The Manneken Pis is a bronze fountain statuette of a small boy un-selfconsciously urinating, located not too far from the Brussels Grand Place
. He is said to represent the mischievious and fun-loving spirit of Brussels, and is the city's most famous icon, recognized throughout the world. It is traditional to dress up the Manneken in outfits, and over the centuries, he has accumulated a wardrobe of over 600 costumes, many of which are on display in the Brussels City Museum
, located in the Maison du Roi on the Brussels Grand Place
The Manneken was sculpted by Jerome Duquesnoy in 1619. Numerous urban legends are associated with the statue, including the bizarre assertion that he was supposed to be extinguishing a fuse on a bomb about to destroy Brussels' town hall, but the Manneken was originally just a decorative piece atop a fountain. Many visitors are struck by how much smaller the Manneken appears than they had imagined -- he is full-scale, but only a little boy, after all.