Marolles, Sablon- Palace of Justice, Petit Sablon, Place Louise

Marolles (Marollen in Flemish) is an old district situated in the South part of the city center. Here you find the impressive Palace of Justice at Poelaert, Avenue Louise that is famous for its upscale stores and in the nearby Sablon district, Place Petit Sablon with its small park and sculptures, right opposite the gothic church of Petit Sablon. Gare du Midi (Southern Station) and Tour du Midi, Brussels tallest building, are also situated in the vicinity.


Palace of Justice (Palais de Justice/Justitiepaleis) is the most important court building in Brussels and the largest building constructed in the 19th century. It is situated at Place Poelaert in the Marolles district, just south of the city center. It was built 1866-83 and was designed by the architect Joseph Poelaert in ecletical style, featuring neoclassicism elements, from an initiative by King Leopold I. The top of the dome has a height of 104m. In the end of WWII the golden dome collapsed and the building was badly damaged, and the latter years the building has fallen into disrepair for several years and is currently (2014) under renovation.

Palace of Justice is 160x150m in size, larger then St Peter's Church in Rome! The building has inspired the Palace of Justice in Lima, and according to a story also several monumental Nazi buildings drawn by Albert Speer.

Palace of Justice is really huge. It has 27 large court rooms and 245 small rooms.


The entrance hall beneath the dome

Looking upwards towards the dome from the entrance hall

Palace of Justice. It is a bit odd to see such beautiful interior, easily the most impressive of Brussels, has fallen into disrepar. There are even trash thrown everywhere and the marble columns and sculpture are not in as good contition as it might seem from a distance.


Palace of Justice

The high ceiling of Palace of Justice

Palace of Justice has 8 inner courtyards and cover a surface of 26 000 m².


Palace of Justice

Palace of Justice

Since the Palace of Justice is situated between the upper and lower part of the city, there is a height difference at 20m.


Place Poelaert with Palace of Justice

Palace of Justice

Place Poelaert (Poelaertplein) with the Infantry Memorial of Brussels, a memorial to the Belgian soldiers of the two world wars with a high column. From Place Poelaert there are great views of the lower parts of Brussels. Avenue Louise and Rue de Regence both ends at this square.


Infantry Memorial of Brussels, Place Poelaert

Place Poelaert was named after Joseph Poelaert, the architect of the Palais du Justice. Poelaert was impopular in the Marollen neighbourhood because many working class people had to leave their homes to make way for the Palace of Justice.

Infantry Memorial of Brussels   Infantry Memorial of Brussels    



The free panorama elevator that leads down to the lower part of the city. There is a skybridge that leads to the elevator. From this spot you have great views of Brussels; to the right you see the tallest skyscraper of Brussels, Tour du Midi.

Tour du Midi (Zuidertoren), Belgium's tallest building to the roof height (here seen from Place Poelaert). It was built 1962-67, has 38 floors and is 150m tall to the roof. Until 1972 it was also the tallest building in the EU (before it was surpassed by Tour Montparnasse in Paris). It was drawn by Michael Jaspers & Partners and is situated right next to Gare du Midi, the large railway station southwest of the city center. It was built for the national pensions services. In 1996 the exterior was modernised, and recladded with glass.

The National Basilica of Sacred Heart (Basilique Nationale du Sacré-Coeur) is a roman catholic art deco church on Koekelberg hill in the West outskirts of Brussels. It is one of the largest churches in the world. Unfortunately we had no opportunity to visit it. The coppar roof is 80m high. Work begun in 1905, but the church wasn't completed until 1970.


Rue de MinimesFinance Tower (far right) is taller then Tour du Midi if you count masts.

Tour du Midi, Belgium's tallest   The Hotel, formerly Hilton (30 floors, built 1967)   Dexia Tower (2006) and Sheraton

View from the skybridge   View from the skybridge   View towards Atomium

The Town Hall in the Old Town with modern buildings in the background


Skyline with churches and highrises. Chapel Church (left), Tour Sablon (middle), unknown church (right).The skybridge with the elevator to the Lower Town and Tour du Midi


SABLON DISTRICT - Rue de la Régence and Place du Petit Sablon:

Rue de la Régence goes between Place Royale and Place Poleart. Rekenhof/Cour des Comptes and to the right is Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique (Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts), a large art museum.


Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Arts (1875-81) is one of the word's largest art galleries.Rekenhof (Cour des Comptes), birthdplace of King Albert I,today the parliament's courthouse.

Rue de la Régence (Regentschapsstraat) has trams in the middle. View towards Pl. Royale.   Rue de la Régence   Vintage music store, Rue de la Régence

Rue de la Régence towards Palais du Justice with the gothic church Nôtre-Dame du Sablon to the right.   Female sculpture, Rue de la Régence   Towards Place du Grand Sablon

Bodenbroek, a picturesque street between Place du Petit and Grand Sablon   Rue de la Régence   Bikes to rent and a Ferrari

Nôtre-Dame du Sablon (Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon) is a gothic catholic church from the 15th century, situated at Rue de Régence, between Place du Petit Sablon and Place du Grand Sablon in the heart of the Sablon district.

Repetive sculptures at the entrance to Nôtre-Dame du Sablon   Nôtre-Dame du Sablon   Place du Petit Sablon/Nôtre-Dame

Place du Petit Sablon is a small square park in the middle of the Sablon neighbourhood, famous for its statues of 48 historical persons standing on pillars. It was inaugurated in 1890 and designed by Henri Beyaert.


Sculptures of counts Edgmont and Horne, Place du Petit Sablon. One of the 48 statues of Place du Petit Sablon.

Egmont Palace, today part of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affaris, lies right above Place du Petit Sablon.


Egmont Palace. Place du Petit Sablon.



Place Louise, the beginning of Avenue Louise (Louizalaan), a famous shopping street where you find upscale brand stores as Gucci, Chanel and Versace. You will also find landmarks, upscale restaurants and some skyscrapers along the avenue. Trams are trafficating the avenue.

Avenue Louise seen from Place Louise, situated south of the city center, near Palace of Justice. The avenue was commissioned in 1847 as a thouroughfare towards the forest Bois de la Cambre. A part of it pass the municipality of Ixelles. The Nazis had their headquarters here during the German occupation. In the background you see the Generali Tower, or Louise Tower (84m, built 1966).


Place Louise, the busy intersection Av. Louise/Blvd. de Waterloo. There are many sights along Av.Louise that are not are not featured here.Av. Louise, somewhere between Place Poalaert and Place Louise.

Place Louise metro station. Some stations and also trains are a bit rundown but there are also more modern ones (2014).