Info on Belgium
18 JUNE 1815
Preface of battle
MONUMENTS AND PICTURES
Le Caillou Museum
Haie Sainte farm
The Napoleonic Guide
Waterloo, is a small city of about 20.000 inhabitants in the Belgian province of Walloon-Brabant (Brabant-Wallon). It was originally a hamlet of the village of Braine-l'Alleud However, at the end of the 18th century Waterloo became an entirely separate town. Today Waterloo plays an important economic, touristic and cultural role due to the enthusiasm of its many national and international companies, its trades-people and the high cultural standards of its residents from all corners of the world.
The city owes its fame to the Duke of Wellington and to.the battle which took place on the 18th of June 1815. The Battle of Waterloo was fought between the French, under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Allied armies commanded by the Duke of Wellington from Britain and General Blücher from Prussia.
At his headquarters (now the Wellington Museum) the Duke of Wellington drafted the message announcing the defeat of Napoleon after the battle of Mont-Saint-Jean or the "Belle Alliance". Although the fighting mostly took place in Braine-l'Alleud and the surrounding areas, history commemorates it under the name of the "Battle of Waterloo" with its monument, the "Butte du Lion" (the Lion's Mound).The actual battlefield lies at about 5 Km south of the city, in the nearby village of Mont-Saint-Jean.
The French defeat at Waterloo drew to a close 23 years of war beginning with the French Revolutionary wars in 1792 and continuing with the Napoleonic Wars from 1803. There was a brief eleven-month respite when Napoleon was forced to abdicate, exiled to the island of Elba. However, the unpopularity of Louis XVIII and the economic and social instability of France motivated him to return to Paris in March 1815. The Allies soon declared war once again. Napoleon's final defeat at Waterloo marked the end of the Emperor's final bid for power, the so-called '100 Days', and the final chapter in his remarkable career.