The Jeanneke Pis:
Modern Art In Brussels

The Jeanneke Pis Fountain is found in Brussels, Belgium. It depicts a female child wearing pigtails and is squatting in order to relieve herself. She is seen as sitting back on her feet and gives the impression that she’s enjoying the moment. Similar to Manneken Pis, the Jeanneke Pis Fountain also has the ability to entertain and create a smile from its visitors.

The Jeanneke Pis Fountain was created by Denis Adrien Debouvire in 1985. It looks more modern compared to its sibling fountain, Manneken Pis. Jeanneke is a companion statue to the Manneken Pis Fountain which is located in Belgium and is the country’s national landmark. After it was first built in 1142, the Manneken Pis had been represented in several other versions since then.

One of the striking features of the Jeanneke Pis Fountain is its extremely small size. It stands only more than a meter and a half tall and is nestled at the rear of a dead end street in Brussels’ Rue de Bouchers area. Butcher’s Street, otherwise known as de Bouchers, is most popularly known for its wide array of European beers and wines which visitors can taste, enjoy and purchase. In fact, there are around 2,000 varieties of wine, beer, and vintage alcohols that are served near the fountain.

It is not known why Debouvire had created the Jeanneke Pis Fountain. When asked the reason why, he simply replied “out of loyalty” and gave no other further comment. Debouvire’s refusal had instantly led to the creation of a legend out of the Jeanneke Pis which became a must-see destination for locals and visitors alike. Many speculated that the Jeanneke Pis Fountain was created for the purpose of attracting more tourists to the Butcher Street area. The purpose actually worked. Still, other people insisted with a smirk that Jeanneke is a product of and pays homage to the women’s liberation movement. At present, Butcher Street and the Jeanneke Pis Fountain are one of the most frequented areas in Brussels which is second only to the Manneken Pis.

Even after 20 years of being constructed, the Jeanneke Pis Fountain has yet to be fully embraced by the city of Brussels. It was intentionally left out of the official tour guide by the government of Belgium. Regardless of whatever has inspired the building of Jeanneke, the fountain is no doubt a one of a kind structure and has yet to be reproduced anywhere else in the world. For now, a picture of the fountain can be found on postcards and several keepsake items that are sold all over the city. The Jeanneke Pis Fountain remains as a testament to Brussels’ laid back European appeal that continues to welcome visitors from around the world with its open arms and a friendly smile.