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Aachen, Germany – where Holy Roman Emperors had their coronation

Posted by on October 24, 2018

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.

Aachen Cathedral modern day church eglise

When you’re walking from the west, this is the view that you get. However, in the past during the medival ages, you would not see the other buildings but rather the cathedral would be the first thing that you note.

side view of the cathedral aachen Roman Catholic Diocese of Aachen palatine chapel

What the Cathedral looks like from the side giving a viewer the full landscape viewpoint.

dom aachener aachenen germany king konig emperor coronation site holy roman emperor cathedral church west

Inside the Aachen Cathedral, you can see that the original foundations are not matching due to Charlemagne’s desire to expand the cathedral which also led to more people and future coronations held there.

mosaic mosaico iglesia deutschland aleman cruz cross religion thema tourism

The back end of the cathedral where the priest would give his sermon from.

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.

party central after coronation aachen

This was not the original city hall that Charlemagne used since the people tore that down and built this bigger one instead. Future Holy Roman Emperors after Charlemagne used this building to hold their celebration banquets where obviously many people attended in order to curry favors with the new monarch.

front door view vision tur puerta del edificio aachen alemania alemagne

What the front entrance looks like. You can go in for a fee as there are a lot of historic items inside.

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.