Walloon Brabant: loveliness & charm a jump away from Brussels

Along with the progressive technological development, in the last years, more and more people are looking for a way back to nature, healthy life, positivism and long walks in the open air as often as possible. Humans are wired to seek what they lack the most unconsciously. Belgium is one of the European countries that invests a lot in environmental protection and nature conservation. It is full of eco trails for walkers and cyclists, where everyone can peacefully travel around the country and enjoy its beauty. Undoubtedly, one of Belgium’s most magnetic and fascinating areas is Walloon Brabant, especially the parts located in the neighborhood of Brussels. So, stretch your legs and prepare for a breath-taking excursion in Walloon Brabant, a place of loveliness and charm just a jump away from Brussels.

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Waterloo, a small town with a big history

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Waterloo is a town south of Brussels, known as the place of Emperor Napoleon’s defeat and the end of his domination in 1815. This key moment in the world's history excites many history buffs to this day. Walking around Waterloo, you will notice at every step signs reminiscent of the historical event. Of course, the pearl of any visit is the Lion’s Mound. This artificial hill with the lion statue on top is a favorite site for every Instagrammer. The hill was erected in 1826 by order of King William I. The Lion’s Mound commemorates the exact spot where a musket ball hits the shoulder of William II (The Prince of Orange) and knocks him off his horse. Make sure that you save enough energy to climb the 225 steps to the top to embrace the battlefield view.

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Many interesting things in Waterloo that are worth seeing but do not miss for anything, the Memorial 1815 and the Wellington Museum. Both are impressive and mandatory to visit if you want to learn about the history of the town and Europe. The Memorial of Waterloo 1815 is a huge and phenomenal modern museum complex located on the site of the Waterloo battlefield. It presents a lovely collection of army gear and statues of authentic soldiers. The museum provides details on the battle in a way that engages both adults and children. The surrounding area is also abundant of monuments, such as the Gordon Monument, the Monument of the Belgians and others.  

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The Wellington Museum

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The Wellington Museum is a well-preserved beautiful building, which was the house where the Duke of Wellington spent the night before and the night after the battle. It is an interesting and educational museum that offers a lot of details on history. Expect to see quite an authentic place where you could still feel Mister Wellington walking around, preparing for the battle. And the playmobile collection is a must-see.

Château de la Hulpe and Foundation Folon

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From Waterloo, only a jaunt away and among lush verdure, you will end up at Domaine Régional Solvay or Château de la Hulpe. Endless green meadows, soothing lakes, singing birds, horses and the charming castle, La Hulpe will surprise and enchant you. This stunning area is perfect for a long relaxing promenade to take a deep breath in nature, and the château itself is unique, surrounded by appealing statues, a lake and stables. The castle La Hulpe was completed in the 1840s, and it charms with its uncommon Flemish neo-Renaissance architectural style. In the well-maintained gardens is not uncommon to see deer running.  

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The icing of the cake, and an unexpectedly fabulous hidden gem, disguised from the world by trees and shrubbery, Foundation Folon will exceed all your expectations. The amazing museum features many original pieces of the legendary and extraordinary artist Jean-Michel Folon. It is not easy to describe the magic of this place and its surroundings. The talent of Jean-Michel Folon is indisputable and irresistible. So gift yourself and your loved ones an astonishing experience in this divine place.

© Alexander Ivanchev

It is hardly an overstatement that a promenade in Walloon Brabant is a dive into heavenly nature, splendid art and intriguing history. I hope that I have managed to convince you that your next destination should be Walloon Brabant, offering loveliness and charm only a jump away from Brussels.

© Alexander Ivanchev

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