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Memorial 1815



The panorama

Next to the Memorial 1815 lies the Panorama, a huge round building, which holds the canvas painted by Louis Dumoulin in 1912 to mark the first centenary of the battle. The dimensions of this huge fresco are awesome and worthy of its dramatic subject matter - it is 110 metres round and 12 metres high. The concept behind the Panorama dates from the 19th century. It is a huge and elegant building designed to display massive paintings of up to 110 m by 14 m. Panoramic paintings generally represent famous battles, religious events or landscapes. The Panorama is a unique visual theatre, offering visitors an opportunity to escape into a different world. The Panorama of Waterloo illustrates a key moment in the raging battle. Louis Dumoulin depicted the Polish Lancers, the charge by Marshal Ney, Napoleon surrounded by his staff, and the resistance of the English infantry squares around Wellington. Its huge size, the portrayal of the soldiers, the weapons and the period costumes make the fresco come to life. Its display in the round leads to total immersion inside the image, making visitors feel like they are at the heart of the action, caught up in an epic saga. The sense of perspective and three-dimensional reality are remarkable, and there is a real feeling of movement and emotion. A soundtrack of clashing swords, cavalry charges, cannonballs, bugles and the cries of the infantry plunge visitors into the heat of the battle. This Panorama was restored in 2008, and is an important piece of historical heritage because it is one of the few that still exist today. In the early 20th century, these kinds of historical reconstructions were almost ubiquitous, but they have since become less and less common.

Practical information

Virtual visit