5,000 Re-Enactors Bring The Battle Of Waterloo Back To Life

06/18/2015 06:17 pm ET | Updated Jun 18, 2015

Thousands of re-enactors descended on the Belgian town of Waterloo on Thursday to relive the historic battle that took place there 200 years ago and brought an end to French Emperor Napoleon's campaign to control Europe.

On June 18, 1815, an international coalition of soldiers led by the Duke of Wellington defeated the French army near the town of Waterloo, forcing Napoleon to retreat. More than ten thousand soldiers and as many horses did not survive the battle.

Nearly 5,000 people from 52 countries are taking part in this week's re-enactment, which will last through Saturday.

Take a look at the first day of the events:

  • AP/John Thys, Pool
    Soldiers pull ribbons down from the Lion's Mound during a ceremony to commemorate the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo in Braine l'Alleud, near Waterloo, Belgium, on June 18, 2015.
  • AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, Pool
    Men dressed in historical costumes re-enact a symbolic scene of the Battle of Waterloo in Braine l'Alleud, Belgium, on June 18, 2015.
  • Getty Images/Carl Court
    A man reads in a re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo in Braine l'Alleud, Belgium, on June 18, 2015.
  • Getty Images/Carl Court
    Women rest in the camp in a re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo in Braine l'Alleud, Belgium, on June 18, 2015.
  • Getty Images/Carl Court
    Men walk in a re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo in Braine l'Alleud, Belgium, on June 18, 2015.
  • Getty Images/Carl Court
    Men gather and march in a re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo in Braine l'Alleud, Belgium, on June 18, 2015.
  • Getty Images/Carl Court
    A man prepares food in a re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo in Braine l'Alleud, Belgium, on June 18, 2015.
  • Getty Images/Carl Court
    A man rests in the camp in a re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo in Braine l'Alleud, Belgium, on June 18, 2015.
  • Getty Images/Carl Court
    A man dressed as a British soldier rests in a re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo in Braine l'Alleud, Belgium, on June 18, 2015.
  • AFP/Getty Images/John Thys
    A re-enactor dressed as a Prussian soldier gives orders in a re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo in Braine l'Alleud, Belgium, on June 18, 2015.
  • Getty Images/Carl Court
    A man cleans a prop rifle in a re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo in Braine l'Alleud, Belgium, on June 18, 2015.
  • Getty Images/Carl Court
    A man stands outside the wifi tent in a re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo in Braine l'Alleud, Belgium, on June 18, 2015.
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