The Law Courts of Brussels Audio Tours

The Palace of Justice of Brussels (French: Palais de Justice de Bruxelles, Dutch: Justitiepaleis van Brussel ) or Law Courts of Brussels is a courthouse in Brussels, Belgium. It is the most important court building in Belgium, seat of the judicial arrondissement of Brussels, as well as of several courts and tribunals, including the Court of Cassation (Belgian supreme court), the Court of Assizes (highest criminal court), the Court of Appeal of Brussels (appellate court), the Tribunal of First Instance of Brussels (general jurisdiction), and the Bar Association of Brussels. Designed by the architect Joseph Poelaert, in an eclectic style of Greco-Roman inspiration, to replace an older courthouse, the current building was erected between 1866 and 1883. With a ground surface of 26,006 m2 (279,930 sq ft), the edifice is reputed to be the largest constructed in the 19th century and remains one of the largest of its kind. The total cost of the construction, land, and furnishings was somewhere in the region of 50 million Belgian francs. The building suffered heavy damage during World War II, when the cupola was destroyed, and later rebuilt higher than the original. The whole structure has been under renovation since 1984. The Palace of Justice is located on the Place Poelaert/Poelaertplein in the Marolles/Marollen district (southern part of Brussels' city centre). A notable landmark of Brussels, this site is served by Louise/Louiza metro station (on lines 2 and 6 of the Brussels Metro), as well as the homonymous tram stop (on lines 8 and 92). From the lower part of town, it is also possible to take public elevators, called the Poelaert Elevators, to access it.