Who was Joseph Poelaert (1817-1879), the architect of the Palace of Justice? Why was he so obsessed with his profession that it upset him? He was so possessed that he did not complete his masterpiece – the largest building of the 19th century in Europe – himself. The ‘Schieven architek’, as the locals called him, was a true chameleon that could not confine himself to just one style.
The Palace of Justice is a neoclassical mastodont with Assyrian-Babylonian features. Poelaert regarded himself as an artist, a teacher and an ethical guide to bourgeois society. The entire Palace of Justice is bursting with references to independent justice in a 19th-century state where the separation of powers prevails.
Joseph Poelaert has calculated a great deal for this monumental building: heights, widths, number of steps, numbers and symbols are widely represented in the architecture and form the visible image of the invisible reality. Each number represents a certain quality and has a symbolic charge. The Palace of Justice thus became the most exemplary example of symbolism.
During this visit we dig into the past of ancient cultures and religions, and uncover the secrets of the largest monument of the 19th century. You will gain insight into the role of the palace in the functioning of justice and we will visit several courtrooms. You will discover the story of the architect, the architecture, the urban planning and the symbolism behind this monumental façade.
Note that the visit to the rooms will depend on the accessibility and availability at that given time.
Address ? Place Poelaertplein – 1000 Brussels
Duration ? 1h30min
During office hours: guided tours can start between 9.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m.
On the following Saturdays : 20/8 – 3/9 – 24/9 – 8/10 – 22/10 – 5/11 – 19/11 – 3/12 – 17/12/2022 at 14.00 p.m. or at 14.45 p.m.
Number of visitors? Max. 20 persons per group
During office hours
Schools: 100 Euro/group (the school must provide 2 supervisors per group)
Socio-cultural: 150 Euro/group
Other groups: 180 Euro/group
On Saturday (see above for the dates)
300 Euro/group (because of additional security costs)
Each participant is obliged to pass through security (scanns street)
Note that guided tours will be possible again (subject to change) from 20 April 2022 onwards