Aachen, Germany, with its World Heritage Site, the cathedral

Aachen, Germany, with its World Heritage Site, the cathedral

Aachen is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, at the point where Germany borders on Belgium and the Netherlands. It has a population of 246,000. In French (including crossborder train services from Brussels and Paris), the city is known as Aix-la-Chapelle or Aquis Gran, whereas its Dutch name is Aken.

Aachen was the winter capital of Charlemagne, Holy Roman Emperor from 800 to 814 AD. The city lies at the borders of Germany with the Netherlands and Belgium, forming the economic region called the Euregio.

Aachen has an excellent city bus system including a night bus system. You can get tickets from the bus driver. www.aseag.de

 

Highlights:

Aachen Cathedral - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Aachen Cathedral is one of the most famous examples of occidental architecture. In around 800, the core building of the Palace Chapel was built. During the 14th and 15th centuries, the gothic choir (the "Aachen glasshouse"), the north and south chapel were added. Throughout centuries many other constructions and decorations were completed. As of today it is a unique and beautiful two-storey cathedral of classical pillars, bronze railings, golden masterpices, glass works etc. The cathedral is the memorial and funeral place of Charlemagne (+814). During 936-1531, 30 kings and 12 queens were anointed, crowned and enthorned here. In the Middle Ages, it was one of Christendom's most important venues for pilgrimage, together with Jerusalem, Rome and Santiago de Compostela. Heiligtumsfahrt (the Aachen pilgrimage) takes place every year since 1349 (the next one will be in June 2014). In 1978 it was the first German building to be acknowledged the UNESCO World Heritage. Opening times: Jan- Mar: M 10AM-1PM; Tu-Su 10AM-5PM; 1st Th/month 10AM-10PM. Apr-Dec: M 10AM-1PM; Tu-Su 10AM-6PM; Th 10AM-9PM

- Sit on the Market place (central city) on a summer evening, watch students strolling by, listen to guitar players and have a beer, bought at a small Turkish or Chinese diner around.

- Walk through the Frankenberger Viertel (Frankenberg Quarter), a sort of alternative area in the South of Aachen, have lunch or dinner in a Turkish or Arab diner.

- Rathaus

Nightlife: The Pontstraße begins at Markt facing the historic city hall and ends at the Ponttor, part of the medieval city walls. Pontstraße is the main student hangout and offers a large variety of restaurants and bars, from pizzerias to late night hangout spots and a cinema. A special treat are public fiestas happening at Karneval and important football matches. Don't miss it if you get the chance! Reached by a number of bus lines from Bushof; park at the near University.