Waterloo bicentenary – Over 30,000 booked to visit French and allied camps
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    Waterloo bicentenary – Over 30,000 booked to visit French and allied camps

    ©Belga
    ©Belga

    The last re-enactors arrived at the 3 Allied and French camps around the battlefield on Friday afternoon. The camps will stay open to the public on Friday and Saturday until 6pm. They will then be closed for security reasons, as the 5,200 soldiers and 1,000 support staff stationed there need to march towards the battlefield where the re-enactments will begin at 8:00pm. Camp visits are sold out, as are re-enactments. Organisers have planned for 30,000 visitors over the commemoration period. Camp visits are not timed and people can move around as they wish between genuine villages of tents where 6,000 people are living in 19th century military campaign conditions. This explains the 30,000-visitor limit in order for each booked visitor to have a satisfactory visit.

    At the allied camps at Ferme d’Hougoumont (Braine-l’Alleud) and at the French camps of Vieux-Genappe and Plancenoit, spectators can witness rehearsals as troops move, carry out combat exercises and fire training, or simply go about every-day life for soldiers of the time (meals, relaxation, weapon maintenance, etc.). Napoleon can be found at Ferme du Caillou (Vieux-Genappe), where he set up his HQ, and Wellington at Ferme d’Hougoumont.

    Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)