The Lion's Mound is a large conical artificial hill in Braine-l'Alleud. King William I of the Netherlands ordered its construction in 1820, and it was completed in 1826. It commemorates the location on the battlefield of Waterloo where a musket ball hit the shoulder of William II of the Netherlands (the Prince of Orange) and knocked him from his horse during the battle. It is also a memorial of the Battle of Quatre Bras, which had been fought two days earlier, on 16 June 1815.

A statue of a lion standing upon a stone-block pedestal surmounts the hill. Jean-François Van Geel (1756–1830) sculpted the model lion, which closely resembles the 16th-century Medici lions. The lion is the heraldic beast on the personal coat of arms of the monarch of The Netherlands, and symbolizes courage.

Its right front paw is upon a sphere, signifying global victory. William Cockerill's iron foundry in Liège cast the lion, in sections; a canal barge brought those pieces to Brussels; from there, heavy horse-drays drew the parts to Mont-St-Jean, a low ridge south of Waterloo.

There is a legend that the foundry melted down brass from cannons that the French had left on the battlefield, in order to cast the metal lion. In reality, the foundry made nine separate partial casts in iron, and assembled those components into one statue at the monument site.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1820
Category: Statues in Belgium

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Justin Williams (12 months ago)
Great museum and monument. Informative and interactive. People there are friendly and they have an amazing 4d show well with the watching. Anyone wanting to see apart of history should go here 4 outta 5 as part of the facilities was closed for unknown reasons.
Tom De Pauw (12 months ago)
We enjoyed the best guided tour in English at 3:30pm for almost 3 hours. Revealing little known facts. Some of which were reinforced in the 3D movie. All included in the price. No tips. Very helpful staf. I recommend it.
Ting Li (13 months ago)
Very beautiful view from the top of the hill!? Perfect for a trip of half day. The museum visit includes a 4D film, which gives an immersing experience of the battle. There is also a free carriage between the panorama and Hougoumont farm. I visited the site more than 10 years ago, but the recent revisiting gave me a renovated experience.
S.K. Werner (18 months ago)
Breathtaking voyage into history. The monument is an impressive sight, but you need to be a history buff to enjoy the museum as well. Pro tip: explore the areas surrounding the monument as well and you will catch some fascinating glimpses into the past.
Tom Lejeune (20 months ago)
Nice visit and museum. You no longer have the option to only visit the monument (climb to the top of the mountain) so you have to buy a combiticket with access to the museum. As we didn't have time for a long visit, this was rather expensive, so make sure you take the time to visit the lovely museum as well! Friendly staff, Corona-proof visit!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.