The Church of St. Mary, originally built as the chapel of Charlemagne’s imperial palace in Aachen in 786 AD, was part of the emperor’s dream of creating a ‘new Rome’.
With this building he laid the foundations of one of the most important architectural monuments in Europe. The cathedral’s appearance reflects more than 1,000 years of history. Charlemagne’s palatine chapel forms the core of the cathedral. The single-nave chancel was consecrated on the 600th anniversary of his death and the bold architecture of the ‘glass house’, as it is known, is as impressive today as it was then. During the 600 years from 936 to 1531, 30 German kings were crowned in Aachen Cathedral. Today, the cathedral has lost nothing of the splendour of centuries past. The first ensemble of historical and architectural importance in Germany to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list (in 1978), this is a building of outstanding significance.