The Antwerp Courthouse, nicknamed “the butterfly palace”, is a building in the south of Antwerp, near the Bolivarplaats. It was designed by the British modernist architect Richard Rogers, who is also the creative brain behind famous buildings as the Centre Pompidou (Paris) and the Millennium Dome (London). The Palace of Justice in Antwerp is commonly considered to be one of Belgium’s 21st century architectural highlights.
The courthouse building consists of 6 immense 4 storey-wings, entirely constructed in glass. A major point of recognition are the building’s 6 “tops”, which are situated right above the main courthouses. The Palace of Justice is housing the following departments:
- Court of First Instance
- Crown Prosecutor’s Office
- Labor Court
- Commercial Court
- Police Court
- District Court
- Bar Association
The Court of Appeal and the Labor Court are still housed in the old Palace of Justice at the Waalse Kaai. The Court of Assize is located in the courthouse at the Britselei.
The Palace of Justice was inaugurated on 28 March 2006 by King Albert, Minister of Justice Laurette Onkelinx, Minister of Finance Didier Reynders, governor Camille Paulus and mayor Patrick Janssens.
If you want to make a guided tour through this magnificent “glass house” building, you can make an appointment with Mrs Annick Van De Velden, tel +32 03/257.80.20