The Palace of Justice of Brussels is the most important courthouse in Belgium. It was built between 1866 and 1883 according to the plans of the architect Joseph Poelaert in the style of eclecticism in the Belgian capital of Brussels and was the largest palace of law in the 19th century.
The monumental building measures 160x150 meters in plan; the imposing dome rises to a height of around 100 meters, giving the building a total height of around 116 meters. From distance, this impression is reinforced by its location on a hill.After the dome was set on fire on 3 September 1944 by German occupiers, it had to be rebuilt after the war. The shape has been slightly changed and the dome has since been 2.5 meters higher than before.
Today, the Brussels Palace of Justice is ailing and is since long known as a problem building. The dome and other parts of the building have been covered by scaffolding for years. Many halls are no longer usable due to structural damage, several judicial departments have left the building and have moved into new buildings. In 2017, the building was also closed to visitors. Its preservation as a Belgian national symbol is politically controversial. It is questionable whether the Palace of Justice will find its way back to its former splendor.
Image rights:Musée Albert-Kahn/Département des Hauts-de-Seine, Collection Archives de la Planète, n° d’inventaire: A 71 491