As of Saturday 9 April 2022, everyone will once again be able to discover the Palais de Justice, its history and exceptional architecture of this mythical building. The federal government, the government of Brussels and the Court of Cassation are joining forces for this purpose, making it possible for Brusselers and visitors to discover one of the capital’s most famous and mysterious buildings.
Visiting the Brussels Law Courts was previously only possible for a limited number of groups of 20 people who signed up together. The past two years, these visits were suspended due to the pandemic.
For many Belgians and people in Brussels, there is something mysterious about the Law Courts and foreign visitors stand in awe upon discovering the size, the architecture and the location of this majestic building. It is one of the most photographed places in Brussels, along with the adjacent Place Poelaert, offering magnificent views over the city.
The request to make the Law Courts more accessible to visitors was not new. Over the course of the past year, Pascal Smet, Brussels State Secretary for Urbanism and Heritage took, on a political level, along with the Court of Cassation, the initiative to bring everyone around the table. The Belgian Buildings Agency and the State Secretary in charge of it immediately went along with the story. The Belgian Buildings Agency devised the convention with the practical arrangements. Today, this results in a beautiful collaboration, bringing together the Belgian Buildings Agency, the FPS Justice, the Court of Cassation and the Brussels-Capital Region (via urban.brussels and visit.brussels).
“Palais de Justice is part of our collective heritage, although not many people have visited its interior. Let’s change that! In addition to protecting and renovating our heritage, opening iconic buildings is a cornerstone of my heritage policy. That is why I took the initiative to gather everyone involved so that from now on all Brusselers and visitors can discover this landmark”Pascal Smet, Brussels State Secretary for Urbanism and Heritage.
Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Brussels Region says: “I am pleased that the general public will be able to rediscover the history and the exceptional spaces of the Law Courts. This gem has been kept hidden for the last two years but will now be accessible again to the public. Everyone knows this emblematic building of Brussels, but only few have ever gone inside. I therefore recommend you climb the stairs to discover this gem of Joseph Poelaert and the view over Brussels from the square that bears his name.”
Thanks to the cooperation between the different levels of policy, individual visitors can from now on also join every Wednesday and Saturday a guided tour led by the guide associations Korei Guided Tours and Arkadia.
An impressive building
With a total net surface of approximately 80,000 m², the Law Courts of Brussels is one of the largest courthouses in the world and defines the skyline of our capital. The imposing building is a part of our heritage and still manages to impress passers-by. The massive dome of 24,000 tons and 142 meters high is and remains an eye-catcher. The impressive reception area, the Salle des Pas Perdus, is approximately 3,600 m² with a compass rose with sixteen ray marks in the center.
Many people from Belgium and abroad would be only too happy to discover the intriguing history and exceptional architecture of the Palais de Justice. The pandemic outbreak made this no longer possible. As of Saturday 9 April 2022, guided tours will be taking place again in the building. It is now even possible to register individually for a guided visit with an expert guide. An initiative that will undoubtedly appeal to a wide audience. The Brussels-Capital Region commits a sum of 30,000 euros through Urban to carry out the guided tours.
Korei Guided Tours provides the guided tours in Dutch and English. Arkadia covers the guided tours in French. A visit lasts approximately 1 hour and a half and a visitors group is limited to a maximum of 25 people. The guided tours with individual registration take place every Wednesday (afternoon) and Saturday (afternoon) as of 9 April 2022.
The following rates are applicable:
Adults 13 euros
Under the age of 26 – 10 euros
Adults 16 euros
Under the age of 26 – 12 euros
Guided tours for groups are possible every workday between 10 a.m. and 4.45 p.m., with a maximum of 20 people per group.
The following rates are applicable for:
- schools: 100 euros per guided tour;
- non-profit organisations: 150 euros per group;
- profit-organisations: 180 euros per group.
Registration for a group visit is mandatory via e-mail to email@example.com (French) or firstname.lastname@example.org (Dutch and English)