Palais De Justice

Larger than St Peter's in Rome, this colossal law court (Map pp76-7; @ 02 508 64 10; Place Poelaert; metro Louise; admission free; S 8am-5pm Mon-Fri) was one of Leopold II's most stupendous projects. It was purposely sited on a hill above the working-class Marolles as a symbol of law and order. Its design, intended to evoke the temples of the Egyptian Pharaohs, is equally intimidating. The building was created by the architect Joseph Poelaert, who died during its construction in 1879; legend has it he was struck by illness brought on by witchcraft attributed to the many Marolles residents evicted to make way for the building.

The nearby viewing platform offers a vista of northern Brussels, and here too is the glass elevator that connects Place Poelaert with the Marolles' Place Breugel.

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