The Palace of Justice or Supreme Court of Belgium is located in the upper area of the city, Saint Gilles, on the way to the Avenue Louise, in an area formerly known as Gallows Hill. This location gives a panoramic view of the city. The building was designed by architect Joseph Poelaert, who died 4 years before its completion in 1883. The style is described as eclectic, inspired mainly Assyrian-Babylonian
El Palacio de Justicia o Corte Suprema de Justicia de Bélgica está situado en la zona alta de la ciudad, en Saint Gilles, en el camino hacia la Avenue Louise, en una zona conocida anteriormente como Colina de la Horca. Esta ubicación le da una gran vista panorámica de la ciudad. El edificio fue diseñado por el arquitecto Joseph Poelaert, quien falleció 4 años antes de su finalización en 1883. El estilo es descrito como ecléctico, con inspiración principalmente asirio-babilónico.
Our hotel wasn't located too far from here and it is an incredibly grand building - just a shame it was half covered in scaffolding on our visit.
I am not too sure whether you can venture inside but it is certainly worth having a look at it from an architectural perspective (hopefully the scaffolding will be off soon)
You will also see that there are wonderful views across the city (assuming there is no fog!) a skip away from the Palais de Justice - worth a visit in its own rights!
The law courts of the Palais de Justice were commissioned by King Leopold ll. Constructed between 1866 - 83 and designed by the architect Joseph Poelaert who subsequently died from exhaustion. Designed intentionally to dwarf all other buildings in a mix of styles borrowed from nearly every period of Belgian architecture. Built on the site of the former gallows (well they do say Justice will follow through) the law courts became a symbol of Belguims industrial and colonial achievements. When we visited, the building was under massive restoration more or less obscuring all details with scaffolding. The spledid dome was restored so at least one picture shows the beauty of the courts.
Open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm closed July guided tours are by written request only admission free unless of course you happen to be on trial here!
The law courts were constructed in the late 1800's. The building dwarfs all the surrounding structures and was built with a multitude of architectural styles. It was built on the site of the former town gallows. It also contains a memorial to the missing children of Belgium, which can't help but give you the shivers, especially if you are a parent.
It was the largest building in the world when it was finished in 1883 and opened by King Leopold II, and I think it might still be the biggest in Europe. It totally dominates the cliff it is built on and that is precisely the point. Below the cliff you find 'les Marolles' which was the poor working-class area of Brussels. There people had to look up to the masters. Today, Marolles is an interesting mix of immigrants and yuppies and loads of interesting small shops but as you wander there, you're still in the shadow of the palace (see picture). A few years ago, during one of the worst pedofile scandals Europe has ever seen, the stairs to the main entrance were filled with flowers, teddy bears and pictures of the children and there is almost always some kind of note about some tragic case or other being dealt with within its huge stone walls. This picture is from before it was restored and got the cupola all gold plated - now it is even easier to spot all over town. If you want to see a smaller copy of it, head for Lima where they've built a replica.
As the facade was under repair when I visited it in december 2006, I couldn't fully appreciate the full glory of this building but got speechless when I entered it. The inside is so grand...I felt intimidated and did not take any pictures of the inside.
There is a postoffice on the right inside of the building. From there, have a look at the grand Graeco-Roman style staircases.
We were stunned at the size of the Palace of Justice, just how many criminals does Brussels have? Sitting atop a hill known as "gallows hill" where they executed people back in the middle ages, the Palace of Justice was a project of Leopold II and is purportedly larger than St. Peter's in Rome! It's placement overlooking the Marolles, the poorest neighborhood in Brussels, was intentional, a looming reminder of what fate had in store for you if you didn't behave.
The architect, Joseph Poelaert, died during it's construction and legend says that witchcraft played a hand in his death from the many Marolles residents evicted in order to buildthe massive law courts.
We passed by here on a Saturday when the building was closed, the guidebook says you can visit the interior for free on Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm (or 9am-11:30am and 1:30pm-3pm if you believe my other guidebook). You can take the glass elevator from Place Breugel to Place Poelaert and vice versa get a nice view over Brussels, also free.
The Palais de Justice was designed by Joseph Poelaert and built between 1866 and 1893 on the hill where the gallows stood in medieval times. Covering a larger area than St. Peter's in Rome, this building was that largest constructed in Brussels during the 19th century.
This massive building overlooks the entire city of Brussels. From here are some of the best panoramas of the city in all directions.
The huge "palace" was built in the late 1800s, and it certainly looks it... during my visit, much of the building was under construction and the rest of it needed some upkeep.... I seem to recall broken windows, graffiti, boarded up doors, and crumbling stone....
However, this is still the home of Belgium's highest courts, so a very powerful symbol.
This huge building certainly features heavily in Brussels' skyline as it can be seen from almost any vantage point in the city. It is built on the huge scale occupying an area larger than that of St Peter's Basilica in Rome, and was one of the world's most impressive 19th century buildings. It was built between 1866 and 1883 by architect Joseph Poelaert who looked for inspiration in classical temples, but sadly died mid-construction in 1879. The building is still home to the city's law courts. The building is currently (and has been for quite some time), being renovated.
"You musn't miss the Palace Of Justice." my buddy reminded me as he drove me around the city on my first evening around Brussels. "You'll get a great view", he again reminded me.
I hit Brussels on a Monday, depriving me of all the museums. (Damn, I really wanted to see Pieter Bruegel the Senior's collection). By the late afternoon, I was almost done with all the places I had wanted to see, so I heeded my buddy's advice.
The nearest tram stop was Louise though I made it on foot by navigating my way through the many alleys from the Cathedrale. There was a lift connecting one of the alleys which brought me several levels up to where the Palace is. From this spot, one could actually get a view of the city (free!), albeit at roof level. I could spy the Atomium in the distance.
The Palace Of Justice was built between 1860 and 1880 by Joseph Poelaert in Eclectic style. It is believed to be the biggest building constructed in the 19th century in the world. It is situated on top of a hill, which was called "gallows hill" in the Middle Ages. The dimensions of the palace are awesome: it is 105 m high and covers a total surface of 24.000 square meters. It dominates the view on the southern part of Brussels; at close distance, it even blocks out the sun.
The Palace alas like the Atomium was closed for renovation during the time I was in Brussels and many areas were not accessible. Still, it did little to take away the fact how staggering big the place is!
It still functions as the supreme court of law for Belgium today.
The Supreme Court of Brussels is a very large and imposing building. A friend who lives in the city told me that it symbolizes the strength and power of justice...it's meant to scare people into obeying the law! The interior of the building is just as grand as the exterior, with soaring arches and mosaic tiles. There are no tours of the building, but it is possible to listen in on some civil cases.
Beside the Supreme Court building is a lookout point. From here you can look over most of the city, and you can see all the way to Atomium.
The Law Courts (le Palais de Justice) is the largest monument in Europe, covering 26.000 m². It dominates the Sablon and Marolles neighbourhoods.
The building was erected on what is known as Gallows Hill, where Brussels' gallows once stood.
At the 4 corners of this amazing building, you can see the statues representing Justice, Clemency, Strength and Law. It took Joseph Poelaert 17 years (between 1866 and 1883) to make them.
The Palace of Justice is said by many to be the ugliest building in Europe. I disagree strongly, but then again I wasn't thrown out of my home to make space for the gigantic monster.
When it was built, many people were displaced to clear the site. It was built on a hill with a great view over what used to be one of the poorer areas of Brussels, so that people could always see it and be reminded of the presence and power of the law, always watching, watching!
It's architecture is inspired by greek temples and Egyptian tombs. The building itself is quite imposing and serious-looking, but fun to explore. You can go inside and sit under a huge dome, and hear all the footsteps and whispers of the people working there. The atmosphere is really something.
And seriously. The Palace of Justice looks and sounds like the headquarters of a league of superheros, don't you think?
This is one of those monstrous buildings that governments liked to build in the 19th century to impress the people and eachother, but it is supposedly the biggest. Architect Joseph Poelaert designed it, as many other buildings in this city. I cannot really say I like it for its beauty, but I recommend a visit anyway. It's on top of a hill and you have a great view over the city. An elevator will take you down to the Marollen neighbourhood.