Palais de Justice

Palais de Justice (36)

If you are not amazed by the greatness of this building, then you must be extremely hard to impress. That is because, jokes notwithstanding, this building, which is currently the headquarters of the courts of justice, astounds everyone who visits it on account of its magnificent dimensions. To be more precise, it occupies an area of 26,000 m² and has a dome that rises to almost 98 metres, which makes it one of Europe’s largest buildings, larger even than Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

This colossal construction was commissioned by Leopold II, the most imperial of the Belgian kings, who contracted the architect Joseph Poelaert to undertake the task. Poelaert started work in 1866, inspired by the temples of Classical Antiquity. Regrettably, however, the architect never saw his work completed as he died from exhaustion in 1879, four years before the building was finished. This had an impact on the end result as Poelaert had planned to round off the construction with a great pyramid, an element that had very rarely been used since Egyptian times. However, after Poelaert’s death, the architect who took charge of the work decided, in its place, to erect the dome that can now be seen.

The building nonetheless exudes classicism and grandiosity throughout, and when it was first built became a symbol of the country’s industrial and cultural power.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website