It was inaugurated on 17 December 1969 as a premetro station (i.e., with tramways instead of metros), part of the first underground public transport route in Belgium, then going from De Brouckère to Schuman. In 1976, this premetro line was converted into a heavy metro line that was later split into two distinct lines in 1982: lines 1A and 1B, both of which serve Maelbeek/Maalbeek. As from 4 April 2009 the lines were reorganised and renumbered 1 and 5.
The station is located under the "Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat" and one of its exit leads to this well-known street, with a side entrance leading to "Rue Joseph II/Jozef II Straat". The other exit leads to the "Chaussée d'Etterbeek/Etterbeekse steenweg". It is located under the bridge carrying the Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat. Close nearby (also on Chaussée d'Etterbeek/Etterbeekse steenweg) is an entrance leading to the SNCB/NMBS (heavy rail) southbound platforms of Schuman railway stations; this entrance is located under the railway bridge with stairs up to the platforms.