Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Fancy a blast of history and a reminder of what some call Britain’s finest ever military victory?
If so, make a beeline this weekend to the Domain de la Bataille de Waterloo 1815 for a host of historical events. You will find yourself back in the middle of the 19th century at the time of the Empire Wars.
Throughout the weekend, troops of re-enactors will camp out as the armies on both sides did back over 200 years ago in 1815.
In addition to the traditional bivouac for over 300 soldiers, a large civilian village will be held at the Hougoumont farm. Craftsmen and tradespeople will be on hand, just as they were back in the day. It also includes a theatre, street singers, instrument makers, clog makers, basket makers, and weavers.
Children can try their hand at period games or join the ranks of the Grande Armée while a surgeon will explain the methods used during the Empire Wars.
You can also discover the soldiers’ camp life (including the cavalry), as well as the Emperor’s tent, with Napoleon and his entire staff.
The Memorial will be open, of course, and visitors can tour the Museum and watch the 3D film. At the foot of the Butte du Lion, horsemen and re-enactors will be maneuvering in groups all day long.
A number of food and beverage outlets will line the domain: restaurants at the foot of the Butte, and stalls around the Bivouacs.
The weekend’s highlight will be the battle re-enactment on Saturday evening and Sunday morning at the Hougoumont farm, by the north gate where French and Allied troops will do battle.
On July 1 this takes place at 8:30 pm and on July 2 at 10:30 am.
A free shuttle bus will run between the two sites during bivouac opening hours only. Free parking for bivouacs: Domain de la bataille de Waterloo: access via Chaussée de Nivelles At Napoleon’s Last HQ: along the N5 and Chemin du Crucifix (which will be one-way).