A visit to Wellington HQ in Waterloo!

Some miles from the Lion Mount,on the main street of Waterloo, a museum awaits tourists and visitors. But this museum is not any museum for the place, a former Mail and Inn building was used by Arthur Wellesley,Duke of Wellington, to establish his headquarters prior to the battle of Waterloo.

True to say that the battle itself took place on the grounds of Braine-L’-Alleud but, winner’s privilege, the name that would be given to posterity is the one of Waterloo for it’s from his room that the Duke of Iron wrote to England to tell about the defeat and fate of the french emperor. Also true to mention that Waterloo is much more easier to spell for foreigners than Braine-L’-Alleud. Really worth a visit if you want to plunge yourself into the feelings that must have been the ones of the Iron Duke before and after the battle!

You are invited to visit the rooms of the house as well as an recently renovated small house in the yard. With an audioguide in hand, optional but handy,you’ll be led through the building, learning on the context and the facts of that important day. The bed of the Duke where Gordon,of the 3d Foot Guards and one of Wellington’s friends and aide de Camp died is still there along with an articulated wooden leg and informations on the medical side of the story.

Different pieces of weapons, bullets,muskets, knives and plates are on display as well as copies of historical letters. Those written witnesses of history are surely my favorite pieces of the museum,along with the impressive paintings.  On another part of the museum, you can admire the beautiful pictures taken during the different reenactment that takes place often with the help of a lot of dedicated people. You can also learn about the cities all around the world that where named Waterloo  in memory of the battle. One of my favorite part was also learning of how the Mount was projected and built. Don’t assume that the lion on top is only a statue as it’s in fact the top of a column, facing France (and warning to never come back 😉 )

Wellington Museum-(c) and Courtesy- Musée Wellington
Wellington Museum-(c) and Courtesy- Musée Wellington

A temporary exhibition « Napoleon-Wellington : Shared destinies » shed the light on the common points and differences of the two men both in their military careers as well as private lives. Chronologically following the leaders

This exhibition will only last until the 31st July so be sure to plan a visit before then and bear in mind that with the commemorations coming, it will be very crowded.


(c) Musée Wellington

The Wellington museum is definitively worth a visit if you’re interested by this crucial period for european history! It’s perhaps less impressive than the brand new memorial, but a visit to both sites is very possible and encouraged with the 1815 Pass ticket which allow you to combine a visit to the battlefield (memorial+panorama+mount) and the trip to the museum. You can then do both sites and benefit from those two great places to learn about the hours leading to the battle, the position of troops and the very important consequences of the battle for Europe.


Adress :
Chaussée de Bruxelles 147
1410 Waterloo
Téléphone :+32(0)2 357 28 60

The museum is open daily with the exception of 1st January and 25th December.
The museum is closed until 13:30 on 24/12 and 31/1. From 1 October to 31 March 10.00hr to 17.00hr. From April 1 to September 30 of 9.30hr to 18.00hr.

The Waterloo 200 Descendants Book Project!

Amongst all the projects and spotlights on the battle of Waterloo that emerges in this period of commemoration, if there’s one that definitively wins my heart it’s surely The Waterloo 200 Descendants Book!

All you have to do is to go on the dedicated website (see below) and go on to the descendants book. The e-book then opens and allow you to browse alphabetically through soldiers lists. You can then click on any name that is of interest to you and learn more about the story of the soldier. His fate, whether happy or tragic and interesting facts. Reading those individual stories also helps to have a better understanding of the historical context of the battle and of course of the Battle itself! The book is also to be used as a real digital book whose pages can be turned,one by one and the contributions discovered. It’s really a nice and useful tool!

Lieutenant Henry Petre   Descendants Stories Page 373   Waterloo 200


But the website doesn’t just allow you to learn more about Waterloo Soldiers. If you are a descendant of a Waterloo Battle soldier or if you possess any information that might help the project grow, you can register yourself on the website, log in and add whatever helpful information you have may it be text, illustrations, links etc! Easy process and attractive layout will help you with this! And that’s not all! The ever-in-progress book has secured a partnership with family history website Find My Past to help the public trace their Waterloo Soldiers ancestors and learn more about them! And when you’ve shared your Waterloo stories and images, you can also share it with the world through a sharing tool.

As a family historian, I,of course,really a love at first sight feeling for that project!

Discover it here : http://www.nam.ac.uk/waterloo200/about/waterloo-200-descendants-book/

And the rest of the website is just as good! I especially like the objects gallery including the musketball that killed Sr Picton : http://www.nam.ac.uk/waterloo200/200-object/musketball-that-killed-sir-thomas-picton/

A very useful (and nice!) discovery! 🙂

June 1815-June 2015 !

Here we are! This is the month where 200th ago, men fought around Ligny, Quatre-Bras, Braine-L’-Alleud and of course Waterloo !  I will try throughout the time up to the commemoration to bring infos, enlight known and lesser known facts, talk about the new memorial and events to come ! To all those visiting Waterloo this month I wish a hearty welcome ! Learn, discover, feel the ground and try to figure what those days must have represented for the soldiers but never ever forget that history keeps on going even after milestones events!

lion of waterloo

Juin 1815-Juin 2015 !


Voilà! Nous y sommes enfin en ce mois de Juin qui commémorre le bicentenaire d’une bataille historique. Une bataille qui, plus que les autres rencontres belliqueuses napoleoniennes, marquera la construction du continent européen et son avenir bien au-dela du 20e siècle. Ce mois sera l’occasion de revenir sur la bataille, sur certains éléments connus ou moins connus, sur des visites ou des projets qui nous semblent d’intéret. Il y aura également un tour des préparatifs des commémorations.

A tous ceux qui viendront visiter le champ de bataille, bienvenue! N’oubliez pas que ce lieu est un lieu d’histoire et que l’interet historique des lieux et des évenements vont au-dela de ce qui sera organisé « pour marquer le coup » !

lion of waterloo



Additional tickets for Waterloo Bicentenary shows!

I quote http://www.waterloo2015.org : « To satisfy public demand, 8000 additional tickets are offered for sale, for both evenings of the performance. 2500 seats for the « French attack » on Friday 19 June at 8 pm, 2500 seats for « The allied counterattack » on Saturday 20 June at 8 pm. The other 3000 tickets are passes that combine an exceptional night-time visit to the Allied encampment at Hougoumont on Thursday 18 June, the Inferno opening show, and one of the two re-enactment shows. » Happy news then!

(c) www.waterloo2015.org
(c) http://www.waterloo2015.org

More info :