World Reviewer rating

Worth a visit
Rating 1.4 (144 votes)

Battle of Waterloo Battlefield

Listed under Battlefields in Brussels, Belgium.

  • Photo of Battle of Waterloo Battlefield
  • Photo of Battle of Waterloo Battlefield
  • Photo of Battle of Waterloo Battlefield
Photo of Battle of Waterloo Battlefield
Photo by flickr user colleen_taugher
Pin It

The night of the 17th of June 1815 was wet and both Napoleon’s French Grande Army and the Allied Army of British, Dutch, Belgian, Prussian and German soldiers sat in the mud and rain on either sides of the plain where the battle of Waterloo was to take place. Wellington’s troops at the northern end behind a sunken road, the French to the south. Three farms, Hougoumont House, Haie Sainte Farm and Papellotte Farm, and their buildings made up part of the battle ground and the high ranking Allied officers waited in these. One of the world's most decisive and dramatic battles was about to take place and almost 50,000 men were about to lose their lives.

Waterloo is one of the best known battles, mostly due to the excellent witness accounts written by soldiers and officers who took part in the battle which are an excellent reference for anyone visiting the battlefield. I would recommend especially those by Captain Mercer, Lieutenant Kincaid, Guardsman Clay and Sergeant Morris. Because of this it is an especially rewarding region, with plenty of exhibitions, museums and monuments to the event. At Le Caillou you can see where Napoleon planned the battle, you can also see the cross roads and the three farmhouses the holding of which was so important to the battle's outcome, the places where significant acts in the battle took place - where Sergeant Ewart captured the French Eagle, the ground Sir Thomas Picton defended and the spot where he fell and the spot where the closing of the North Gate shut out the French, the Iniskillings Monument, Mercers Monument, the Church of St Joseph (which was used as a hospital and its walls are now coated with memorials) and the Quatre Bras field with the impressive monument to the Duke of Brunswick.

Aside from visiting the actual locations there is a large exhibition with all the audio visual and interactive accoutrements people expect these days, the Wellington Museum, a large round building housing the giant panorama “The Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo”, and you can climb to the top of the Lion Mound and survey the entire field of battle. There are also regular artillery demonstrations and re-enactments to look out for when visiting the Waterloo region.

The standards of the exhibitions are a tribute to the battle's historic importance, and as they say in the cinema, if you're only going to see one battlefield it should probably be this one. It's rewarding for both the learned scholar and the vaguely interested child.

Written by  Anthony Harrison.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

What in sq. miles was the size of the battlefield ?

Considering the number of men horses and cannon deployed they must have ben standing on each other's toes.

German Soldiers

Are there any records of the names of German soldiers who participated in the Battle of Waterloo against Napolian?

Post a comment, review or question

I want to
Question
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?
 

Who's been here

Similar Experiences

  • The Ypres Salient

    The last few years has seen a resurgence of interest in the First World War and a massive increase in the number of visitors to…

  • Vimy Ridge

    The Battle of Vimy Ridge was part of the Battle of Arras, in which the Canadian Corps fought the German Sixth Army between the …

  • The D-Day Beaches

    June 6th, 1944 - D-Day. The most momentous day in the history of the 20th Century, possibly the modern age. Secure telex lines …

Related links

Contribute to this page