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Waterloo (in Walloon: Waterlô) ( ) is a Walloonmarker municipality located in the province of Walloon Brabantmarker, Belgiummarker. On January 1, 2006, Waterloo had a total population of 29,315. The total area is 21.03 km² which gives a population density of 1,394 inhabitants per km².

One quarter of the current registered population are non-Belgian, most of whom work for institutions in Brusselsmarker, the capital of the European Union. Waterloo is home to St. John's International School, one of the largest and oldest international schools in Belgium. The European headquarters of MasterCard International is also located in Waterloo.

Battle of Waterloo

Waterloo's claim to fame is the Battle of Waterloomarker (June 18, 1815) between the First French Empire of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Alliance of the Seventh Coalition (the United Kingdommarker, Prussia, Austriamarker and others), under the main allied commanders, the Duke of Wellington and General von Blücher. There is a memorial in the form of a statue of a lion (looking towards Francemarker) on a hill, with 226 stairs, called La Butte du Lionmarker. Other attractions related to the battle are the Wellington Museum and the Roman Catholic Church of St. Joseph, where Wellington is said to have prayed before going into battle and where British and Dutch plaques commemorating the fallen are now to be seen.

Modern-day Waterloo

Today, Waterloo contains two Carrefour hypermarkets, a Delhaize store, an Ibis Hotel, a Fortis Bank branch, numerous office parks to the east of the town and two international schools: St. John's International School and the Scandinavian School. As a result Waterloo is a polyglot and multicultural town, the Commune offers services in French, Dutch, and English. A row of shops, called Petit Paris is along the Chaussée de Bruxelles (which becomes Chaussée de Waterloo or Waterloose Steenweg when nearing Brussels) from the church to the intersection with Dreve Richelle. There are also numerous gay bars which are very popular at the weekends.

Etymology

The placename, of Dutch origin, is most likely derived from "water", and lo(o), an ancient word for "forest." The early settlement may have been located near marshy woods.

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