Sunday, 20 May 2012

Visit to Waterloo Battlefield

I’m going to try and follow through with my initial intention of documenting the war museums and battlefields I visited on my trip to Europe this winter.  I did record my impressions in a journal but don’t have that with me right now so I will be writing from memory and with the help of the pictures I took.  I’ll try and keep the writing to a minimum and let the pictures speak for themselves.  We flew into Belgium in late January, which meant the weather was cold and lesser sights were often closed although the major attractions which were open had very few people around. 

First up is the Waterloo Battlefield.  I’m not the biggest scholar of Napoleonic history, although I have been trying to expand my knowledge.  Regardless even I was not going to visit Belgium and not visit Waterloo.  The lion mound and associated panorama and wax museum are controlled by a private company but I think I remember the price being reasonable. 
My Brother on the Left, and me on the right, looking at the only but not very detailed map available of the battlefield.

Looking towards the left of the British line, with La Haye Sainte in the right of the picture.  I always thought the British were on a real hill but it is only a very slight rise in the ground.  

The Lion Mound

From the British lines looking towards the French.

Not exactly the high way.

We took are tiny rental car on a tour round the battlefield on some roads it was not built for but managed to escape without any serious damage to the car.  I would have liked to get out and walk around but are time was limited and my knowledge of the battlefield is not detailed enough to appreciate the specific locations that still exist.  We drove by La Haye Sainte, but didn’t get over to Hougoumont.  The large painted canvases panorama was impressive, and the wax museum was interesting enough, telling the story of the battle and showing off the uniforms.  Unfortunately I took some pictures on my brothers camera which I don’t have access to.   
La Haye Sainte.

Museum in Waterloo.

In the actual town of Waterloo we went to another museum housed in the Inn where the British HQ was before the battle.  It focused on the battle more from the British perspective and had some good artifacts and information.  Overall a very enjoyable experience, and being on the actual ground makes you appreciate what the men who were there accomplished.             

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