Palais de Justice

Large and in charge

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This huge edifice dominates the skyline between Place Louise and The Sablon and looms large from its elevated position over the Marolles neighborhood. The palace was built between 1860 and 1880 by Joseph Poelaert.

Measuring 105 m (344 feet) high with a total surface area of 24,000 square metres or roughly 258,000 square feet, this was considered the biggest building in the world when it was constructed in the 19th century. To give you an idea of how huge it is, Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City measures 4,000 square metres less than this behemoth. The building still functions as the supreme court of law for Belgium and is still reputed to be the biggest law court in the world.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the palace these days is the ongoing squabble about the scaffolding. Renovations on the massive dome began in 2003 but the company who erected the scaffolding went bankrupt and now the scaffold needs replacing, yet nobody can agree who should pay for it. So there it stays.

There is an elevator that drops down from the square in front of the building (Place Poelaert) into the Marolles district.

Metro stop: Louise


At A Glance

Place Poelaert 1
Brussels 1000
02 508 64 10
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