A Funny Folk Figure of Leuven

Paep Thoon (Leuven, 15th century) was a folk figure in Leuven, in the Burgundian Netherlands during the Middle Ages. Numerous stories circulated about him. His real name was Anthoon vander Phalizen or, in Latin, Antonius Phalesius. The name Paep refers to the fact that he was a priestly child; the name Thoon refers to his first name Anthoon.

Thoon was a natural child of Jan vander Phalizen, pastor of the Sint-Pieterskerk in Leuven. Thoon lived in the 15th century; the only known date is the year 1434 in which his father gave him an annual interest. Thoon may have been hunchbacked. Thoon was an organist and carillonneur in St. Peter's Church.

He became known for the pranks he played in the city. When things got too bad, a judge in Leuven sentenced him to exile in Liège. Thoon was never allowed to set foot on Leuven ground.

Thoon returned to Leuven with a horse and cart. His shoes were covered in mud from Liège and he asked the city guard to let him in through the gate. This led to a crowd flow. The judge was called in. Thoon shouted out loud that with the mud from Liège on his shoes he did not set foot on Leuven ground. The spectacle ended that the judge admitted. Thoon also lived in Leuven as a jester. No one knows where he was buried.

Location is on the bridge in Brusselsstraat.

(Source: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paep_Thoon), photo by Aslı Tezcan 

Statues in Leuven