The German city of Aachen (in German: Aachen) has a long history. According to plus-size-tips, Aachen Cathedral has established itself as a place of pilgrimage very early on and the history of Charlemagne has had a major influence on the success of the city and the country. Today there is even an International Charlemagne Prize, which is awarded to people who are committed in a special way to the unification of Europe. The city of Aachen is also much visited for its valuable historical center with old architecture and the medicinal hot springs. In addition, the city is ideal for shopping, visiting fascinating museums or relaxing on one of the many terraces. Aachen is a popular city for Limburgers to go shopping or enjoy German cuisine. Its location just across the border at South Limburg ensures that you can easily reach the center of Aachen from most places in the south.
Top 10 Things to Do in Aachen
#1. Aachen Cathedral
Together with the town hall, the Aachen Cathedralthe historic heart of the city. What once started as a small chapel of the Imperial Palace has now blossomed into the stately Aachen Cathedral as we can see it today after many centuries of construction and alterations. Inside the church are a number of masterpieces from history to admire. There is, for example, a golden altarpiece ‘Pala d’Oro’ and the throne of Charlemagne. And there are still a number of special objects to admire that were donated by pilgrims, emperors and kings. There is even talk of a loincloth of Jesus Christ and a cloth in which the head of John the Baptist is said to have been. Because of this information, Aachen Cathedral has slowly but surely become a real place of pilgrimage. And it is not for nothing that it is called one of the most important ecclesiastical treasuries in Europe.
#2. Palatine Chapel
The Palatinate Chapel is the oldest part of Aachen Cathedral. It was built in 796 by order of Charlemagne, the ruler of the west. This richly decorated chapel was designed by Odo van Metz. The Armenian architect was inspired by buildings such as the Basilica of San Vitale in Italy, in which you can clearly see the multiple angles in the architecture. The building material came from ancient Roman structures from Italy. And so the Carolingian Renaissance era was ushered in. At the time it was a remarkable structure that was really ahead of its time. Today it still arouses some surprise, especially when you realize how old it is already.
#3. town hall
The fourteenth-century town hall, together with the Aachen Cathedral, forms the historic heart of the city. Both buildings have an imposing appearance that has never been lost over the centuries. In fact, it may have become more and more imposing over the years. The original construction dates back to the year 1330. This building is slowly being built on the foundation of the Grashaus, with the Granusturm as the oldest part. This monumental twenty-metre tower was part of Charlemagne’s Koningsplats in Aachen. The town hall was built around this.
The Ponttor is a fourteenth-century city gate. This fortress was an important part of the old city walls of Aachen. Together with the gates Kölntor, Jakobstor and Marschiertor, they were the only possibility to visit the city of Aachen at the time. Eventually more gates were added to the inner and outer city walls of Aachen. You didn’t get in there like that. As the function slowly but surely began to decline, the Ponttor has served its city in several ways. For example, it has served as a prison, but also temporarily as a school and museum. In the vicinity of the Ponttor, many historical features can be seen.
#5. Cathedral Treasury
The treasury of Aachen Cathedral is very impressive. Several valuables donated over the centuries by influential individuals are on display today. You will find pieces from the eleventh century such as the golden pulpit and a golden altar. But also the Lothar cross and the Proserpina sarcophagus from the Middle Ages brought by Charlemagne. And so you will find about a hundred special pieces that have all fulfilled a place in history.
#6. Sources of Aachen
The sulphurous hot springs of Aachen are known for miles around. It is not only wonderful to stay in the hot springs. People even talk about healing powers for ailments such as rheumatism, skin problems and of course against muscle pain. The most famous source is the Rosenquelle spring. In the Carolus Thermen Bad in Aachen you can not only enjoy the Rosenquelle source, you can have a massage, enjoy the sauna or just relax.
#7. St. Nikolauskirche
Many buildings have stood on the site of the St. Nikolauskirche over the centuries. Sadly many have been destroyed by violence, fire, earthquakes, war or neglect. The current appearance was largely obtained in the eighteenth century. The design by Laurenz Mefferdatis has already been adapted and restored several times. The interior can best be described as baroque style.
#8. Newspaper Museum
The ‘Internationales Zeitungsmuseum’, as the newspaper museum is called in German, was founded in 1886. The collector and lawyer Oskar von Forckenbeck decided to present his runaway collection to the public in the Suermondt Museum in Aachen. The exhibition turned out to be a success and history was made. After von Forckenbeck’s death in 1898, his widow left the now enormous collection of newspapers and books to the city of Aachen.
A remarkable fountain can be discovered at the Krämestasse in Aachen. This landmark was designed and created by the German sculptor Boniface Stirnberg: the Puppenbrunnen. This puppet fountain with movable figures tells different passages from life in Aachen. There is a market woman to discover, a bishop, a horseman, a professor and a rooster. Together they make the important connections to the history of the city. Aachen is famous for its industry, science and as an equestrian city. The episcopal see and the reference to the origin of France have all preceded this. The city of Aachen really has a story to tell.
#10. City walls
It is clear that the city of Aachen was of great importance in history. The city was even protected with two city walls. The inner ring is called the Barbarossa Mauer. It was built in 1172 by order of Frederick I of Hohenstaufen, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Remains of this old city wall are still visible at Tempelgraben, Seilgraben and Minoritenstraße. The outer city wall was built in the thirteenth century. After all, the city experienced a growth that was hindered by the inner walls. The wall was about nine to ten meters high and had a length of about 5300 meters. Several city gates and guard houses were also built. Of these, only the Ponttor and Marchiertor are visible.