Aachen Cathedral, Aachen

North Exterior under Stormy Skies
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Commissioned by Charlemagne in 786, this is the oldest cathedral in Northern Europe. A graceful Gothic choir was added to the Carolingian core in the 15th century. Inside are several major relics and early medieval artworks.

Go Historic ID
318153
Short URL
gohist.co/318153
Names
Aachen Cathedral
Address
Klosterplatz 2
Aachen, Germany
52062
Postcode
52062
Coordinates
50.774612° N, 6.084114° E
Email
info@aachendom.de
Phone
0241 47 70 90
Date Published
October 8, 2013
Last Updated
April 11, 2015

Timeline

1978
Aachen Cathedral designated a World Heritage Site

Aachen Cathedral is designated a World Heritage Site.

786
Charlemagne commissions the Palatine Chapel

Charlemagne commissions the Palatine Chapel (palace chapel) in Aachen, which will later be incorporated into Aachen Cathedral.

790
Construction of Palatine Chapel

The Palatine Chapel is constructed in Aachen for Charlemagne. Designed by Odo of Metz, it has an octagonal plan based on San Vitale Basilica in Ravenna.

814
Charlemagne is buried in the choir of the Palatine Chapel

Charlemagne is buried in the choir of the Palatine Chapel, Aachen.

1000
Emperor Otto III opens Charlemagne's tomb

Emperor Otto III opens Charlemagne's tomb vault in Aachen Cathedral. Reportedly, he finds the emperor well-preserved, seated on a marble throne, dressed in imperial robes, with his crown on his head, the Gospels lying open in his lap and his scepter in his hand.

1165
Frederick Barbarossa transfers the remains of Charlemagne to a golden shrine

In Aachen, Emperor Frederick Barbarossa transfers the remains of Charlemagne to a carved sarcophagus made of Parian marble, said to have been the one in which Augustus Caesar was originally buried.

1168
Frederick Barbarossa donates a large bronze chandelier to hang over the shrine of Charlemagne at Aachen

Frederick Barbarossa donates a large bronze chandelier to hang over the shrine of Charlemagne in Aachen Cathedral, where it can still be seen today.

1215

Emperor Frederick II moves Charlemagne's bones to a splendid golden shrine, which is placed beneath the chandelier in the middle of the Palatine Chapel in Aachen.

1355
Construction begins on the Gothic choir of Aachen Cathedral

Construction begins on the Gothic choir of Aachen Cathedral.

1414
Consecration of the Glass Chapel in Aachen Cathedral

The Gothic Capella vitrea (Glass Chapel) of Aachen Cathedral is consecrated on the 600th anniversary of Charlemagne's death. The emperor's golden shrine is moved to the east end of the new chapel.

1986
Restoration of Aachen Cathedral Dome

Major restoration work is undertaken on the dome of Aachen Cathedral.

January 8, 2008
December 26, 2005

Resources

  1. Aachen and Its Cathedral
  2. Aachen Encyclopaedia Britannica Online.
  3. Official Website of Aachen Cathedral Official website.