Brno, Czech Republic – Although the battle of Austerlitz is arguably one of the most famous in European history, few people know it actually took place in modern-day Czech Republic.
Brno celebrates anniversary of Austerlitz battle
And like every year, commemorations are held in the Czech city of Brno, the capital of Moravia where the battle of Austerlitz took place 213 years ago.
The commemorative events kicked of last Saturday with the “Napoleon in Brno” celebrations, which included a historical procession through the streets of the Czech Republic’s second largest city. History buffs could also witness an impressive video-mapping and attend a mass, held in the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul to pay homage to war victims. The commemorations will end tomorrow with an act of piety at the Peace Monument at noon.
Historical reenactment of the battle of Austerlitz
The series of events dedicated to Napoleonic history is due to culminate today with the annual reenactment of the most famous of all the Napoleonic battles, a long-running and highly-anticipated tradition very popular among locals and tourists alike and highlight of this week-long celebration.
Every year, thousands of people flock to the fields east of Brno to watch the reenactment and feel the history of one of the most famous battles in European modern history. According to the organizers of the event, over 1.000 uniformed people will take part to the reenactment, which starts at 2 pm, along with over 15 canons. Every year, a different part or “episode” of the battle is represented.
For those who wish to attend, the Austerlitz battle simulation will take place under Santon Hill, near the village of Tvarozna, and entrance is free except for the tribunes. You can find more information about the event here, or simply watch the video of last year’s historical recreation:
Why was the battle so decisive?
The battle of Austerlitz took place on December 2, 1805, in Slavkov u Brna – then known by its German name, Austerlitz – located a few kilometers outside of Brno. It opposed Napoleon’s Grande Armée to the allied armies of Russian Tsar Alexander I and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor and emperor of Austria.
The Battle of the Three Emperors – as the battle of Austerlitz is also sometimes referred to – is widely considered as one of the greatest victories and military achievements of Napoleon, cementing his tactical and strategic genius in history books and annals of warfare.
Thanks to a cunning ruse, through which he pretended to retreat only to outflank the opposing armies, he defeated nearly 100.000 enemy troops with less than 70.000 soldiers. Around 9.000 French soldiers died during the battle, compared to over 15.000 dead and 11.000 captured on the Austrian-Russian side.
A few days after the French victory at Austerlitz, France and Austria agreed on a truce and signed the Treaty of Pressburg on December 27, forcing Francis I to make peace with Napoleon and acknowledging the French Emperor’s territorial gains following his decisive wins at Austerlitz and Ulm.