Waterloo is a small town about 15 kilometers south of Brussels. One of the most famous battles in world history took place here on June 18, 1815. At this place Napoleon was finally defeated by an alliance of European monarchies. Since then, Waterloo has been synonymous with total defeat.

Napoleon Bonaparte was a general who had conquered large parts of Europe after the French Revolution. Napoleon brought the ideals of the French Revolution to the defeated countries. This was a great danger to the remaining monarchies, since their power was questioned by the revolution. They allied against France to defend the monarchy. In the Wars of Liberation, which included the Battle of Nations near Leipzig, they were able to defeat Napoleon in 1813 and banish him to the italian island of Elba.

However, the little Corsican escaped from Elba in 1815 and marched to Paris to take power again. He mobilized an army of 125,000 soldiers and marched to Belgium, where he attacked the British general Wellington. Wellington commanded an army of around 70,000 soldiers from England, Holland and Germany. At the Vienna Congress, Prussia, Austria, Russia and England decided to reactivate their alliance in order to finally defeat Napoleon. General von Blucher's Prussians marched to Brussels to unite with the army of Wellington. Napoleon wanted to attack Wellington before the Prussians arrived. His goal was to defeat the opponents one by one. Since it was raining on the morning of June 18, he postponed the attack on Wellington from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. This gave the Prussians more time to reach the Waterloo battlefield. Wellington's forces defended themselves heroically and were able to withstand the French attacks. When the Prussians arrived, the alliance was superior and was able to defeat Napoleon. Napoleon surrendered to the British and hoped for exile. He was exiled to the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died in 1821.

The largest monument to the Battle of Waterloo was built by the Dutch King Wilhelm I for his wounded son. The Lion Hill Butte du Lion is a 40 m high mound of earth with a lion statue on top. You can climb the green hill by stairs.


Butte du Lion, Waterloo


Map of Waterloo


Waterloo, Belgium