Thousands from around world re-enact 1805 Battle of Austerlitz
Now to the east of the Czech Republic for a major re-enactment of the Battle of Austerlitz, which was fought on December 2nd 1805 and is remembered as Napoleon Bonaparte's greatest military victory. The 200th anniversary re-enactment took seven years to prepare and attracted thousands of visitors from around the world. Radio Prague's Ian Willoughby reports.
English man: "There's British, Germans, Czechs, Dutch...today I was fighting with Australians and Americans."
Says one man who explains why he came all the way from England to be at Austerlitz.
"I'm from a French family and I'd just like to try and relive as they did...I mean we were out there bivouacking on the snow, but at the same time they survived so why can't we."
"Well with the victory at Austerlitz France emerged as a dominant power, the confidence of the Austrians was shaken, the Russians were repelled. The following campaign year ending with the Treaty of Tilset in 1807...Prime Minister Pitt rolled up the map of Europe and said we won't need this for a few years. It was the beginning of clearly a pivotal time, the emergence of the French Empire versus the Republic, and the emergence of France as a dominant power."
But is it this kind of celebration appropriate, given that in just six hours of bloody fighting almost 20,000 people lost their lives in the Battle of Austerlitz?
"We have to enjoy it, otherwise the mud and the cold and the bad food and bad coffee and all that wouldn't be worth it. But most of us feel very much that we have a duty to do a responsible and honourable job commemorating these men."
And an estimated 30,000 spectators turned out to watch the re-enactment, the biggest event of its kind ever held in the Czech Republic.