Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Aachen, Sept 11, 2018, Terry P

Charlemagne - Aachen Cathedral Treasury

Sightseeing in Aachen

Outbound to Leuven & Kiel, Day 14 of 24, September 11, 2018
By:  Terry P

We are on our own for a few days before the Kiel Journey so several of us stopped in Aachen to see the sights of this historic town.

Ponttor Gate is one of only two Medieval stone gates still remaining in Aachen out of 22 original guarded entrances to the city. It was built in 1320 and has been nicely preserved.

Ponttor Gate

Ponttor Gate

Several of us visited the Town Hall which is also known as the Palace of Charlemagne. It was completed soon after his coronation as the “Holy Roman Emperor” in 800 AD. Paintings and displays tell the story of Aachen from its early days through WWII.

Aachen Town Hall

Aachen Town Hall

Fierce protectors

The highlight of the day was a guided tour of the Aachen Cathedral which was also built in the 9th century of stone and marble. Patterned after Byzantine churches in Ravanna, Italy, and the huge Santa Sophia dome in Constantinople, this smaller octagonal tower was the coronation site of Charlemagne and many subsequent emperors - including two women. It became a major pilgrimage site during the Middle Ages. Pilgrims viewed two large golden boxes in the church which contain Charlemagne’s physical remains as well as textiles associated with Christ. Pilgrims also wore smooth the marble steps leading up to Charlemagne‘s throne which  reportedly came from Jesus’ burial tomb in Jerusalem.

Charlemagne's Throne
Charlemagne's Final Resting Place

Some of us also visited the cathedral’s nearby Treasure House which displays many amazing riches from 800 AD through the 17th century. (See Charlemagne figure at top)

In Friendship and Peace

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