Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Walking Aspern and Austerlitz

The last of our battlefield walking holidays, at least to date, was in 2002 when we visited Aspern, Essling, Wagram and Austerlitz.

Our first visit to Austerlitz, in 1998, had been spoiled by bad weather. Heavy rain and muddy fields meant that though we walked the area it was not an enjoyable experience. It made us realise that a return visit would be well worth while. But we did not really feel that there was enough to do to keep us busy for a full week.

Aspern-Essling and Wagram are both near Vienna, which in turn is only a few hours drive from Austerlitz. We had never visited these battlefields, and always wanted to. So we decided to do a fly-drive to Vienna. Spend three days exploring Aspern-Essling and Wagram. Drive to Austerlitz and spend another three days exploring there.

After our first visit to Austerlitz I had all the maps I needed. On our return I had read every book I could find, and felt confident that we could explore the battlefield without any further preparation.

On our first visit we had lunch at the Post House in the middle of the battlefield, and I knew that they had excellent accommodation. So we would spend our three days there, in the same building used by the Allied headquarters before the battle and Napoleons headquarters on the night of the battle.

Aspern-Essling and Wagram were a different matter. I had never visited the area, so we would have to research from scratch. The battlefield covered a large area, and would require careful planning to find all the locations. Exploring by car would be difficult, so we decided to hire cycles.

The first blog about our visit deals with the planning, and in particular the books I used to prepare for the visit. It can be found at

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