Waterloo, the most famous commune in Brabant, has 30,000 residents from 115 different countries in an area of 2,102 hectares. Waterloo or "damp meadow" owes its fame initially to the road pavers. It is said that Moscow's Red Square was paved by the people of Waterloo! A sugar refinery, four soap factories and a couple breweries set up their quarters here.
Today, its luxury boutiques, pleasant shopping centre, as well as its many cultural and sporting activities and its infrastructure of hotels attract a large visiting public.
There is only one Waterloo which retains its links to the battle that changed Europe's destiny in 1815 ...
A symbol of victory over a formidable and feared opponent, to exceptional prestige; more than 124 locations around the world have adopted this name, introduced by the veterans of 1815.
Since 1996, the "Waterloo Connection" has brought together all these cities with the peaceful goal of developing trade and personal contacts.
Famous persons :
• "The Singing Nun", who doesn’t remember the "Dominique-nique - nique ..." the resounding chart-topper that earned her the No.1 in the U.S. in 1963 and sold more records than the Beatles and Elvis Presley combined? The Singing Sister lived in the Fichermont convent, which is located a couple of hundred metres from the famous Lion Mound.
• Morris, the creator of 'Lucky Luke’, was part of the "Waterloo Group of Four" along with Jijé (creator of "Spirou and Fantasio"), Wil (creator of’ "Isabelle" and Franquin (creator of 'Gaston Lagaffe’).
• Jules Bastin, Opera singer with an international career. The cultural hall of the town is dedicated to him.
WATERLOO TOURISM OFFICE
Chaussée de Bruxelles 218
Tel. : +32 (0)2 352 09 10
Fax : +32.(0)2 354 22 23
Situated in the province of Brabant, 16 km south of Brussels, Waterloo covers an area of 2,097 hectares of which 99 hectares of woodland are part of the Soignes Forest. At the gateway of Brussels, this commune harmoniously combines the economic life of its many residents and tourists... Waterloo has approximately 30,000 inhabitants, including nearly 6,000 foreigners from over 100 countries!
Waterloo is twinned with Rambouillet (France), Nagakute (Japan) and Differdange (Luxembourg).
History, the village of street pavers...
In Waterloo, there is evidence of a human presence from the Mesolithic era, even Palaeolithic.
In 1128, the name of the town appears in texts as a place called WATERLOTS.
Waterloo was nevertheless far from being the town (stage village) located at the entrance to the Soignes Forest. It is known and appreciated by travellers, soldiers or leaders, alike.
The Village was also regularly visited in 1600 by the Infanta Isabella - Governor of the Provinces which even gave her name to an avenue ...
It was during the 16th and 17th centuries that Waterloo underwent an important development, due to its location on the road linking Brussels and Genappe, as well as coal regions.
Apart from a few farms and inns, the town is occupied by foresters, attracted by its proximity to Brussels and a road which assisted in the transportation of their charcoal. Waterloo was the stop off point for travellers, pleased to be uninjured after the dark and mysterious Soignes Forest which was favoured amongst highwaymen.
In 1687, the Marquis de Gastanaga, Governor of the Netherlands, built the Royal Chapel in Waterloo in the vain hope of seeing his King, Charles II, give birth to a male heir.
Finally, it was during this period that Waterloo was under the thumb of Jacques Pastur, also known as "Jaco", a mercenary who was in the pay of either France or Spain and who had the privilege of fighting the British troops of the Duke of Marlborough in 1705. The first signs of 18th June 1815 and its famous battle.
For years, the economic nature of the town was primarily agricultural. At the start of the 19th century, there was an interesting development within the town which saw the construction of a windmill, two breweries and a distillery. A little later, there was even a sugar refinery, a chemical plant, five soap factories and numerous paving companies that were to give Waterloo its reputation.
Those last decades, Waterloo - with its dynamic municipality of 30,000 inhabitants - was experiencing a significant economic growth as the home of many renowned European businesses, while preserving the habitat and quality of life of its citizens.