June 18, 2015
This fortified farm saw some bloody fighting. It was an advanced position which protected the allies' right flank. Napoleon attacked it on 18 June towards 11:30 am. What was originally intended as a diversionary tactic became the most violent point of the fighting. The French launched all-out assaults on it but to no avail. Napoleon lost.
The main building was burnt to the ground. Still standing there today is the farm.
One day before the official inauguration of the restored Hougoumont Farm for the bicentenary of the Waterloo battle I visited the farm.The farm had been neglected and almost fallen to ruins since years.
For this occasion some Royals and VIPs from the at the battle participating countries will be present, except the French President, who apparently is still angry that France has lost this so important battle only 200 years ago !
The commemorative plaque had been cleaned and is now legible
These pictures show the outside of the farm
200 years ago the entrance of the farm
The way to the inside court is not perfect but far better, only certainly not meant for Royal high heels !
The inside looks fresh and welcoming
This chapel was amongst the buildings which caught fire. It was being used to shelter wounded soldiers. Many perished as they were unable to drag themselves out of the building. Now the ruin has been painted in white and looks very nice.
For the Royals and VIPs, stands have been erected inside the courtyard.
These will probably stand along the way
A huge tent is waiting for them !
200 years ago the same fields .....
On the fields besides the farm, the British troops have built up their bivouacs and a little further were the Germans and Dutch.
A glimpse around the bivouacs
and the soldiers around
They came and greeted the newcomers
and walked around near the Lion.
A short history resume is here
Thursday, June 18, 2015
June 18, 2015