"Visit the Monuments of Poelaert Place" Art & Architecture Tip by DanielF

Art & Architecture, Brussels: 69 reviews and 177 photos

Poelaert Place bears the name of the architect who designed the Court House and is the largest square in Brussels.

Josef Poelaert was one of the most important Belgian architects in the XIX century, having designed not only the Court House (that he could not see completed), but also the Column of the Congress, the churches of Saint Catherine and Our Lady of Laeken and the renovation of the Mint Theatre. He is considered to be the main representative of the Belgian Ecclecticism and paid far more attention to the artistic facets of his work than to the technical aspects.

Mr Poelaert was also a controversial figure and his megalomany brought him uncountable adversaries. Particularly in the popular and traditional district of the Marolles. In fact, the construction of the Court House required that several houses be destroyed and the families relocated to other parts of the city. The inhabitants of this neighborhood attained such a degree of aversion towards him that, even today, the words skieven architek or simply architek are among the worst insults in the local Brusselaar lingo.

Rather than with a statue remembering Mr Poelaert, the square is adorned with different war memorials and patriotic monuments.

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

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  • Updated May 15, 2008
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