UNESCO World Heritage in Germany
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Aachen Cathedral

The manifestation of a »New Rome« - this was Charlemagne's guiding vision when he began the construction of the Palace Chapel in the former Roman spa resort Aachen in 786 - laying the foundation stone for one of Europe's most outstanding edifices.
Interior of Aachen CathedralThe cathedral obtained its present shape in the course of more than a millennium. The core of the Aachen cathedral is the formerly mentioned Palace Capel - at the time of its construction it was the largest dome north of the Alps. Its fascinating architecture with Classical, Byzantine and Germanic-Franconian elements is the essence of a monumental building of greatest importance: for 600 years, from 936 to 1531, Aachen cathedral was the church of coronation for 30 German kings. In order to bear the enormous flow of pilgrims in the Gothic period a choir hall was built: a two-part Capella vitrea (glass capel) which was consecrated on the 600th day of Charlemagne's death.
Eversince, the magnificent architecture of the »glass house« of Aachen has never stopped to be admired: Aachen cathedral has lost nothing of its splendour in the course of history. Its inclusion in the list of the German UNESCO World Heritage as the first German »architectural and artistic historical ensemble« is an unequivocal evidence of its importance.
The Aachen cathedral treasury displays sacral masterpieces of the late Classical, Carolingian, Ottonian and Staufian period - among them there are som unique exhibits like the »Cross of Lothair« the »Bust of Charlemagne« and the »Persephone sarcophagus«. The Cathedral Treasury in Aachen is regarded as one of the most important ecclesiastical treasuries in northern Europe.

Visit the cathedral's homepage
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22 May 1998 - If you have any comments or questions, please contact me:
Wolfgang M. Werner wmwerner@web.de