Sunday, February 24, 2008

A VISIT TO MANNEKEN PIS

Another of Brussels symbols besides the Atomium and the Grand' Place is Maneken Pis, Little Man Pee (here you can read everything about him). On many occasions the statue is dressed in a costume and I had been told that last week Manneken Pis would be dressed up as Elvis ! I hadn't seen him since a long time and thought it would be worthwhile to take some pictures of him as Elvis.

 

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When I arrived in the street leading to the little statue, I noticed a new statue I had never seen before, the painter Vincent van Gogh. In the middle of the week and at 10 am the street was quite empty, usually you can hardly walk in there, so many tourists are visiting the little man.

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All along the street on both sides there are souvenir shops



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and of course most of them are selling Manneken Pis. A real sale's record is made with Manneken Pis as bottle screw, but also as bottle opener, and as a fountain.

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There are Cafés around in honor of Manneken Pis where you can drink the famous Belgian beers.
But before arriving there most of the tourists are looking around and asking themselves : But where is Manneken Pis ? They even ask each other and then suddenly somebody exclaims






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Here he is !! Here in the corner ! and then comes the big disappointment. Manneken Pis is very, very
small. But after the disappointment people start to laugh and tell each other how they had imagined a big statue, a sort of big fountain with a boy peeing on people. But no, it just has the size of a big doll. In the past of course Manneken Pis has been "kidnapped" or stolen several times although he is now very well secured, but each time it didn't last very long and he showed up again. Manneken Pis is so famous, he is unsaleable !






































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On official pictures you see him usually like this. I also took a picture from very close, cropped it and the result is that he looks like a 3 year old little boy.

There were a french and an english couple there and of course we chatted together and they laughed about the fact that everybody had expected a life sized boy. With that I had almost forgotten that I was here to see him dressed up as Elvis and he wasn't, so I asked a shop owner what happened and he told me that I was one week late ! So I decided to go to the Museum where all costumes of Manneken Pis are kept. There are around 650 offered from all countries over the world !

Maison du Roi
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The costumes are shown on the Grand'Place at the "Maison du Roi" (King's House) from the 15th century. It has become a Museum in 1887. It contains tapestries and Gobelins, works of Breughel and Rubens etc. Sorry for the bad quality of the pictures but taking photos was not allowed so I did them without flash, hiding and a very innocent face !

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The architecture inside is really beautiful.

The Museum has 3 floors. The first one contains an art collection, the second the history of Brussels and Belgium in models of the old city, paintings and sculptures.


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This Gobelin hangs in the staircase 




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And on the third floor you find the Manneken Pis costumes stored in rows and rows of these shelves. I think he is the only boy in the world who has so many clothes !

And here are some other costumes

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About Me

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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