So there is a hidden gem among the many medium and smaller-sized towns in Germany that don’t have a particularly powerhouse football team nor an amazing must-see-museum of sorts. Instead, this town was more important in the past than the today’s modern day civilized world (or its attempt to be civilized). Started as a Roman resort town due to its proximity to hot springs, the city has seen its fair share of Roman administrators and troops until Charlemagne brought its importance in the medieval ages of Europe. After being crowned the Holy Roman Emperor, Charlemagne resided in the city of Aachen which ended up growing due to all the people wanting to be close to where the Emperor lived that he even had the city’s cathedral remodeled in order to accommodate the influx of people.
But the city’s importance didn’t end at Charlemagne’s death as many more German Kings went to Aachen, in order to go to the cathedral that Charlemagne built, to be crowned the Holy Roman Emperor there. They also improved the city by building walls in order to defend against attacks since the city later was positioned between France and smaller German nations which later became Germany.
If you’re into the history part, then Aachen and its cathedral is where people should head to. There isn’t much to do or see in Aachen as it’s more of university/working town. It was also heavily damaged during World War II like a lot of other German cities. Aachen also has the distinct footnote in World War II history of being the first German city to be captured after the US military (and Allies) made its push after outlasting the trenched battle lines at Bastogne. I recommend making the drive out to Aachen if you’re near the area such as being in the city of Cologne.