It was first mentioned in history in 1102, described as a small hamlet on the borders of a large forest. It grew to a larger town in the 17th Century, and was the location of the infamous Battle of Waterloo, where Napoleon was defeated in 1815.
Today, the town is best known for its historic significance as the setting of the Battle of Waterloo. The battlefield and a commemorative mound is a popular local tourist destination. Waterloo is also the setting of two castles and a railway station.
People Born in Waterloo
Waterloo in People's Lives
Napoleon Bonaparte: I suffered my worst defeat here at the tragic Battle of Waterloo in 1815. I had recently escaped from my exile on the Island of Elba, and had amassed forces and taken back my residence and control of my beloved home city of Paris. I planned to seperate the British and Prussian armies, and so was marching with my army to Brussels. However, I was intercepted before I could reach that city, and battle broke out. I was soundly defeated by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, and my armies fled. I returned to Paris disheartened, to find that my people had turned against me in my absence and also in light of my massive defeat.