Waterloo Battlefield, near Brussels in Belgium, was the site of the final battle of the Napoleonic Wars. The Battle of Waterloo saw the French forces led by Napoleon Bonaparte clash with the coalition of British, Belgian, Dutch and German soldiers led by the Duke of Wellington and Prussian forces under the command of Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher.
Napoleon's strategy had aimed to capture Brussels and separate and divide the armies of Wellington and Blücher with the aim of prompting each to retreat. However, despite defeating the Prussians on 16th June at the Battle of Ligny, he was unable to force them to retreat entirely, meaning they were still free to support Wellington's force. Needing a decisive victory to prevent an invasion of France, Napoleon decided to attack. The two sides met at Waterloo Battlefield on the morning of 18 June 1815.
The battle lasted eight hours and ended in the dramatic defeat of Napoleon. The Battle of Waterloo was extremely close-run and much of it was a result of both timing and the communication. In fact, Wellington himself decried that it was "the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life".
For France the result of the Battle of Waterloo would mean the second restoration of King Louis XVIII and the end of over two decades of war. For Napoleon, it meant the end of his rule and his career.
Today, Waterloo Battlefield is a popular tourist site and includes numerous monuments, the most famous of which is the Lion Mound. There are many things to see at Waterloo Battlefield and many resources such as audio guides, battlefield tours, films and even summertime recreations. Guided tours are available for added fees and range from one to three hours in length (check the official website for tour times).
Waterloo Battlefield is located around 5.5km south of Waterloo and 30km south of Brussels in Belgium off junction 25 of Ring East Road. Bus route 365 travels from central Brussels to the site and route W travels from Waterloo to the site. By train from Brussels, take the Brussels- Charleroi line to Braine-l'Alleud station (3km west of the site).
There is a museum shop and several restaurants. Plenty of parking.
Waterloo Battlefield is open 9:30am-6:30pm (April-October) and 10am-5pm (November-March). A Lion Mound Pass costs €8.70 for adults and a battlefield tour costs €5.50 and under 7s go free. Discounts available for children/groups/students. For information on official tours of the battlefield, visit the official site (www.waterloo1815.be).
Waterloo Battlefield, Route du Lion 315, B-1410 Waterloo
+32 23 85 19 12
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