The famous Manneken-Pis remains the emblem of the rebellious spirit of the City of Brussels. His wardrobe counts more than 900 suits.
Manneken-Pis was at first a fountain that played an essential role in the former distribution of drinking water since the 15th century. The system was well-known in all of Europe.
Towards the end of the 17th century, the statue became more and more important in the city life. It was also a survivor of the bombardment of Brussels in 1695. Manneken-Pis became a precious good and enjoys a ceaselessly growing glory.
During big events, we adorn him with luxurious clothes. We know that in the 18th century, Manneken-Pis was dressed at least 4 times a year. Since he lost his main function in the network of water conveyance of the City in the 19th century, Manneken-Pis gradually became an image and symbol of the Brussels folklore, the joy of the inhabitants and their capacity of self-mockery.
Manneken-Pis is dressed by an employee of the City. 23 dressings are planned on fixed dates and Manneken-Pis regularly receives new suits.
- Costumes of Manneken-Pis (database)
For every gift, an official demand must be sent to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. This demand is analyzed by a committee of members of the Friends of the Order of Manneken-Pis and the representatives of the City of Brussels.
New costumes cannot have an advertising, commercial, political or religious character. After the agreement of the Board, an official ceremony of delivery is organized and in certain occasions, Manneken-Pis thanks the people by producing beer or other beverages. The new suit joins the wardrobe in the Museum of the City of Brussels
The wardrobe of Manneken-Pis (at the Rue du Chêne 19) has more than 900 costumes: