zondag 14 juni 2015

Visiting Waterloo, 2015.

I don't live that far away from the battlefield of Waterloo, and to avoid the extreme stir that the memorial weekend will bring, I made my visit on 6th june this year.

There is a new museum, just opened a few weeks ago. It is well worth visiting. You can have a sort of ipod with a clear explanation in most languages.
The first part of the museum is all about Napoleon and the changes that France went through from Louis XVI to the republique. A few of his battles are also shortly introduced.

 The second part of the museum is a large display of uniforms from all armies, as you can see from the pictures.

British troops and command.

French troops.

Dutch-Belgians and Nassau troops.

And Prussians.

Napoleon with his loyal Mamluk serf.

French high command.

At the end of this, you can see a short 3D movie about the battle. The best place to enjoy this movie is at the front rows. There are no seats, so everyone has to stand up, which gives as much as possible the effect of actually being on the battlefield. Very well done!

The last part of the museum is about what happened in Europe after the battle, up to first world war (1914-1918).

You can also enter the old Panorama tower, next to the museum.
Some pictures of this spectacular 360° painting:

And while you are there, why not go up the stairs all the way to the Lion?

The panorama you have from there is worth walking all those stairs.

We also made the short trip to Braine-l'Alleud to see the Wellington museum. Thoug a bit dated now, compared to the new visitors centre, I very much liked this small museum, with some special and sometimes strange object on display. A congreve rocket, among others!

We went back a few hunderd meters and at the other side of the street, you can now visit a temporary exibition named "Histoire en Briques". This can be translated to history in stones. All objects on display here are made with Lego bricks, and have something to do with Napoleon. If you have kids with you do make a visit, they will love it, and so will you probably!
There is also a corner where kids can go constructing their own buildings.

One more warning for those that go to the memorial weekend, if in any way possible DON'T COME WITH YOUR CAR! There is hardly any parking place around the "Butte du Lion", I guess around 200, and with 120.000 tickets sold, Chaos assured...

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