La Butte du Lion
A few days before leaving Brussels I got the honor of visiting the Lion’s Mound, a statue of a lion on top of a huge hill to remember the location where William II of the Netherlands (Prince of Orange) fell from his horse by a musket ball during battle. The prince fought in the battle of Waterloo, the battle in which Napoleon and his army were defeated by the armies of the Seventh Coalition (Made up of the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Hanover, Nassau, Brunswick, Prussia.) It was a wonderful day to visit this large artificial hill because, once you are up at the top, 43 meters high, the view is incredible. There are 226 steps that lead to the statue and the area at the top. It got kind of tiring half way but in the end, it was a great leg workout. I wouldn’t advise anyone to wear heels when visiting the Lion’s Mound! Every few years, there are people that re-make the Battle of Waterloo as close to the details of what actually happened as possible. In fact, next year, 2015, will be 200 years since the battle happened. If anyone is in Waterloo on June 18, they should definitely visit the Lion’s Mound to watch the reenactment of the battle.
Statue and the hill:
There is a legend that says the statue is made from the brass of melted down canons that were abandoned by the French after the battle. The iron cast of the statue was split into nine pieces that were put together later at the site of the monument. Jean-François Van Geel was the sculptor that sculpted the model of the lion. The lion itself symbolizes courage. Its right paw is placed on top of a sphere, indicating global victory. On the other hand, the hill was created from the soil of different parts in the battlefield. There is a tale that says all the wives of the dead soldiers each brought a bucket of soil and together built this hill. Woman did in fact build it. The mound was finally completed in 1825.
Another history lesson with Anastasia