History buffs from the Netherlands and other European countries have gathered in Lithuania to retrace Napoleon's disastrous retreat from Russia 200 years ago.

The enthusiasts, decked in period costumes and strolling alongside Napoleon-era carriages, attracted large crowds of onlookers Friday in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.

The buffs intend to copy the 2,000 kilometer (1,250 miles) trek from Vilnius to France — through Poland, Germany and the Netherlands — that decimated Napoleon's Grand Army in 1812 and precipitated the emperor's downfall.

The Dutch organizers hope to raise money throughout the event for children who suffered from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.