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Visit Aachen, Germany | Discover Wonderful Facts of German History and Culture

Aachen GermanyAachen, Germany is a city that you probably have never heard of. It is located on the far west side of Germany bordering both Belgium and the Netherlands. The city usually does not make it into lists of the "Top 10 Places to Visit in Germany". If you are looking for something a little different for your vacation to Germany, then Aachen just may be the place for you especially if you are driving through the country.

Aachen has a population of over a quarter of a million people. A stop in Aachen, Germany will provide you with the opportunity to visit important sites related to Charlemagne who was crowned King of the Franks and the Lombards in Medieval times (c. 774 AD). He was later crowned the Emperor of the Romans (800 AD). Drop by the local tourist board to pick up brochures that will explain all that you can see.

 The King's Palace no longer exists, but the church that Charlemagne had built in 805 AD still stands... and the Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are all kinds of treasures to see inside.... including Charlemagne's throne. The Palace Chapel, the octagonal chapel in the Cathedral, was part of Charlemagne's palace.

Charlemagne called it the Church of St. Mary, and he was entombed here. His original tomb has been lost. Supposedly he was moved into the Golden Shrine that is still in the Cathedral. Later there were reliquaries made to display some of his bones, and those are kept in the Treasury.

In the Cathedral Treasury, around the corner from the Cathedral, you can see the Golden Arm Reliquary.... a giant arm and hand that has Charlemagne's arm bone in it. The Treasury is worth a visit as there are other religious treasures to see.

Because Charlemagne was buried here, most kings of Germany or the Holy Roman Empire were crowned here over the next several centuries.

The 14th century city hall or Rathaus lies between the market square, the Markt, and the Cathedral. It was built on the foundations of Charlemagne's palace and within some of its surviving walls. Kings of Germany held their coronation banquets in the Coronation Hall of the Rathaus.

Try to stop on a Tuesday or Thursday morning where there is still a fantastic market in the Market square in front of the Rathaus. The flowers, fruits and vegetables look so artistic in these markets. The cheeses and sausages call to you.

There are a number of hotels in the Old Town and lots of restaurants scattered around the pedestrian streets.

Road trips can take you to places that cannot be reached by large international airports. They give you a chance to know and understand a larger part of a country's culture and history. Germany is not just Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Frankfurt. A visit to Aachen will make that very clear.

When planning your vacation, be sure to verify the entry requirements for Germany and takes some time to learn German so you can communicate better with the locals.

Plan ahead and sign up for the most popular Germany tours.


About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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