Aachen Cathedral is a burial site, coronation church and pilgrimage destination.
The history of today’s Aachen Cathedral began around 803 AD, when it was known as the Marienkirche. The cathedral is a real pilgrimage site, as the place where Charlemagne the Great is buried and as a coronation church of the Roman-German kings. The first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Germany, it is visited every year by over 1 million tourists, either individually or in groups. Every seven years, Christians from all over the world make the pilgrimage to Aachen to get a glimpse of the four great shrines there.
To the right next to the main entrance, there is a model of Aachen Cathedral, which is designed to offer blind people in particular an impression of the enormous building.
Tourists are not permitted to visit the cathedral during services. Normal visiting hours are weekdays from 11 am, Saturdays from 1 pm and Sundays from 12.30 pm. Brief closures due to church events are also possible.
The cathedral is barrier-free with certain restrictions.
The treasury is considered one of the most important of its kind north of the Alps.
Relics and artefacts, which are among the largest and most illustrious in western Christianity, are still to be found today in the treasury of Aachen Cathedral. Above all, the Marienkirche (“Church of St. Mary”) has its function as a coronation church to thank for its impressive collection of valuable artworks, which attract around 100,000 visitors to the treasury every year. The collection includes numerous sacred gold and silver items such as chalices, reliquaries and altarpieces. In an area of around 600 m2, objects from late antiquity and from the Carolingian, Ottonian, Staufian and Gothic periods are a testimony to the liturgical practice and kingship through the ages.
The historic façade is already an indication of the building’s glorious history: 50 rulers, 31 of whom were crowned in Aachen, surround the central figures of Charlemagne, the Holy Mary and Pope Leo III. In the elaborately decorated rooms, too, the story of the city hall, which was built on the historic site of the great palace hall of Emperor Charlemagne, is brought to life.
In the coronation hall, where formerly the rulers took a meal after being crowned, copies of the imperial regalia remind us of this glorious era today.
Located between the Puppenbrunnen, the city hall and the Bahkauv, the Hof square has something to offer everyone, and is a good place to spend a few hours with its restaurants, bars and cafés. Take a break here, lean back and take it easy, Aachen-style.
Starting from the Hof, walk down the Medieval-style Körbergasse, past the traditionalist Plum’s Kaffee coffee roasting house and the basket weaver’s “Korb Bayer”, which first opened its doors in 1865, until you reach a symbol of the city: the “Printenmädchen”, or “little gingerbread girl”. Now enter Aachen’s oldest coffee shop, the Alt Aachener Café-Stuben van den Daele, which was founded in 1890. The rooms, which are full of nooks and crannies, and the many stairs in this historic building, give the café its particular charm.
Located in the heart of the city, the Elisenbrunnen fountain is the symbol of Aachen as a spa and bathing city. Here, the hot springs, which were valued not only by Charlemagne, but also the Romans, can be seen bubbling up from below. The classicistic building with its two fountains is a popular meeting place for young and old, Aacheners and non-Aacheners!
The perfect place to set out on your tour of discovery
The Elisenbrunnen is the ideal place to start your tours of discovery of Aachen. Are you still looking for a suitable city map, or do you have any questions about your destination? Then visit us at our Tourist Information office at the Elisenbrunnen.
Relics and artefacts, which are among the largest and most illustrious in western Christianity, are still to be found today in the treasury of Aachen Cathedral. Above all, the Marienkirche (“Church of St. Mary”) has its function as a coronation church to thank for its impressive collection of valuable artworks, which attract around 100,000 visitors to the treasury every year.
The collection includes numerous sacred gold and silver items such as chalices, reliquaries and altarpieces. In an area of around 600 m2, objects from late antiquity and from the Carolingian, Ottonian, Staufian and Gothic periods are a testimony to the liturgical practice and kingship through the ages.
The imposing structures of Aachen Cathedral on one side and the city hall on the other tower over the Katschhof square. Against this unique historic background, the square is brought to life with numerous events. Experience the special atmosphere here during the Christmas market, the annual “Domspringen” pole-vaulting competition or the old city flea market.
Get away from it all in the middle of city hustle and bustle
On the Katschhof square, which used to connect the Marienkirche church built by Charlemagne and his great palace hall, you’ll find the Centre Charlemagne, Aachen’s new city museum. Here, you can immerse yourself in the history of Aachen. From the stairs of the city hall, you also have a unique view of Aachen Cathedral. The atmosphere in the square is unbelievably peaceful - a real retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
In Aachen, water and wellness have a long tradition. While in former times, the Romans relaxed in the therapeutic waters of the Aachen mineral springs, today, the Carolus Thermen thermal pools offer the perfect escape from everyday life.
In the thermal spa, you’ll find a range of different indoor and outdoor pools, all of which are filled with beneficial thermal water. In the summer, the Carolus beach, with its sand and beach chairs, offers a real holiday atmosphere! If you still want a real workout in the middle of your relaxing day, you can join a free aqua gymnastics session.