200 years after the battle: a photo diary of Waterloo

In a small town south of Brussels, exactly 200 years ago, Napoleon was defeated by the Duke of Wellington and his Dutch and German allies. Who knew the fields of Waterloo would turn into one of the most famous battlegrounds in history?

Last month, the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo was celebrated with an impressive reenactment. I visited the encampments of both sides, climbed the steps to the famous lion, became a little deaf because of all the canons, and took an enormous amount of photos. Guns at the ready, fire!

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The French are ready for battle! Well, in a sec, anyway…

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At Napoleon’s headquarters, everyone is waiting for orders…

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But the emperor himself has to deal with a TV crew first.
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… As well as his marshal Ney.
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In the meantime, in the French bivouac…
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Battle outfits are shown off and made presentable.

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Soldiers drink a last cup of wine…
... and enjoy a last hearty meal...
… and enjoy a last hearty meal…
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… while Napoleon’s cousin feels more like having some Belgian chips.

On the other side of the battlefield, however, the Allies are also getting ready for war.

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Uniforms are mended, …
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… hats are bought, …
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… family meals are cooked …
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… and lady friends are paraded around.

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Even the children make their way to the battlefield in appropriate costumes,

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… although we did spot some rather unauthentic pieces of battle gear between the canons.

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Finally, the moment to fight the battle on the fields of Waterloo has come, and Napoleon is defeated.

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All that remains today is this big lion, of which I will gladly tell you more in a next post.

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