"Feel overwhelmed by the Court House" Art & Architecture Tip by DanielF

Art & Architecture, Brussels: 69 reviews and 177 photos

Despite Poelaert Place being a large explanade, you need to go much further to get an idea of how bulky and tall this building is (its dome reaches almost 100 metres). Actually, only from the bird-eye perspective can you fully appreciate the majesty of this titanic construction.

It was built in the late XIX century in an ecclectic style by the architect Joseph Poelaert on top of a hill known as Mont des Potences, with commanding views of the city. At the time when it was built, it was the largest building in the world, surpassing even the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome. Even today, it remains one of the largest stone structures in the planet. Not that the judicial system of Belgium needed such a colossal Court House. It was just the result of both the megalomania of the King and his architect and the wish to erect a symbol of the vitality of the young Belgian State.

The building has obviously known better days. Today, it is blackened by time and rather crumbling. The dome has been covered by scaffolding for many years with apparently very little progress. Now, even the main façade is being cleaned up.

Address: Many to be found in Brussels
Directions: Located throughout the city.

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  • Updated Feb 22, 2007
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