It’s been nearly two centuries since Napoleon met his waterloo at the Battle of Waterloo, the famed battle fought on a plain in the rural area south of Brussels, and now Belgian officials are working to spruce up the site.
“Where cannon balls once thundered across fields, construction workers began breaking down walls in a project that will see the demolition of restaurants, stores and parking lots considered eyesores,” Agence France-Presse reported.
Bulldozers began work Wednesday to clean up the site of the battle that finished off the French dictator once and for all in 1815, and marking the end of his Hundred Days return from exile.
“The goal is to bring more beauty to what Victor Hugo once described as a ‘dreary plain,’ the place where Prussian and English troops handed Napoleon’s army a decisive defeat on June 18, 1815,” the wire service reported.
The focal point of the battlefield will remain the Lion Mound, a 130-foot-tall cone of earth and grass topped by a lion statue that was erected in honor of victorious Prince William of Orange.
“We want to bring authenticity back to Waterloo, which is one of the most well-preserved battlefields in the world,” said Paul Furlan, tourism minister in Belgium’s Wallonia region.