Brno, Czech Republic – The commemorations of the 213th anniversary of the battle of Austerlitz kicked off one week ago in Brno, the capital of Moravia. The series of events dedicated to Napoleonic history is due to culminate today with the traditional reenactment of the most famous of all the Napoleonic battles.
The Austerlitz battle took place on December 2, 1805, in Slavkov u Brna – then known by its German name, Austerlitz, a few kilometers outside of Brno. It opposed Napoleon’s Grande Armée to the armies of the Russian and Austrian emperors.
The Battle of the Three Emperors – as it is sometimes referred to – cemented Napoleon’s military 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 75.000 soldiers. Less than 2.000 French soldiers died during the battle, compared to over 15.000 on the Austrian-Russian side.
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 today, along with over 15 canons. Every year, a different part or “episode” of the battle is represented. The battle will take place under Santon Hill, near the village of Tvarozna. Entrance is free except for the tribunes.
You can find more information about the event here.
Last Saturday, the “Napoleon in Brno” celebrations included a historical procession in the Czech Republic’s second largest city as well as a video-mapping. A mass was also 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.
You can watch the video from last year’s reenactment here: