Wellington and Napoleon lock horns again in re-enactment

Martin Banks

Brussels (Brussels Morning) – The Waterloo Battlefield event on June 22-23 offers a unique chance to experience life in 1815. Over 300 re-enactors will recreate the Battle of Waterloo, while visitors can explore an Allied bivouac, a civilian village, and Napoleon’s last HQ. Activities include period games, crafts, and demonstrations of military camp life, medical care, and entertainment.

Step back in time to the era of the Battle of Waterloo and experience the sights, sounds, and sensations of one of history’s most pivotal moments. On June 22-23, the Domain of the Battle of Waterloo estate will be transformed into a living history museum, where visitors can immerse themselves in the daily life of soldiers and civilians in 1815. From re-enactments of the famous battle to demonstrations of period crafts and entertainment, this event promises to be an unforgettable journey through time.

Relive the Battle of Waterloo: Immersive History Event on June 22-23

Fancy finding out how life was lived at the time of the Battle of Waterloo? If so, a special event on the weekend of 22/23 June could be just for you. As well as a full scale re-enactment of the famous Battle visitors get the chance to “relive” life back then. More than 300 re-enactors will take part in reprising the battle while an Allied bivouac and a “civilian village” will be erected at the Ferme d’Hougoumont.

Visitors can discover the history of the Battle which shaped the future of Europe thanks to a 4D cinema, sound and light show and guided tours. Various activities will also be on hand at the foot of the Lion Mound, located on the Waterloo/Braine l’Alleud border. Spread over the two days, the entire Hougoumont Farm will be transformed to regain its former appearance, transporting visitors to another era.

Clog makers, basket makers and weavers will be hard at work while children can enjoy period games and a surgeon will explain what medical methods were used during the Napoleonic Wars. You can also watch horsemen and infantrymen maneuvering in groups.

Step into Napoleon’s HQ: Experience Life in 1815

At Napoleon’s last HQ, visitors will discover what camp life  was like for up to 250 soldiers (including the cavalry) as well as the Emperor’s tent with the presence of Napoleon and his General Staff. There will also be demonstrations of how the wounded were cared for, readings of geographical maps as well as battery fire by the artillery and the ringing of orders by the cavalry.

Visitors also get a glimpse of typical entertainment back in 1815 including a barrel organ player, assorted demonstrations, dance There’s also a “Soldier’s School” for children (the wood guns are harmless as they are loaded with flour for shooting) while a juggler and flame-eater complete the fun.

As ever, the highlight of the event, of course, is the re-enactment of the Battle, scheduled for Saturday evening and Sunday morning at the Hougoumont Farm when spectators get the opportunity to relive the epic scenes when Napoleon and the Duke of Waterloo, along with thousands of troops, crossed swords. The outcome would shape the future of a whole continent.

Don’t Miss: Napoleon’s Arrival & Imperial Dinner

Moment not to be missed: 11.15am, Saturday, the arrival of the Emperor and his General Staff in the museum courtyard, accompanied by music of the First Regiment of Foot Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard.

At Noon on Saturday, the Emperor goes to the camp to hand over his flag to the artillery. At 1pm, Napoleon sits down to the all important dinner in his imperial palace. The public will be able to see how a meal typical of the era was prepared as well as observe the table service protocol.

You also have the chance to eat traditional food “revisited” from the period, served in the orchard of Napoleon’s last HQ. The Domain of the Battle of Waterloo estate extends over more than 20 hectares and includes the 1815 Memorial, Panorama,Lion’s Mound as wall as Hougoumont Farm.

Napoleon’s last HQ is the museum houses objects mainly from the French army, including a copy of the Emperor’s camp bed. The farm and  outbuildings have been classified as a historic monument since 1951.

 Further info including ticket details: https://www.waterloo1815.be/

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Martin Banks is an experienced British-born journalist who has been covering the EU beat (and much else besides) in Brussels since 2001. Previously, he had worked for many years in regional journalism in the UK and freelanced for national titles. He has a keen interest in foreign affairs and has closely followed the workings of the European Parliament and MEPs in particular for some years.