The eclectic Palais de Justice was built on an area known as Gallows Hill (as criminals were routinely hanged here during the middle ages). Around 3,000 houses were demolished to make way for the building that is larger than St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, spanning around 260,000 square feet (24,000 square meters). Most Brussels sightseeing tours at least pass by or make a stop in front of the building.
Things to know before you go
- The Palais de Justice is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in architecture.
- Most tours only visit the exterior of the building.
- Admission to the Palais de Justice is free.
How to get there
The closest train station is Louise and tram number 92, which travels past the Royal Palace, also stops nearby. Alternatively, there’s 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.
When to get there
The interiors of the Palais de Justice are open Monday through Friday during the daytime, except for on public holidays. It's worth visiting pretty much any time of day, but if you want a photo of the gargantuan structure that doesn't include throngs of tourists, it's best to visit at the crack of dawn, when crowds are few.
The Crooked Architect
With the construction of the Palais de Justice came lots of displacement, and around 3,000 homes in the working-class Maroles neighborhood were razed to make room for the gargantuan construction. Poelaert was soon dubbed De Skieven Architek, which means “crooked architect,” likely a corruption of the Flemish term for “chief architect
- Things to do in Zaventem
- Things to do in Bruges
- Things to do in Lille
- Things to do in Dordrecht
- Things to do in Rotterdam
- Things to do in Amsterdam
- Things to do in Luxembourg City
- Things to do in Marne-la-Vallée
- Things to do in Paris
- Things to do in Leeuwarden
- Things to do in Stansted Mountfitchet
- Things to do in Horley
- Things to do in Flanders
- Things to do in South Holland
- Things to do in Nord-Pas de Calais
- Grand Sablon Square (Place du Grand Sablon)
- Halle Gate (Porte de Hal)
- Sablon District
- Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
- Museum of the Turn of the Century (Musée Fin-de-Siècle)
- Magritte Museum (Musée Magritte)
- Musical Instruments Museum
- Manneken Pis
- Coudenberg (Former Palace of Brussels)
- BELvue Museum
- Choco-Story Brussels: The Chocolate Museum
- Brussels Royal Palace (Palais Royal de Bruxelles)
- Hard Rock Cafe Brussels
- MOOF Museum
- Brussels Town Hall (Hotel de Ville)