Just as there have been numerous wars in humankind’s history, so are there plenty of battlefield sites. Some battlefield sites are well-preserved, most likely to remain a stark reminder of the battles fought there and pass on the hard lesson to future generations. Other areas are neglected and crying out for historic preservation to reclaim their old glory if there was ever one. One thing is shared across all the sites; that at the place on earth and point in time, humanity was at a crossroads, and stakes were so high that only war seemed the viable way out of the deadlock, or was it? Admirably and true to human nature, some of these battlefields have been pristinely preserved and are worth a visit next time you plan a holiday to Europe. Here are some battlefield sites that you need to include in your travel bucket list:
Thermopylae in Greece
The battle of Thermopylae was fought here between Persian invaders and Greeks. If you visit the Thermopylae today, you will be bewildered by the natural beauty of the rugged green hills, stark opposite of the bloodbath that took place here.
Culloden in Scotland
In April 1746, Culloden near Inverness saw the ultimate battle on British soil where the Bonnie Prince Charlie-led Jacobite army faced defeat and changed the Scottish Highlands forever. The Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon are inspired by the events of this tumultuous period.
Waterloo in Belgium
You know a battlefield is famous when the place’s name has earned a place in the English dictionary. Waterloo is a place in Belgium where Napoleon, facing off with British forces and seven other nations, finally tasted defeat. Visit Waterloo today and witness firsthand the vanity of war and the strength in unity.
Stirling Bridge in Scotland
Back to Scotland, the Battle of Stirling Bridge saw the Scottish independence forces face-off with the British troops. Visit Stirling Bridge and learn about the formation of Great Britain as we know it today.
Visiting these sites is more than just fun. You also support historic preservation efforts to keep these places open.