Waterloo, of course has always been famous because Napoleon lost his battle here against the most important European countries and had been exilated after that.
Many people ignore this fact and relate Waterloo very often to the Abba song "Waterloo" with which they won the European song contest "Eurovision" in 1974 and had been the first foreign group in the British chart as n° 1 with this song. When I was in London, people often thought that I talked about the Waterloo Station and didn't know that this Londoner station had been named after the Duke of Wellington who had won against Napoleon.
I will not give a history lesson here or copy a tourist information, you can read everything in Wikipedia for that.
I also wrote already about Waterloo and will give you some links afterwards.
Waterloo had been quite a little city almost a village about 30 years ago but has now become a very demanded place to live. It is not far from Brussels only about 15 km and there is the motorway. Normally you could be in Brussels in 15 min, but that is only theory in practical it can take you more than 1 h almost every day during office hours.
A lot of foreigners, Scandinavians, English and Americans mouved to Waterloo, because the St. Johns International school and the Scandinavian school, settled here. Waterloo people take it easy and learn English.
The church of Waterloo and the Tourist center besides were already there during the famous battle. They are located in the center.
Waterloo is a very long stretched city along the main street it is not very large. Along the streets you have many boutiques and shops. Shopping malls are outside the city. During spring time, Japanese cherry trees are blooming and many streets are full of these trees.
We have a lot of parcs and woods around Waterloo and although the population has doubled and many new houses built there is still a lot of green space.After this old tunnel there is a big field where people let run their dogs and children are playing. There is no major danger in Waterloo concerning criminality. Of course there are many burgleries because of the huge villas and rich people living here, but street attacks are very seldom. Haven't even heard of any.
Our farmer who lives near our house meantime became a millionair with all these demands of ground. When we bought our lot we payed 15 € /m2 ( 0.000 247 105 acre, sorry that's my converter) and it costs now 450 €/m2 and more.
Unfortunately the cows are gone since houses were built just down our street. But 32 years ago one looked into my living room window door and scared me to death ! The field just besides the farmer's house
The station hasn't changed at all and is still the old little one from the very beginning.
The only sign of modern times are the graphitis which so said "artists" (I call them pigs) paint on the walls. The city tries to have them cleaned off but they come always back during night, and then of course nobody is there anymore.and from there you have a look on the church
Each Sunday is market behind the station. It is a place where people meet and go for an apperitif after shopping. Mr. Gattino of course has his sunday meeting there with all the Italians living in Waterloo and it takes place of course at an Italian stand.
Here a cat is greeting a dog who doesn't seem to be too happy.
The house were Wellington lived during the battle is today a Museum. Old Waterloo people used to play in Wellington's bed when it was still an empty house. Wellingtons bed is very small, today a 10 year old child would fit in it.Besides the International schools Waterloo of course has normal schools too. This one is particularly nice and located in a parc. It is for young people who have difficulties to follow a normal schooling and learn hear a manual work. The Scandinavian school is located in an old Castle. It is very pretty and surrounded by woods and parcs. Nearby is another Castle which is called "Chateau d'Argenteuil" where King Leopold II, the father of our actual King Albert II lived together with his second wife Lilliane and their 3 children.
The first wife Queen Astrid (from Sweden) died in a car accident.
Today it belongs again to the Belgian state and I don't know what they intend to do with it. Inside it is very beautiful. Lilliane was famous for her good taste.
From far you can already see the Lion of Waterloo. It was built on the bones of the fallen soldiers and women carried earth to cover them and build the hill. I don't know if that is true, but still it's a thrilling story. The Lion turns his bottom to France because they lost !
In the panorama you can see battle scenes with wax figures and paintings.
Each year a reconstruction of the battle takes place and soldiers from Holland, England and Germany are coming with their costumes. It's always a big event and a lot of fun and drunken soldiers (not sailors) which ends with a big firework in the evening.
And this is the end of our tour. I hope you enjoyed it and wish you a good trip to Barcelona where you arrive at
A few other links
After your visit they are exhausted !