Friday, August 6, 2010

Austerlitz Castle

This was an unexpected treat, an evening visit and meal at Austerlitz Castle. As far as I know, neither the castle nor the village has any significant connection to the battle, although I believe that the armistice was signed there. The village is a mile or so east of the battlefield, well behind the allied battle line.

The highlight of the visit was a demonstration of artillery drill by a group of authentic looking French artillerymen. I think that they were a little short handed for a gun crew, but these guys were all young and really looked the part, unlike so many of the overweight and unfit looking reenactors you often find at Wargame shows.

The demonstration was quite impressive, with enough noise and smoke to impress.

Jan was somehow selected to fire the gun the second time. Not sure how or why, certainly she did not volunteer. But she enjoyed the experience, and was the envy of everyone else in the group – including me.

Next came a display of sword fighting. No doubt very skilful, but less impressive than the artillery drill.

Finally it was inside for a very pleasant dinner. I understand that there is a small museum in the castle, but as our visit was after the castle had closed to the public we were unable to visit it.

This was an unusual extension to our battlefield walk, and one which I would recommend to anyone who has the opportunity. It is also the advantage of going with a coach group, as it is not something we would not have taken the trouble to book had we been on our own.

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