Tuesday, January 14, 2014

WATERLOO BATTLE FIELD RENOVATION

For the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, important works are done on the site of the Lion. They  had started in 2012 and should be finished by 2015. It had been a long time since I hadn't been there although it's only a few Km from home. When I arrived I saw a battle field on a battle field !



Still standing was the Panorama, in which the whole battle is painted in 3D and of course the Lion. Despite the very cold wind, brave tourists climbed up the 253 steps to the Lion from which you have a beautiful view over the battle field.





For the moment there are two other hills besides the Lion hill and everywhere they are digging holes !
The old farms around which once had served as head quarters to the officers and soldiers are being renovated which was about time, many of them hadn't changed  look since nearly 200 years.





The road was closed and the place where the underground memorial is been built paintings of the battle cover the ugly grids.





It had rained a lot lately and the construction site looked terrible.



Even Napoleon was behind bars, but still overlooking proudly the scene where he had lost the battle of his life.

This project should become a total restauration of the battlefield which is expected to find the " dreary plain " described by Victor Hugo in "Les Misérables".

What will change on the site of the Lion of Waterloo?



The Wellington Café will be demolished, which is a real pity. Waterloo's residents will miss it, each afternoon people can dance and meet here  and it's also a very nice place to have a drink. For the moment it is the only place on the site where you can have something to eat and drink from 10 am on.






The Museum hotel will be completely transformed and will contain a restaurant, a Brasserie (kind of Pub) , which will offer large outdoor terraces overlooking the hill and fields.

Nearly 20,000 square meters (50 acres) of land will be given back to agricultural activity , allowing the return of the "open field" character " of the battlefield and its surroundings .

A memorial is being built instead of the parking space and the former Hotel de la Paix, which has been demolished, as it was built around 100 years after the battle and therefore was not part of the original battle field and buildings.

The Memorial is totally under ground and the roof, probably covered with grass




And so it looks from a helicopter ! These pictures were taken end July 2013. (Not by me)

Here is a link to the Memorial how it should look like. Amazing !

7 comments:

ladyfi said...

Lovely building! It's going to be nice when it's finished.

Cynthia said...

How interesting! All my life I have read of the Battle of Waterloo in history and literature and never thought that there might be interesting things to visit at the site, I think I will wait a couple years until it is finished, though.

Sandra Carlier said...

Ha! Ha the statue of Napoleon on the parking must be very disturb with all the restauration around! But what a marvelous challenge for 2015!

gracie1961 said...

I remember only too well all those steps!

Loree said...

That's very interesting and it's great that they are restoring the whole place.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Gattina .. they are certainly modernising the site, but I expect they'll keep as much as possible authentic .. I hope they don't destroy too many of the true old buildings ...

It was good to see - the photos are great .. cheers Hilary

Hazel Ceej said...

What an aerial view! I would climb those steps if it meant burning off unwanted fats in my middle.

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About Me

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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