Two hundred and four years ago, on the 18th of June 1815, the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo in what was a turning point in European politics. Four days later, Napoleon abdicated. The battleground in Belgium has, as the main memorial, a huge 43m high mound (with no lift) that, apparently, the Duke of Wellington hated as it had destroyed the logic of the battlefield, and leads to a huge lion at the top, sculpted by Jean-Louis Van Geel. The lion is a heraldic animal on both the British and the Netherlands coats of arms, symbolising courage and it provides great views out across the battleground. Later, a circular diorama was constructed, now looking a little old-fashioned, and, more recently BEAI/Claude Goelhen as architects and Duchène as contractor designed a new monument centre discretely hidden below ground in a bunker of expanded clay including a more modern museum and 4D experience, along with reception, ticketing and the shop.
Not far away, the Wellington Museum at Waterloo is based in the house which he and his generals used as their HQ, opposite a beautiful Baroque church in which there are many memorials to officers and soldiers alike.