The “Pyramid of Austerlitz” is located at the highest point of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug. The monument dates from the time of Napoleon in the early 1800s. In 1804 General Marmont had the pyramid built by the French-Batavian army, as a tribute to his friend and example Napoleon Bonaparte.
Inspired by his campaign to Egypt, Marmont chose a pyramid topped with an obelisk. This obelisk was made of wood and quickly fell into disrepair. Napoleon’s brother Louis Napoleon, at that time King of Holland, gave the monument the name “Pyramid of Austerlitz” after the battle in today’s Czech Republic. In 1894 a new obelisk was built of stone, but the pyramid itself was hardly restored.
The pyramid’s flat top was originally surmounted by a 13 meter high wooden obelisk which soon fell apart and was demolished in 1808. A new stone obelisk was built in 1894. The hastily built pyramid itself was showing signs of aging but was barely renovated.
The pyramid fell into disrepair for much of the 20th century. Until the year 2000 only the stone obelisk atop the pyramid was still visible. For its 200th anniversary the derelict pyramid was restored and reopened to visitors in 2008, along with a new visitor center illustrating the period of French rule in the Netherlands.
The structure is still quite delicate but thanks to the placement of a steel staircase visitors can climb to the top of the pyramid for a spectacular views on a clear day.