The Family that Pis Together...
The Mannekin Pis - Casey's favorite Belgian tourist attraction! Every time we go downtown, she needs to go see and and find out what he is wearing that day (if anything) since he owns over 750 costumes that have been donated to him since he first arrived on the Brussels scene in 1619! He can be anything from a King to Elvis. Today we finally went the the History of Brussels Museum at the Maison du Roi since there you can see his collection of clothing. Unfortunately, pictures are not allowed in the museum so we cannot show you some of the amazing things this kid can wear!
He was originally a source of drinking water for the residents of the area - a "tongue in cheek" look at the need for fresh clean water in the area. Many legends surround why he was made - a son of a duke peed on the street during a battle nearby among many others. Who actually knows??
We do know that in recent years, he has gained a family - a wife and a dog! They are much lesser know and don't get the millions of visitors a year that he does, but we decided that we must see them before we leave Brussels so our mission was to find them as there is not much information about them out there.
We learned online that his wife, Jeanneken Pis, is located a couple of blocks to the opposite side of the Grand Place from where he is - she is right in the middle of the mangle of tourist restaurants that sit just behind the Grand Place! We walked up and down that street a few times and had to ask directions twice before we finally found her -
She sits just down a small side street, just about 1/2 block from some of Brussels most famous restaurants! She's also behind these bars...
Amanda, Alex, and Casey are happy to have found her!
She was created in 1985 when a feminist group put up a fuss about having only a famous statue of a peeing boy - they insisted that one be added of peeing girl! So here we have the Jeanneken Pis, put in this spot in 1987. She's actually pretty cute!
And finally their dog - the Zinneken Pis! He's much harder to find information about - we have only seen anything about him in one of our books (called Secret Brussels!) and there is not much online either (at least in English). Our book gave his location, so off we went to find him. The 3 statues are located in 3 very different directions off the Grand Place! He's at the corner of rue des Chartreux and rue du Vieux Marche aux Grains if you want to find him.
Very cute little puppy - the kids were disappointed that all the other people who passed by him paid him no attention at all!
And then to more true Belgian experiences - lace shopping followed by a stop for waffles (ice cream for Casey)!
Waffles in the Grand Place
Alex didn't really have two - he's holding Sonya's while she takes the picture - but he did finish Amanda's for her and also had some of Casey's ice cream as well!
A fun touristy afternoon in our own city!