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  • Address: Place Poelaert
  • Hours: Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm. Closed weekends. Guided tours by written request only
  • Admission: Free

Brussels ATTRACTIONS See all

Palace of Justice (Palais de Justice)

The Palace of Justice is believed to be the largest building constructed in the 19th century. It’s covers 260,000 square feet (24,000 square meters) and dominates the Sablon area. 

It was built on an area known as Gallows Hill overlooking the working-class parts of the city. Around 3,000 houses were demolished to make way for the building that is larger than St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This angered locals and the word "architect" became a derogatory term.

The style of the imposing grey building is described as Assyro-Babylonian. It’s dominated by columns and a large glittering golden dome. The courts were commissioned by Leopold II and designed by Joseph Poelaert, and ended up costing 45 million Belgian francs to build.

Practical Info

The closest train station is Louise and the 92 tram, which travels past the Royal Palace, is also close by. Alternatively, there is a great glass elevator that will take you from Place Bruegel in the Marolles to Place Poelaert and also delivers great views of the city on the way.

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