The most important historical period of Aachen started with the takeover of the government by Charlemagne in 768 AD. The imperial palace, located next to the hot water springs, soon became Charlemagne’s permanent residence and so developed into a spiritual and cultural center. As the economic development of Aachen proceeded, the town became more and more prosperous, and this has persisted to the present day. Charlemagne was buried in the Cathedral of Aachen in 814. (The cathedral is Germany’s first UNESCO World Heritage site.) Two hundred years later he was canonized, which resulted in a flow of pilgrims wishing to visit and see Charlemagne’s tomb and the relics he gathered during his life. The relics are exhibited to the public every seven years (2021 is the next time). The Aachen Cathedral and its treasury are considered to be the principal ecclesiastical treasury north of the Alps. Aachen is now home to the Charlemagne Prize for politicians who advance European unity.
What to see in Aachen
- For paintings and sculptures from the late Middle Age or in 17th century painters, visit the Suermond-Ludwig Museum.
- The Ludwig Forum of International Art is an exhibition of various forms of contemporary art. Plastic arts are presented here alongside with music, dance, theatre, film etc.
- Museums that cater special interests are the Newspaper Museum, the Urban History Museum of Burg Frankenberg, the Customs History Collection, and the Computer Museum.
- Aachen is the location of famous spas with the hottest running water in Northern Europe.
- International dressage, jumping and riding tournament CHIO (dates vary).
- Elementary School Family Exchange Program
- High School Exchange Program
- High School Homestay Program