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 visit to Napoleon’s Last Headquarters will give you both a detailed and high-level appreciation of the battle, within the context of 19th century European history. We will also cover the developments before the battle (arrival from the South of the Allied and French troops after the Battle of Quatre Bras, and the French preparations for the battle to follow) and after the battle (last stand of the Imperial Guard, and the flight of the French troops pursued by the Prussians).
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 Napoleon’s Last HQ includes tours around the farm and the garden, along with an appreciation of the atmosphere prevalent on the eve of the battle.
This visit will then continue with audio-guide in the Memorial 1815 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 Caillou farmhouse, Napoleon’s Last HQ, saw the following troops passing by: The Allied troops marching South on June 16th towards the Battle of Quatre Bras; the return of the same troops on the 17th, followed by the French forces; and on June18th, the flight of the French troops, pursued by the Prussians. On the evening of June 17th, Napoleon established his headquarters here. He met with his general staff in the morning of the 18th to unveil his plan for the battle. After the battle, the Prussians set fire to the farmhouse as they chased the fleeing French troops.
On the road between the Memorial 1815 Village and Napoleon’s Last HQ, you will find the Haie Sainte farmhouse, the Belle Alliance farmhouse, the Victor Hugo monument, and the Wounded Eagle (l’Aigle Blessé) monument to the French soldiers.
The Memorial 1815 Museum can be visited by audio guide (allow 1h to 1:30). Built for the 200th anniversary of the battle, the museum offers an excellent immersion and rich historical illustration of the period spanning from the French Revolution up to and including the Battle of Waterloo. For further details, 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 your visit to Napoleon’s Last HQ, your guide will recount the history of the Caillou farmhouse, the arrival of the French troops, the events of the night of June 17th to 18th, as well as the flight of the Emperor after the defeat at Waterloo.
: Opening hours, ticket prices, and access
: Tickets to these 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
: Chaussée de Bruxelles 66, 1472 Genappe