It was love at first sight. The pure eyed beauty is justice. Her admirer is architect Joseph Poelaert. His love for the beauty was so great that he built an immense palace for her. In reality it’s a monster. As the expression goes, it’s the thought that counts.
We will never really know what the architect was thinking at the time. Driven by his project, he died suddenly of a stroke, four years before the inaugural ceremony.
Today, Belgians have a palace of justice that is sometimes called the behemoth. It’s the colossal size of the building that makes tourists stop and ponder, not its esthetics. The interior is so vast that it’s said that dozens of rooms are empty. The doors have been closed for a long time.
The palace of justice is still incomplete, but the behemoth is still alive. Each day, hundreds of lawyers and employees pass through its doors to preserve the pureness of justice. And that doesn’t include visitors.
There’s Ironside (an American TV series), the Iron Lady (Margaret Thatcher), the Iron Curtain, the Iron Gates (a gorge on the Danube). Real estate has now joined the club by offering us “the iron house.”
The “Casa de fierro” is in the middle of the jungle, in the streets of the city of Iquitos, Peru. The walls, ceilings and balcony are made of iron. Other metal alloys were also used.
The long veranda, which stretches along the entire façade, and numerous archways allow for better ventilation of the building, which is subject to the tropical heat. The Ulysses travel guide describes the house as a strange building. Hard to argue with that. The architecture is rather ordinary. It’s the iron that gives the building a special cachet.
Legend has it that the building is the first prefabricated house built in the Americas. How did it end up in the heart of the jungle? And where does it come from? The story is rather outlandish. Continue reading →
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