Tour guides can accommodate up to 25 people. For Larger groups, please book additional guides as needed
In summary :
Your visit to the Memorial 1815 Village, followed by a short walk of the battlefield, will give you both a detailed and a high level vision of the battle within its 19th century context. You will also see first hand how the topography influenced the events of the day. Additionally, we will view and discuss four of the battlefield monuments, illustrating the participation of key armies in the battle.
It will be done in three parts:
- A lively overview of the causes and consequences of this battle (the how and the why) as well as the details of the days of June 16 and 17 which led to it.
- The climb of the Lion Mound, the monument commemorating the Allied victory.
- An explanation of the Panorama, a gigantic fresco celebrating the 100th anniversary of the battle.
- A walking tour of about 300 metres, on the famous sunken way of the battlefield along the crest that Wellington chose for the defensive lines of the Allies. This viewpoint illustrates the impact of the terrain on the choices made during the battle. We will pass nearby the Haie Sainte farmhouse, as well as monuments to the Belgians, Hanoverians, and Lt-Col Gordon.
This visit will then by followed by an audio-guided tour of the Memorial Museum.
The site :
The Lion of Waterloo is a monument 40 meters high, erected between 1823 and 1826 by the King of Holland at the presumed place where his son, the Prince of Orange, was wounded on June 18th. The mound is surmounted by a colossal lion symbolizing the allied victory. It is accessed by a staircase of 226 steps.
The Panorama, a UNESCO Heritage Nominee, is a vast circular building housing a gigantic fresco, painted in 1912 to celebrate the first centenary of the battle. The canvas, which is 110 meters long and 12 meters high, is a spectacular representation of a key moment of the battle: the French cavalry charge and the Allied resistance around 16:30 p.m.
The portion of the defensive lines of the Allies, between the Mound and the cross-roads of the road to Charleroi, is famous for several reasons. It was from this area that Wellington observed and directed the battle (location of Wellington’s elm tree), and also the place where Victor Hugo described the sunken way… the surprise obstacle encountered by the French Cavalry in the afternoon. From this vantage, we can approach the Haie Sainte farmhouse, defended by Hanoverians, as well as the monuments to the Belgian soldiers, the Hanoverians, and Lt-Col Gordon.
The Memorial 1815 Museum: Is visited with an audio-guide, (plan 1:30h). It was built for the 200th anniversary of the battle, and offers a magnificent immersion into the period, from the French Revolution up to and including the battle itself. For any further information, see: visite of the Memorial museum.
Our visit :
The Lion Mound: the guide will take you up to the summit and tell you all about the battle, the strategic importance of the topography, the position and the deployment of the troops in the fields all around, the charges of the French cavalry, the allied squares, the strategy of each belligerent, the strengths, the errors, the setbacks, the anecdotes, the monuments ...
The Panorama: the guide will lead you through the diorama, relating it to the realities of the battlefield, which will allow you to appreciate the historical importance, and the pictural and heritage of this amazing recreation.
And the History of all this? Your guide will take the time to explain to you, either with the help of maps or outdoors, what led Europe to this terrible battle and why it took place in Belgium. The first days of the Waterloo Campaign, i.e. the days of June 15, 16 and 17, will also be discussed.
During the walk along the defensive lines, we will discuss the history of the Haie Sainte farmhouse, and the confrontations that happened there, as well as the monuments along the road-side.
: Opening hours, ticket prices, and access
: Ticket to this site
: This site is wheelchair accessible (except for the Panorama, and the Lion Mound)
A vehicle will be needed for travel between the sites (except between the Memorial and the Hougoumont Farm) as well as appropriate clothing for the outdoors
Our four-legged friends are not allowed in the sites
: Route du lion, 1410 Braine l’Alleud - http://waterloo1815.be/
: Visit to this site alone takes 1h (fee €70) or 1h30 (fee €80)*, visit combined with other sites 3h.
NB: Allow another 1h30 for the audio-guided visit to the Memorial Museum.
*Unless short of time, we recommend taking the 1:30 tour, to allow for better comprehension and an easier tour. The 1h tour suits those who have limited time, or who do not wish to climb the Lion Mound.