Waterloo, where Napoleon met his match
In an all-or-nothing clash on the fields of Waterloo, about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Brussels, Napoleon’s troops met a coalition of British, German, Dutch and Belgian forces on June 18, 1815. Eight hours later, the business was finished. In a crushing victory that was accomplished mainly due to good timing – Marshal von Blücher’s Prussian forces dealt a painful blow to Napoleon’s right flank at a pivotal moment – the international alliance led by the Duke of Wellington put an end to the French domination of Europe and installed a period of relative peace that would last almost a decade. Today, a monumental lion statue stands proud on its mound in the middle of the battlefield. Audio guides and tours deliver more insight into one of the last close quarters military battles waged on the continent.