19 Jun 2017

WATERLOO BATTLE FESTIVITIES

Since I started to watch the reenactment of the Waterloo battle which takes place all two years, this year I was so disappointed with what I saw as preparations that actually I didn't go at all in the afternoon. The celebrations took place on Saturday and Sunday, with a reenactment of the battle not at the Waterloo Lion as it had been for years and years but at the Hougoumont farm nearby. This farm had been in ruins for years until 2012 when suddenly somebody discovered that money can be made out of it. The farm was the place where Wellington won the battle. It was totally renovated for the bicentenary 2 years ago, had costed a fortune with a great participation of the British government.

So no more fun for the ignorant folk who don't care about history and the real battle and it's geographic situation, the celebrations this year were scattered around places where Napoleon and Wellington had put their precious feet. The Lion was probably disappointed not to see anything this year as he had seen for years until the day where the bicentenary was celebrated and everything had changed to so said "historical reality" of the battle.

Since the mayor of Braine l'Alleud, a little town which nobody knew before the bicentenary, had discovered that the Waterloo Lion actually stood on his ground and not on Waterloo ground he had started to claim his rights on the Lion ! Despite this fact it's still the Lion of Waterloo and not of Braine l'Alleud, confirmed even by ABBA !

Wellington had only signed the defeat of Napoleon in Waterloo and now after 200 years the battle of Waterloo should  be named the battle of Braine l'Alleud which of course nobody knows. And who has to run around like a headless chicken to find where the battle festivities actually took place were the poor tourists. But money is money so every little town around where Napoleon and Wellington had put their feet 202 years ago wants its share.





The entrance of the farm to the fields where the bivouacs were



The farm and a shuttle bus which took tourists from the Lion to the farm



The first thing I saw was this mobile "restaurant, where the soldiers could get something to eat and drink.




It was in the morning so there were not a lot of people or soldiers yet.



They had built up their tents and I saw even one single canon !



For each participant was a reserved space on the dry grass !






Modern camping I had never seen a solar bag for a shower !




Slowly everything got into place



First and very important for the English soldiers was the fire for the kettle to heat water for the tea !!



And here is the historical door through which the French tried to get in and beat Wellington's army; It was a very bloody battle and lots of soldiers died or burnt alive  in the chapel.

I made my tour and chatted a bit with the German and English soldiers.



And at the Lion there was nothing a few soldiers who played music. Some tourists tried to climb up the 253 steps to the Lion, which was quiet difficult because of the heat !

Sunday morning I wanted to go to the marked in Braine l'Alleud which wasn't at its usual place. Instead I found tents.



Battle souvenirs were sold here. Napoleon didn't sell but was only a poster.

I asked if there was something else concerning the battle and was directed towards the church  where a  little "village" was made up to show the craftsmen of this time




There was a terrible smoke here where the baker tried to get his oven ready






I observed how butter was made and was invited to try it, but I don't like butter I thanked. According to the others the butter was delicious;



This women spinning wool made me think of my cat who produces as much hair as the sheep ! If I would have such a spinning wheel I could knit cat wool pullovers or scarfs !



a few soldiers were walking around



Straw and blankets for wounded soldiers



Peeling potatoes





cooking a meal



Handmade arts and crafts



clogs which were also worn in Belgium



Carpenters

When I had taken pictures of everything, I returned home ! It started to get very warm, the poor soldiers in their historical costumes !





more participants here






7 comments:

Betty said...

Yes, I remember you going in the past. I wondered what the weather was like when I saw the costumes. Interesting...I enjoyed all your pictures.

carol l mckenna said...

What beautiful history you show in your wonderful series of photos ~ thanks, ^_^

mamasmercantile said...

A joy to visit and to be taken on the tour. I loved seeing all the preparations for the re-enactment and wonderful to see some of the old crafts.

Linens and Royals said...

I was busy celebrating my daughter's birthday which falls on the same day as that famous battle. Solar showers are popular here for camping and boating and as there is lots of sun they heat up quickly. I love butter and would have liked to try 'Waterloo' butter.

Mara said...

It looks a bit like the Viking festival I went to last week: tents and stalls. Just a different era.

K V V S MURTHY said...

Great event indeed.And amazing pics.

Stacy said...

So interesting...thank you for sharing all of your wonderful photos. It was like being there and getting to look around.