Dec 04, 2023

GALLERY: Battle of Austerlitz Reenactment Draws Record Numbers of Participants

Prague Morning

Prague Morning

Thousands flocked to Santon Hill for the annual reenactment of the Battle of Austerlitz. Commemorated every year, this year’s edition is the largest since 2015, using 1200 history enthusiasts from 15 different countries.

Over 10,000 spectators braved the cold and snow near the village of Tvarožná in the Brno region to watch the annual reenactment of the historic battle of Austerlitz.

Also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, the nine-hour fight saw Napoleon’s army of 60,000 famously defeat the much stronger armies of Tsar Alexander I of Russia and Emperor Francis of Austria in 1805.

For the locals, the recreation of one of Napoleon’s most famous and successful battles is not meant to celebrate the controversial figure – it is meant to commemorate and promote knowledge of a common European history, particularly in light of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year.

An annual tradition coinciding with a controversial film

This reenactment attracted many more spectators than usual, in part due to the release of the latest Ridley Scott film centered around the infamous Napoleon Bonaparte.

The movie has been met with waves of negative reviews from French historians and film critics and some local Czech historians have joined them in expressing their reservations about the movie.

Jakub Samek is a historian, battle participant, and one of the event organizers. He recently published a book about the French Emperor.

“(Ridley Scott) based the film on a legend that Napoleon had circulated in his propaganda bulletin just after the battle. The legend was that cannons cut the ice of the pond under the feet of the Russian army and thousands of enemies died there,” Samek explains.

 

 

 

 

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