cheekiness yet charm, lack of prudery yet grace of Brabant and its capital. Theories abound as to the origin of the pose. The custom of presenting this mascot of Brussels with a suit of clothes dates to a gift bestowed by Governor Maximilian II Emmanuel of Bavaria during festivities held by crossbowmen on 1 May 1698. Selections from his sizable wardrobe are displayed at the Museum of the City of Brussels.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.