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A Morning In German City Of Aachen


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Rhodia Desmond



Welcome to the picturesque city of Aachen, located in the western part of Germany. This charming city is not only rich in history but also offers a captivating blend of ancient architecture and modern amenities. From its historic landmarks to its vibrant culture, there is something for everyone to explore and enjoy in Aachen.


With a history that spans over two millennia, Aachen has played a significant role in the development of the region. Founded by the Romans in the first century AD, it later became the residence of Charlemagne, the legendary Frankish King. The city flourished under his rule and became the center of the Carolingian Empire.


Today, Aachen is known for its beautiful architecture, influenced by various periods throughout history. The city’s iconic landmark is the Aachen Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This magnificent masterpiece showcases a combination of architectural styles, from Carolingian to Gothic, making it a unique and breathtaking sight to behold.


Aside from its religious significance, Aachen offers a wealth of cultural experiences. The city is home to numerous museums, art galleries, and theaters, where visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant local arts scene. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or music, Aachen has something to offer.


Apart from its historical and cultural attractions, Aachen also boasts a lively atmosphere. The city is buzzing with bustling cafes, bars, and restaurants that cater to all tastes and preferences. Indulge in traditional German cuisine, savoring bratwurst sausages, sauerkraut, and pretzels, or explore the international dining scene with a wide range of culinary options.


For nature enthusiasts, Aachen provides ample opportunities to relax and unwind. The city is dotted with beautiful parks and gardens, offering picturesque settings for leisurely walks or picnics. The Elisengarten, in particular, is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, with stunning views of the city and a peaceful atmosphere.


And of course, no visit to Aachen would be complete without indulging in a bit of retail therapy. The city boasts a variety of shops, from high-end boutiques to quirky independent stores, where you can find everything from fashion and accessories to local crafts and souvenirs.


Whether you’re a history buff, culture vulture, or simply on the lookout for a delightful city to explore, Aachen has it all. Join us as we take you on a journey through this enchanting German city, where ancient history meets modern charm.


Historical Background

Aachen has a rich and fascinating historical background that spans over two thousand years. The city’s story begins in the Roman era when it was founded in the first century AD. Known then as Aquae Granni, Aachen was a flourishing Roman spa town, renowned for its healing thermal springs.


In the eighth century, Aachen gained prominence under the rule of Charlemagne, the Frankish King. Charlemagne chose Aachen as his preferred residence and made it the capital of his empire. The city became the political and cultural center of Europe during the Carolingian period, attracting scholars, artists, and nobles from far and wide.


During Charlemagne’s reign, Aachen witnessed a period of immense growth and development. The construction of the iconic Aachen Cathedral began, showcasing Carolingian architecture at its finest. The cathedral became the coronation site of German kings throughout the Middle Ages and remains one of the most important historical landmarks in the city.


Over the centuries, Aachen continued to play a significant role in European history. It was the site of numerous important treaties and diplomatic meetings, earning the title of “City of Peace.” The Congress of Aachen in 1818, for example, brought together leaders from various European nations to discuss political stability and peace in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars.


Throughout its history, Aachen has also faced times of turmoil and destruction. The city was heavily damaged during World War II, with many of its historic buildings being destroyed or severely damaged. However, Aachen’s resilient spirit prevailed, and the city embarked on a remarkable reconstruction effort, restoring its architectural treasures to their former glory.


Today, Aachen stands as a testament to its rich history and cultural heritage. The city’s historic center, known as the Old Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers a glimpse into its past. Visitors can stroll through cobblestone streets, marvel at centuries-old buildings, and immerse themselves in the ambiance of a bygone era.


Aachen’s historical background is not just limited to the monumental landmarks and buildings. The city has also been a beacon of learning and knowledge for centuries. Aachen University, founded in 1870, is one of Germany’s oldest and most prestigious universities, attracting students and scholars from all over the world.


As you explore the streets of Aachen, you’ll find yourself surrounded by layers of history, from ancient Roman baths to medieval fortifications and Renaissance facades. The city’s historical background is a testament to its enduring legacy as a cultural and intellectual hub, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and curious travelers alike.


The City’s Architecture

Aachen’s architecture is a captivating blend of various styles and eras, reflecting its rich history and cultural influences. The city showcases a diverse range of architectural marvels, from ancient Roman structures to medieval fortifications and stunning Renaissance buildings.


One of the most iconic examples of Aachen’s architecture is the Aachen Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle. This awe-inspiring structure is a harmonious fusion of different architectural styles, with elements of Carolingian, Gothic, and Baroque design. The Palatine Chapel, the oldest part of the cathedral, showcases the impressive Carolingian architecture, while the Gothic choir and the Baroque choir stalls add layers of architectural beauty.


Besides the cathedral, Aachen boasts an array of Romanesque and Gothic buildings. The City Hall, located in the heart of the Old Town, is a magnificent example of medieval architecture. Built between the 14th and 16th centuries, it features intricate stone carvings, pointed arches, and a stunning facade adorned with statues and floral motifs. The City Hall’s coronation hall, which served as the venue for the anointing of German kings, is a testament to Aachen’s historical significance.


As you wander through the cobblestone streets of Aachen, you’ll encounter beautiful townhouses and mansions that showcase different architectural styles. Some buildings, like the Grashaus, display traditional half-timbered facades, while others highlight the elegance of Renaissance or Baroque design.


Another architectural gem in Aachen is the Couven Museum. Housed in a former patrician residence, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into 18th-century interior design and decoration. From the ornate stucco ceilings to the intricately carved woodwork, the Couven Museum exemplifies the beauty and craftsmanship of the time.


While Aachen celebrates its historical architecture, the city also embraces modern design. The Ludwig Forum for International Art, a contemporary art museum, stands out with its striking glass facade. Its modern design provides a stark contrast to the surrounding ancient buildings, demonstrating Aachen’s ability to seamlessly blend the old with the new.


As you explore the city, you’ll notice that Aachen’s architecture is not confined to grand structures alone. Even the everyday buildings, such as cafes, shops, and residences, contribute to the city’s unique architectural tapestry. A mix of styles, colors, and influences can be found at every turn, creating a visually captivating and harmonious cityscape.


Whether you’re an architecture aficionado or simply appreciate the beauty of well-designed structures, Aachen’s diverse range of architectural styles will leave you in awe. From ancient Roman ruins to medieval fortresses and elegant Renaissance buildings, the city’s architecture is a true reflection of its rich heritage and artistic expression.


Exploring Aachen Cathedral

A visit to Aachen would be incomplete without exploring the breathtaking Aachen Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the city’s most iconic landmark. This magnificent structure holds immense historical and architectural significance, attracting visitors from all over the world.


The Aachen Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle, is a masterpiece of Carolingian architecture. Its construction began in the eighth century, under the rule of Charlemagne, and has undergone several additions and renovations over the centuries. The cathedral is a unique blend of architectural styles, including Carolingian, Gothic, and Baroque elements, making it a captivating sight to behold.


One of the most extraordinary features of the cathedral is the Palatine Chapel, which is the oldest part of the structure. This exquisite chapel showcases the magnificence of Carolingian architecture, with its intricate arches, ornate stonework, and beautifully preserved mosaics. The golden mosaics that adorn the chapel’s interior are particularly stunning, depicting biblical scenes and figures.


Inside the cathedral, visitors can also explore the Gothic choir, a later addition that contrasts with the earlier Carolingian architecture. The stained glass windows, high vaulted ceilings, and finely carved choir stalls create an atmosphere of grandeur and reverence.


One of the most revered relics housed within the cathedral is the Throne of Charlemagne, a marble chair that is believed to have been used by the Frankish king. This ancient throne is a poignant reminder of Aachen’s historical significance as the center of the Carolingian Empire.


As you wander through the cathedral, take a moment to admire the beautiful artworks and treasures on display. The cathedral’s treasury contains an impressive collection of religious relics, including the Aachen Gospels, a stunning manuscript from the Carolingian era.


For those interested in the architectural details, a visit to the cathedral’s cloister is a must. The cloister features intricately carved columns and a peaceful garden, providing a serene space for contemplation and reflection.


Visiting the Aachen Cathedral is not only a chance to experience its architectural grandeur but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s fascinating history and spiritual atmosphere. Whether you have a deep appreciation for religious art and architecture or simply want to marvel at the sheer beauty of this centuries-old structure, a visit to Aachen Cathedral is sure to leave a lasting impression.


Aachen Cathedral stands as a testament to the city’s cultural heritage and its significance in European history. Stepping inside its hallowed halls allows you to connect with the past and gain a deeper understanding of the rich traditions that have shaped Aachen over the centuries.


Strolling Through the Old Town

Immerse yourself in the enchanting ambiance of Aachen’s Old Town as you take a leisurely stroll through its charming streets. With its winding alleys, historic buildings, and vibrant atmosphere, the Old Town offers a glimpse into Aachen’s rich history and cultural heritage.


Begin your exploration at the Markt, the main square of the Old Town. This bustling hub is surrounded by picturesque buildings, outdoor cafes, and charming shops. Admire the impressive City Hall, with its ornate façade and grand architecture, which has been the center of Aachen’s civic life for centuries.


As you venture further into the Old Town, you’ll discover a treasure trove of architectural gems. Marvel at the beautifully preserved half-timbered houses, with their intricate designs and colorful facades, that line the narrow streets. These historic buildings provide a glimpse into the town’s medieval past and create a fairy-tale-like atmosphere.


Pause to admire the stunning fountains that dot the Old Town. The Elisa Fountain, with its elegant sculptures and water features, is a popular spot to rest and take in the surroundings. The Fountain of Charlemagne, located at the Katschhof square, pays homage to the city’s most famous ruler.


As you continue your stroll, you’ll come across quaint churches and chapels tucked away in quiet corners of the Old Town. These spiritual sanctuaries, such as the Church of St. Foillan or the Chapel of St. Corneliu, provide a peaceful escape from the bustling streets and offer a glimpse into Aachen’s religious heritage.


Don’t forget to explore the charming alleyways and hidden courtyards that offer unexpected surprises at every turn. These tucked-away corners provide a glimpse into the daily life of the locals and reveal hidden gems, such as small art galleries, independent boutiques, and cozy cafes.


Indulge in a shopping spree as you browse the quaint shops and boutiques that line the streets of the Old Town. From traditional handicrafts to modern fashion, there is something for everyone’s taste. Take a moment to pick up unique souvenirs or indulge in delicious local treats, such as Aachener Printen, a traditional gingerbread-like biscuit.


As daylight fades and evening descends, the Old Town transforms into a magical place. The buildings are beautifully illuminated, casting a warm glow on the streets. Sit down at one of the many cozy restaurants or beer gardens and enjoy a delicious meal while immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere around you.


Exploring Aachen’s Old Town is like stepping back in time, with its historic charm and architectural beauty. Whether you’re strolling through its cobblestone streets, admiring the medieval facades, or simply soaking in the vibrant atmosphere, the Old Town offers an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of this captivating city.


Visiting the City Hall

A visit to Aachen is not complete without a stop at the impressive City Hall, which serves as the symbolic heart of the city. Located in the historic Old Town, the City Hall, or Rathaus, is a stunning example of medieval architecture and holds significant historical importance.


The Aachen City Hall is a magnificent building that showcases a blend of architectural styles, ranging from Gothic to Renaissance. Its construction began in the 14th century and continued over several centuries, resulting in a distinctive structure that reflects the city’s evolving history.


As you approach the City Hall, you’ll be greeted by its elaborate façade adorned with statues, decorative elements, and intricate carvings. The exterior of the building is a true testament to the craftsmanship and artistry of the time.


Inside the City Hall, you’ll find the stunning Coronation Hall, also known as the Kaiserzimmer. This historically significant room served as the site of the anointing and crowning ceremonies of German kings throughout the Middle Ages. The hall is adorned with exquisite frescoes and beautiful tapestries that depict scenes from Aachen’s history and legends.


Adjacent to the Coronation Hall is the Assembly Hall, where the city’s council meetings take place. This spacious room features a high vaulted ceiling, grand chandeliers, and ornate details, creating an atmosphere of grandeur.


Throughout the City Hall, you’ll come across various exhibition rooms that showcase artifacts and displays related to Aachen’s history and culture. These exhibits provide a deeper understanding of the city’s significance and its role in shaping the region.


One of the highlights of visiting the City Hall is the opportunity to climb the tower. Ascend the stairs and be rewarded with panoramic views of Aachen and its surroundings. From this vantage point, you can take in the scenic beauty of the city and appreciate its architectural splendor from above.


As you explore the City Hall, be sure to keep an eye out for the “Büchelchen,” a small wooden sculpture that is considered a symbol of Aachen’s freedom. According to legend, as long as the sculpture remains intact and upright, Aachen will remain a free city.


The Aachen City Hall is not only a historical and architectural gem but also a vibrant hub of civic life. It continues to serve as the center of local government and regularly hosts cultural events and special exhibitions.


Visiting the Aachen City Hall is a captivating journey back in time, offering a glimpse into the city’s rich history and providing a deeper appreciation for its cultural heritage. Whether you’re interested in medieval architecture, historical artifacts, or simply want to take in the grandeur of this iconic building, a visit to the City Hall is a must during your exploration of Aachen.


Enjoying Local Cuisine

A visit to Aachen is not complete without indulging in the delectable delights of the local cuisine. Known for its hearty and flavorful dishes, Aachen offers a variety of traditional specialties that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.


One of the most iconic dishes you must try in Aachen is the Aachener Printen. These spiced gingerbread-like biscuits have been a local favorite for centuries. Made with a blend of honey, spices, and assorted nuts, they have a rich and distinctive flavor that is both sweet and aromatic. Perfect as a souvenir or a delightful treat to enjoy during your visit.


For meat lovers, Aachen is famous for its succulent and hearty sausages. Try the Aachener Sauerbraten, a traditional pot roast dish made from marinated and slow-cooked beef. The meat is tender and flavorful, and it is typically served with a rich gravy and a side of red cabbage and potato dumplings.


Another must-try dish is the Aachener Senfrostbraten, which is roast beef served with mustard sauce. The tangy and slightly spicy mustard sauce perfectly complements the tender meat, creating a mouthwatering combination that will leave you wanting more.


When it comes to street food, don’t miss the opportunity to try the Aachener Super Dickmann’s. These marshmallow treats, coated in a layer of dark chocolate and sprinkles, are a local favorite. The combination of the soft marshmallow and the rich chocolate coating creates a delectable and indulgent treat.


To satisfy your sweet tooth, make sure to sample the Aachener Printen Torte. This traditional specialty combines the flavors of the famous Printen biscuits with layers of rich chocolate cream and apricot jam, all covered in a smooth chocolate glaze. It’s a true delight for dessert enthusiasts.


While in Aachen, don’t forget to visit the local bakeries and pastry shops. They offer a wide variety of freshly baked bread, pastries, and cakes. Treat yourself to a slice of the famous Aachener Stollen, a traditional Christmas bread filled with fruits, nuts, and marzipan.


Of course, no culinary exploration of Aachen would be complete without enjoying a refreshing drink. Sample the local beer, known as “Oecher Prente,” which is produced in breweries around the city. It’s the perfect companion to a delicious meal or simply to enjoy with friends in a traditional German beer garden.


Exploring the local cuisine in Aachen is an adventure for your taste buds. Whether you’re feasting on traditional sausages, savoring the unique flavors of the Aachener Printen, or indulging in delightful pastries, Aachen offers a culinary experience that will leave you wanting to come back for more.


So, embrace the flavors of Aachen, immerse yourself in the local culinary scene, and create unforgettable memories through the delightfully delicious dishes that define this charming German city.


Relaxing in the Parks

When you need a break from exploring the bustling city, Aachen offers an array of beautiful parks and green spaces where you can relax and unwind. These serene oases provide a peaceful retreat from the urban hustle and bustle, allowing you to connect with nature and rejuvenate your senses.


One of the most popular parks in Aachen is the Elisenbrunnen Park. This tranquil park is located in the heart of the city and offers a delightful combination of lush greenery, scenic views, and stunning architectural features. Take a leisurely stroll along the pathways, find a quiet spot to sit and read a book, or simply enjoy a picnic while breathing in the fresh air.


Within the Elisenbrunnen Park, you’ll find the famous Elisenbrunnen fountain, named after the Prussian princess Elisabeth Ludovika of Bavaria. This neo-classical structure is not only a picturesque sight but also a mineral water spring. Fill up your water bottle and enjoy the refreshing taste of the natural spring water, known for its reputed health benefits.


If you’re looking for expansive green spaces and beautiful landscapes, make your way to the Kurpark. This vast park, located near the Aachen Kurhaus, offers an idyllic setting for relaxation and leisure activities. With its manicured lawns, colorful flower beds, and tranquil ponds, Kurpark is perfect for a leisurely walk, a bike ride, or a peaceful picnic.


For a more immersive nature experience, venture a little further out from the city center to the Eifel National Park. This expansive area of natural beauty offers breathtaking landscapes, dense forests, and an abundance of wildlife. Here, you can explore numerous hiking trails, ranging from easy to challenging, and discover hidden gems such as waterfalls and panoramic viewpoints.


If you’re visiting Aachen during the warmer months, consider spending some time at the Hangeweiher. This picturesque lake, located south of the city, is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Surround yourself with lush greenery, rent a paddleboat or simply find a cozy spot along the lakeshore to soak up the sun and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.


Aachen’s parks are not only about relaxation and natural beauty but also offer opportunities for cultural experiences. The Ludwigspark, situated near the Ludwig Forum for International Art, features contemporary sculptures and installations, adding an artistic touch to the park’s serene surroundings.


Whether you’re seeking solitude or outdoor activities, Aachen’s parks provide a welcome respite from the bustling city. Unwind, connect with nature, and take a moment to recharge your batteries in these picturesque settings. Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely stroll, having a picnic, or simply sitting back and admiring the scenic views, Aachen’s parks offer a peaceful escape from the urban landscape. 

Shopping in Aachen

Aachen is a shopper’s paradise, offering a delightful mix of traditional markets, luxury boutiques, and eclectic stores. Whether you’re searching for unique souvenirs, fashion-forward clothing, or local handicrafts, Aachen’s diverse shopping scene has something for everyone.


Start your shopping adventure in the heart of the city at the streets of Adalbertstraße and Theaterstraße. Here, you’ll find a variety of high-end boutiques, showcasing the latest trends in fashion, accessories, and homeware. From well-known international brands to local designers, these stores offer a curated selection of stylish items that will satisfy the most discerning shoppers.


When it comes to fashion, Aachen’s shops go beyond the mainstream. Explore the independent boutiques and hidden gems scattered throughout the city, where you can find unique pieces and support local designers and artisans. Whether you’re searching for vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, or one-of-a-kind accessories, these shops offer a refreshing alternative to mass-produced fashion.


Aachen is also known for its traditional markets, which are a treat for both locals and visitors alike. The Aachen Farmer’s Market, held multiple times a week near the Dom, is a must-visit. Here, you can shop for regional produce, organic goods, fresh flowers, and artisanal products. Engage with friendly vendors, sample local treats, and experience the vibrant atmosphere of a bustling market.


If you’re looking for the perfect gift or souvenir, Aachen’s specialty shops won’t disappoint. Explore the renowned Printen bakeries, where you can find a variety of flavors and packaging options for these traditional gingerbread-like biscuits. Don’t forget to pick up a box or two to share with loved ones or savor during your journey.


For those interested in arts and crafts, Aachen is home to a variety of galleries and shops that showcase local artists’ work. Discover unique paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and other artworks that capture the essence of Aachen’s vibrant cultural scene. These pieces make for meaningful and memorable souvenirs that reflect the city’s creative spirit.


When you need a break from shopping, take a stroll along the bustling streets and stop at one of the charming cafes or bakeries. Savor a cup of coffee and indulge in a slice of Aachener Printen or a delicious pastry. This is not just a chance to refuel but also an opportunity to soak in the local atmosphere and watch the world go by.


Before you leave Aachen, be sure to explore the central shopping area around the Adalbertkirche, where you’ll find a mix of mainstream retailers and smaller shops. Discover everything from clothing and accessories to home goods and electronics. Take your time to meander through the vibrant streets and enjoy the vibrant energy of the city.


Shopping in Aachen is a delightful experience that combines retail therapy with cultural immersion. Whether you’re searching for unique fashion finds, delicious local treats, or one-of-a-kind artworks, Aachen’s diverse shopping scene is sure to captivate and inspire.


So, put on your walking shoes, grab your shopping bags, and get ready to explore the wonderful world of shopping in Aachen. From high-end boutiques to traditional markets, this city offers a treasure trove of retail delights that will make your visit truly memorable.



Aachen is a city that effortlessly blends its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture to create an unforgettable experience for visitors. From its iconic Aachen Cathedral to its charming Old Town, the city offers a wealth of attractions and activities that cater to all interests.


Exploring Aachen Cathedral allows you to immerse yourself in centuries of history and witness the architectural beauty of different eras. The Old Town, with its cobblestone streets, medieval buildings, and bustling squares, invites you to stroll, discover hidden gems, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.


While in Aachen, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the City Hall, a symbol of the city’s governance and architectural magnificence. Enjoy local cuisine, from traditional delights like Aachener Printen to savory sausages and regional specialties. Take time to relax and reconnect with nature in the city’s parks or embark on a shopping adventure, discovering everything from high-end boutiques to traditional markets.


Aachen’s allure lies not only in its historical and cultural significance but in the unique blend of old and new that is seamlessly woven throughout the city. It is a place where ancient traditions and modern innovations coexist, creating a dynamic and captivating destination.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a cultural explorer, a food lover, or a shopaholic, Aachen has something to offer you. The city’s charm, combined with its warm and welcoming atmosphere, makes it an ideal destination for a memorable visit.


As you bid farewell to Aachen, take with you the memories of its magnificent sights, the flavors of its delectable cuisine, and the warmth of its cultural heritage. Aachen’s timeless allure will stay with you long after you leave, drawing you back to uncover even more of its treasured secrets.


So, pack your bags, embark on a journey to Aachen, and immerse yourself in a unique and captivating city that will leave an indelible mark on your heart.