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Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is the home of numerous historic buildings and monuments that date back several centuries. One of this city's most famous historic statues is the Manneken Pis. It depicts a boy — standing atop an ornate fountain — who creates the flow of water into the fountain when he urinates. Jeanneke Pis is a modern statue of a urinating girl — a female counterpoint to the Manneken Pis.
Brussels' Grand Place is a large square that dominates the center of the city. Within the square, visitors find 17th century buildings and monuments. Manneken Pis was erected here during the 15th century. He stands on a street between the Brussels Town Hall and the entrance to the Grand Place.
The more modern statue, Jeanneke Pis, was erected in Brussels in 1987. It is on a little traveled street, Impasse de la Fidelitie, nearly opposite the statue of Manneken Pis. While Manneken Pis was originally a functional part of Brussels' water delivery system, Jeanneke Pis is purely a work of art.
She stands at the end of the Rue des Bouchers. This street is a major location for Brussels restaurants that cater to locals and tourists. Depending on one's choice of restaurants and tables, one can enjoy the statue and a meal at the same time.
The small statue depicts a female child with pigtails. She is squatting in a position that suggests she is relieving herself. Like Manneken Pis, she wears no garments. The legend that has grown up around her suggests that anyone who puts coins in her fountain will have a wish granted.
Artist Denis Adrien Debouvrie created Jeanneke Pis. He received a commission to construct the statue to pay homage to loyalty. The statue that he started work on in 1985 has a fountain with water that flows into it from the little girl's symbolic flow of urine. The limestone that he used has a bluish-gray tint. Manneken Pis, by contrast, was cast in bronze.
The statue is in a public location, so visitors do not pay fees to see it. The park housing Jeanneke Pis has a heavy wrought iron fence that obscures viewing should one arrive after the park closes. One can use Brussels' public transportation to reach the statue. The closest train station is De Brouckere. From there one can take one of the five Brussels trams that deposit visitors close enough to walk to the statue.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Jeanneke Pis and where is it located?
The Jeanneke Pis is a small bronze sculpture in Brussels, Belgium, depicting a little girl squatting and urinating. It was created by sculptor Denis-Adrien Debouvrie in 1987 and is situated in an alley near Rue des Bouchers. This statue is often considered the female counterpart to the famous Manneken Pis, a similar sculpture of a urinating boy that has become an iconic symbol of Brussels.
What is the significance of the Jeanneke Pis?
While the Jeanneke Pis does not have the historical significance of the Manneken Pis, it has become a symbol of gender equality and a modern tourist attraction. The statue is also said to represent the irreverent and humorous spirit of the city of Brussels, much like its male counterpart. It adds to the city's rich tradition of quirky and endearing public art.
Can visitors access the Jeanneke Pis easily?
Yes, visitors can easily access the Jeanneke Pis. It is located in a public alley just off the Rue des Bouchers, a well-known street filled with restaurants in the heart of Brussels. The statue is behind a locked iron gate, but it is visible from the street, and the area is accessible to pedestrians at any time.
Is there a best time to visit the Jeanneke Pis?
As an outdoor sculpture, the Jeanneke Pis can be visited at any time. However, the area may be less crowded during the morning or on weekdays, providing a better opportunity for viewing and taking photographs. Evening visits can be charming as well, with the statue and surrounding area often illuminated.
Are there any special traditions or events associated with the Jeanneke Pis?
While the Jeanneke Pis does not have as many traditions as the Manneken Pis, which is often dressed in costumes for various occasions, it has been embraced by the local community. Visitors sometimes throw coins into the fountain basin for good luck, similar to other wish-granting fountains around the world. However, there are no specific events centered around the Jeanneke Pis as it is a relatively newer addition to Brussels' landmarks.