Tour guides can accomodate 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 on the battlefield will give you both a detailed, and a high-level vision of the battle, within its 19th century European context. Further, visiting the Mont-Saint-Jean farm will unveil the positioning of the Allied troops before the battle, and the medical care given to the wounded during the 18th June 1815 and the following days.
It will be done in four 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 visit to the Mont-Saint-Jean farm, the courtyard, its interesting locales, as well as the museum to the care for the wounded.
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 Farmhouse of Mont-Saint-Jean: It was in this 13th century farm that the Duke of Wellington decided to set up his field hospital under the command of Deputy Inspector Gunning of the Royal Army Medical Corps. More than 6000 combatants were cared for, including Colonels DeLancey and Gordon, Fitzroy Somerset, and Prince William of Orange, who suffered a shoulder injury.
A museum to the care to the wounded illustrates the role of this hospital in the battle.
The farm also includes a brewery, a distillery, and a shop specialising in local artisanal products.
Beer-tasting is possible here also.
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.
The Mont-Saint-Jean farm: Your guide will discuss the history of the farm, the events before and during the battle, and will also take you through the museum. An introduction with the use of a map will locate the farm with respect to the battlefield.
: Opening hours, ticket prices, and access
: Tickets to this sites
: 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 1815, 1420 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.