Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

The Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo, in its own building next to the Lion's Mound, brings an old-world tourist immersive experience.
Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo
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Standing at the base of the Lion’s Mound (Butte du Lion) at the battlefield at Waterloo, the Panorama is one of the world’s few remaining panoramas, a type of tourist attraction that was once very popular. Few of them survive today–they can’t compete with moving pictures for visualizing what happened, and they take up quite a bit of real estate and maintenance.

The panoramas of the late-19th century and early 20th century were designed to be visual feasts, to convey the drama of the historical moment or a famous landscape depicted in them in an age predating film. It’s immersive in an early-20th century kind of way.

Housed in a purpose-built cylindrical building, the Panorama of the Battlefield of Waterloo, or Panorama de la Bataille, preserves that old-world tourist attraction and is surprisingly effective not just for visualizing the Battle of Waterloo, but also in conveying a sense of the generations who have recognized the importance of that moment in history.

On the inside walls of the cylindrical building is a massive 360-degree canvas painted by Louis Dumoulin in 1912. It was commissioned for the 100th anniversary of the battle. The painting measures 361 feet (110m) around and nearly 40 feet (12 m) high. At the base of the painting are sections of a life-size diorama depicting gory details of the battlefield, mud, dead horses, and all. Sound effects evoke the noisy commotion of the day.

Dumoulin’s painting can, of course, depict only a composite moment of what happened on that day, but the painting is lined up geographically with the surrounding countryside, designed to give a sense of scale and direction to what happened. It depicts the cavalry charge by Marshal Ney in the foreground, Napoleon surrounded by his staff to the south, and the Duke of Wellington protected by defensive infantry squares to the west.

I also have a 360-degree virtual tour of the Waterloo panorama.

Photos of the Waterloo Panorama

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

What to Know Before You Go

The Panorama is part of the complex at the main Battlefield of Waterloo complex at the Lion’s Mound (Butte du Lion).

Where to Next?



Travel Advice for Belgium

You can find the latest U.S. Department of State travel advisories and information for Belgium (such as entry visa requirements and vaccination requirements) here.

The British and Australian governments offer their own country-specific travel information. You can find the British Government's travel advice for Belgium here and the Australian Government's here.

Health & Vaccinations

The CDC makes country-specific recommendations for vaccinations and health for travelers. You can find their latest information for Belgium here.

Guidebooks for Belgium

If you're looking for a guidebook to make the most of your visit, these are some of the most popular ones currently for Belgium. Some are available in both paper and e-book formats.

Travel Insurance For Your Trip to Belgium

I never travel without travel insurance, and I've run into several situations where I've had to make claims. I consider it essential.

But shopping for travel insurance can be a pain and confusing. Thankfully, there are some travel insurance comparison sites that show you a wide range of plans, make it easy to compare coverage, and can save you money at the same time. And the coverage can be much better tailored to your specific needs than the checkbox offering at travel booking sites or through your credit card.

These are some good places to shop for travel insurance for your next trip to Belgium :

Hopefully, you won't need it, but if something goes wrong, you'll sure be glad you have it!

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