Spotlight #2 – Pyramid of Austerlitz

Sven Peeters
Sven Peeters13-05-2023

The Pyramid of Austerlitz, a unique monument located in the heart of the Netherlands, is a fascinating place that brings together history and nature. Although not as old as its Egyptian counterpart, the Pyramid of Austerlitz has its own story to tell and is a wonderful example of how a simple structure can hold so much history. Let's discover together the secrets of this special monument.

The Origin of the Pyramid of Austerlitz

The Pyramid of Austerlitz was built in 1804 by French soldiers stationed in the Netherlands. Under the leadership of General Auguste de Marmont, the pyramid was erected as a tribute to his friend and leader, Napoleon Bonaparte. Construction took place on one of the highest points in the Utrechtse Heuvelrug, which provided an impressive view of the surroundings.

Opening hours and entrance fees

The Pyramid of Austerlitz is open all year round, except New Year's Day, King's Day and Christmas Day. Opening hours vary by season:

Open daily on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. NB! opening hours may vary per month!

  • Adults: €3.50
  • Children (4 to 12 years): €1.50
  • Children (0 to 3 years): free

Accessibility and parking

The Pyramid of Austerlitz is easily accessible by car and public transport. A free parking lot is available to visitors a short walk from the entrance. If you travel by public transport, you can take the train to station Driebergen-Zeist, followed by a bus (line 81) to the bus stop 'Pyramide van Austerlitz'.

Construction and design

The Pyramid consists of an earthen wall, built up of layers of sod, and is topped with a wooden obelisk. The structure is about 36 meters high and has a square base of 68 by 68 meters. Although the design is simple, it represents both Napoleon's military prowess and the heyday of the French Empire.

The naming

The name 'Austerlitz' was not chosen at random. It refers to the Battle of Austerlitz, a major victory for Napoleon in 1805. This battle is regarded as one of Napoleon's greatest military victories, making the name of the Pyramid a fitting tribute to his achievements.

A changing landscape

Over the years, the Pyramid of Austerlitz has undergone several transformations. In 1894 the wooden obelisk was replaced by a stone one, and in 2004 the Pyramid was restored to its original shape. Today, the Pyramid of Austerlitz is a popular tourist attraction, where visitors can enjoy the beautiful views and rich history of this special monument.

A lasting memory

The Pyramid of Austerlitz is not only a reminder of the past, but also a symbol of human creativity and perseverance. The monument shows how a temporary structure, originally intended to keep soldiers occupied during a rest period, can grow into a lasting tribute to a historical figure and an important piece of Dutch history.

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