Splendour, opulence and sublime beauty: Aachen Cathedral represents more than 1,200 years of glorious history. It is a coronation cathedral, burial site, place of pilgrimage and church. It combines earthly radiance and divine inspiration. The cathedral has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978.
History is synonymous with church history at Aachen Cathedral. More than 30 kings and queens have been crowned here; the Throne of Charlemagne is an eloquent witness to great eras of the past. The Shrine of Charlemagne holds the remains of Charlemagne, who was canonised in 1165. The Shrine of Mary transformed the cathedral into one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the Middle Ages. For almost 800 years, it has held relics such as the robe Mary was wearing on the Holy Night, Jesus' nappy and loincloth and the decapitation cloth of John the Baptist. To this day, worshippers from around the world head to Aachen when these one-of-a-kind relics are put on display once every seven years. Treasures of immeasurable value – such as the antique columns, capitals and bronze rails, to name but a few – are some of the most precious pieces within the church. As is the Pala d’Oro high altar decorated with an early 11th century golden antependium. Visitors are also advised to take a look up at the colourful windows intricately decorated with scenes depicting martyrdom in the choir hall. If they haven't already, it is here that visitors lose all sense of space and time...
A visit to the cathedral treasury is a must for art lovers. The 100+ works of art collected since the cathedral was consecrated are some of the most significant church treasures in Europe.
Opening hours: January to March: 7am to 6pm; April to December: 7am to 7pm
Entry: free; daily tours available (for a fee)
Nearest train station: Aachen
Cathedral tours in English: 2pm every day; children's tours also available;
Cathedral treasury: paid entry; for information on tours and opening hours, visit:
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