Palais de Justice picture
Francisco Anzola/Flickr

Key Info

Place Poelaert

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Sightseeing, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
4.0scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

As you might've guessed, the Palais de Justice houses the city's law courts and is considered to be Belgium's supreme court of law. This building was one of the largest construction projects of its time during the 19th century. Larger than St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the building sits atop Gallows Hill, providing panoramic views of the city.

Travelers are split on their thoughts of the Palais de Justice. Many admire how grand the structure is, but are disappointed by the lack of TLC given to the building's upkeep, with some visitors reporting graffiti, trash, holes, cracks and a mysterious black dust on many areas of building's exterior. Although the building needs work, some travelers say it's worth a trip to see the views it provides of the city, and recommend going at sunset with some Belgian cuisine in tow. 

Open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Palais de Justice is free to visit. You'll find it in Upper Town, off the Louise metro stop.

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More Best Things To Do in Brussels

Manneken Pis1 of 11
Grand-Place2 of 11
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#1 Manneken Pis

This little boy has put Brussels on the tourist map; people travel to this city from all over the world just to catch a glimpse of him urinating. The legend behind the Manneken Pis (which translates to little peeing man in Dutch) varies widely depending on who you ask. One popular story is of a little boy relieving himself on a witch's doorstep. Catching the boy in the act, the witch wished to punish him by turning him into stone, forcing him into that compromising position for eternity. A local, who witnessed the entire incident, ran to the boy and replaced him with a statue in the nick of time, making the boy miss the curse entirely. Another very popular story is that of a little boy stopping Brussels from meeting its demise. Enemy forces, intent on destroying Brussels, lit a small fire with the hopes it would spread and burn the city to the ground. A wandering little boy, who apparently really needed to go to the bathroom, saw the fire and put it out with his natural resources, thus saving the city. 

While the statue itself is of a child in the nude, he has been the recipient of about 800 different costumes, a tradition that began when Maximilian II Emanuel gave him a soldier's uniform in 1698. Since then Manneken Pis has been many things, including Santa and Elvis. Those interested in learning more about Manneken Pis should take a trip to the Museum of the City of Brussels, where more than 100 of his outfits are on display. The museum also has a digital archive of every single outfit that Manneken Pis has worn for visitors to view.

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