Aachen

Aachen

Overview
Aachen (ˈʔaːxən, also known in English by its French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 name Aix-la-Chapelle) has historically been a spa town
Spa town
A spa town is a town situated around a mineral spa . Patrons resorted to spas to "take the waters" for their purported health benefits. The word comes from the Belgian town Spa. In continental Europe a spa was known as a ville d'eau...

 in North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with four of the country's ten largest cities. The state was formed in 1946 as a merger of the northern Rhineland and Westphalia, both formerly part of Prussia. Its capital is Düsseldorf. The state is currently run by a coalition of the...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Aachen was a favoured residence of Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

, and the place of coronation of the Kings of Germany. Geographically, Aachen is the westernmost town of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 and the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, 65 km (40.4 mi) west of Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

.
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Aachen (ˈʔaːxən, also known in English by its French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 name Aix-la-Chapelle) has historically been a spa town
Spa town
A spa town is a town situated around a mineral spa . Patrons resorted to spas to "take the waters" for their purported health benefits. The word comes from the Belgian town Spa. In continental Europe a spa was known as a ville d'eau...

 in North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with four of the country's ten largest cities. The state was formed in 1946 as a merger of the northern Rhineland and Westphalia, both formerly part of Prussia. Its capital is Düsseldorf. The state is currently run by a coalition of the...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Aachen was a favoured residence of Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

, and the place of coronation of the Kings of Germany. Geographically, Aachen is the westernmost town of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 and the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, 65 km (40.4 mi) west of Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

. RWTH Aachen University, one of Germany's Universities of Excellence
German Universities Excellence Initiative
The Excellence Initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Research Foundation aims to promote cutting-edge research and to create outstanding conditions for young scientists at universities, to deepen cooperation between disciplines and institutions, to...

, is located in the city. Aachen's predominant economic focus is on science, engineering, information technology and related sectors. For innovation, Aachen is currently ranked 8th among cities in Germany.

History



A quarry on the Lousberg, which was first used in Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 times, attests to the long occupation of the site of Aachen.

No larger settlements, however, have been found to have existed in this remote rural area, located at least 15 km from the nearest road even in Roman times, up to the early medieval period when the place is mentioned as a king's mansion for the first time, not long before Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

 became ruler of the Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

.

Since Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 times, the hot springs at Aachen have been channeled into baths. There are currently two places to "take the waters", at the Carolus Thermen complex and the bathhouse in Burtscheid
Burtscheid
Burtscheid is a town in western Germany, near Aachen. It was founded in the year 997 AD and was an independent town till 1897. From 1816 it was administrative capital of the district of Aachen. In 1897 Burtscheid became part of the city of Aachen...

.

There is some documentary proof that the Romans named the hot sulfur springs
Hot spring
A hot spring is a spring that is produced by the emergence of geothermally heated groundwater from the Earth's crust. There are geothermal hot springs in many locations all over the crust of the earth.-Definitions:...

 of Aachen Aquis-Granum, and indeed to this day the city is known in Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 as Aquisgrana, in Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 as Aquisgrán and in Polish as Akwizgran. The name Granus has lately been identified as that of a Celtic deity
Grannus
In the Celtic polytheism of classical antiquity, Grannus was a deity associated with spas, healing thermal and mineral springs, and the sun. He was regularly identified with Apollo as Apollo Grannus...

.

In French-speaking
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 areas of the former Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

, the word aquis evolved into the modern Aix.

The Middle Ages


After Roman times, Einhard
Einhard
Einhard was a Frankish scholar and courtier. Einhard was a dedicated servant of Charlemagne and his son Louis the Pious; his main work is a biography of Charlemagne, the Vita Karoli Magni, "one of the most precious literary bequests of the early Middle Ages."-Public life:Einhard was from the eastern...

 mentions that in 765–6 Pippin the Younger spent both Christmas and Easter at Aquis villa (""), which must have been sufficiently equipped to support the royal household for several months. In the year of his coronation as King of Franks, 768, Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

 came to spend Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 at Aachen for the first time. He went on to remain there in a mansion
Palace of Aachen
The Palace of Aachen was a group of buildings with residential, political and religious purposes chosen by Charlemagne to be the centre of power of the Carolingian Empire. The palace was located at the north of the current city of Aachen, today in the German Land of North Rhine-Westphalia...

 which he may have extended, although there is no source attesting to any significant building activity at Aachen in his time, apart from the building of the Palatine Chapel in Aachen
Palatine Chapel in Aachen
The Palatine Chapel is an Early Medieval chapel that is the remaining component of Charlemagne's Palace of Aachen. Although the palace no longer exists, the chapel has been incorporated into the Aachen Cathedral, Germany. It is the city's major landmark and the central monument of the Carolingian...

 (since 1929, cathedral) and the palatial presentation halls. Charlemagne spent most winters between 792 and his death in 814 in Aachen, which became the focus of his court and the political centre of his empire. After his death, the king was buried in the church which he had built; his original tomb has been lost, while his alleged remains are preserved in the shrine where he was reburied after being declared a saint; his saintliness, however, was never very widely acknowledged outside the bishopric of Liège where he may still be venerated by tradition.

In 936, Otto I
Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto I the Great , son of Henry I the Fowler and Matilda of Ringelheim, was Duke of Saxony, King of Germany, King of Italy, and "the first of the Germans to be called the emperor of Italy" according to Arnulf of Milan...

 was crowned king of the kingdom in the collegiate church built by Charlemagne. Over the next 500 years, most kings of Germany destined to reign over the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 were crowned in Aachen. The last king to be crowned here was Ferdinand I
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

 in 1531. During the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, Aachen remained a city of regional importance, due to its proximity to Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

, achieving a modest position in the trade in wool
Wool
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and certain other animals, including cashmere from goats, mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, vicuña, alpaca, camel from animals in the camel family, and angora from rabbits....

len cloths, favoured by imperial privilege. The city remained a Free Imperial City
Free Imperial City
In the Holy Roman Empire, a free imperial city was a city formally ruled by the emperor only — as opposed to the majority of cities in the Empire, which were governed by one of the many princes of the Empire, such as dukes or prince-bishops...

, subject to the Emperor only, but was politically far too weak to influence the policies of any of its neighbours. The only dominion it had was over Burtscheid
Burtscheid
Burtscheid is a town in western Germany, near Aachen. It was founded in the year 997 AD and was an independent town till 1897. From 1816 it was administrative capital of the district of Aachen. In 1897 Burtscheid became part of the city of Aachen...

, a neighbouring territory ruled by a Benedictine
Benedictine
Benedictine refers to the spirituality and consecrated life in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, written by Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century for the cenobitic communities he founded in central Italy. The most notable of these is Monte Cassino, the first monastery founded by Benedict...

 abbess
Abbess
An abbess is the female superior, or mother superior, of a community of nuns, often an abbey....

. It was forced to accept that all of its traffic must pass through the "Aachener Reich". Even in the late 18th century the Abbess of Burtscheid was prevented from building a road linking her territory to the neighbouring estates of the duke of Jülich
Duchy of Jülich
The Duchy of Jülich comprised a state within the Holy Roman Empire from the 11th to the 18th centuries. The duchy lay left of the Rhine river between the Electorate of Cologne in the east and the Duchy of Limburg in the west. It had territories on both sides of the river Rur, around its capital...

; the city of Aachen even deployed its handful of soldiers to chase away the road-diggers.

From the early 16th century, Aachen lost power. A fire devastated the city in 1656. Aachen became attractive as a spa by the middle of the 17th century, not so much because of the effects of the hot springs on the health of its visitors but because Aachen was then — and remained well into the 19th century — a place of high-level prostitution
Prostitution
Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including a "john". Prostitution is one of...

 in Europe. Traces of this hidden agenda of the city's history is found in the 18th century guidebooks to Aachen as well as to the other spas; the main indication for visiting patients, ironically, was syphilis
Syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; however, it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis...

; only by the end of the 19th century had rheuma become the most important object of cures at Aachen and Burtscheid. Aachen was chosen as the site of several important congresses and peace treaties: the first congress of Aachen
Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle (1668)
The Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle was the first of three treaties signed at Aachen which ended the War of Devolution...

 (often referred to as Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

) in 1668, leading to the First Treaty of Aachen
Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1668)
The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle or Treaty of Aachen was signed on May 2, 1668 in Aachen. It ended the war of Devolution between France and Spain. It was mediated by the Triple Alliance of England, the Dutch Republic and Sweden at the first Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle...

 in the same year which ended the War of Devolution
War of Devolution
The War of Devolution saw Louis XIV's French armies overrun the Habsburg-controlled Spanish Netherlands and the Franche-Comté, but forced to give most of it back by a Triple Alliance of England, Sweden, and the Dutch Republic in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.-Background:Louis's claims to the...

. The second congress
Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)
On the 24 April 1748 a congress assembled at Aachen for the purpose of bringing to a conclusion the struggle known as the War of Austrian Succession....

 ended with the second treaty
Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (1748)
The Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle of 1748 ended the War of the Austrian Succession following a congress assembled at the Imperial Free City of Aachen—Aix-la-Chapelle in French—in the west of the Holy Roman Empire, on 24 April 1748...

 in 1748, finishing the War of the Austrian Succession
War of the Austrian Succession
The War of the Austrian Succession  – including King George's War in North America, the Anglo-Spanish War of Jenkins' Ear, and two of the three Silesian wars – involved most of the powers of Europe over the question of Maria Theresa's succession to the realms of the House of Habsburg.The...

. The third congress
Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle (1818)
The Congress or Conference of Aix-la-Chapelle , held in the autumn of 1818, was primarily a meeting of the four allied powers Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia to decide the question of the withdrawal of the army of occupation from France and the nature of the modifications to be introduced in...

 took place in 1818 to decide the fate of occupied Napoleon
Napoleon I of France
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader during the latter stages of the French Revolution.As Napoleon I, he was Emperor of the French from 1804 to 1815...

ic France.

The nineteenth century


By the middle of the 19th century, industrialization swept away most of the city's medieval rules of production and commerce, although the entirely corrupt remains of the city's mediæval constitution was kept in place (compare the famous remarks of Georg Forster in his Ansichten vom Niederrhein) until 1801, when Aachen became the "chef-lieu du département de la Roer" in Napoléon's First French Empire
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...

. In 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 took over and the city became one of its most socially and politically backward centres until the end of the 19th century. Administered within the Rhine Province
Rhine Province
The Rhine Province , also known as Rhenish Prussia or synonymous to the Rhineland , was the westernmost province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia, within the German Reich, from 1822-1946. It was created from the provinces of the Lower Rhine and Jülich-Cleves-Berg...

, by 1880 the population was 80,000. Starting in 1840, the railway
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 from Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

 to Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 passed through Aachen. The city suffered extreme overcrowding and deplorable sanitary conditions up to 1875 when the medieval fortifications were finally abandoned as a limit to building operations and new, less miserable quarters were built in the eastern part of the city, where drainage of waste liquids was easiest. In the 19th century and up to the 1930s, the city was important for the production of railway locomotives and carriages, iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

, pin
Pin
A pin is a device used for fastening objects or material together.Pin may also refer to:* Award pin, a small piece of metal or plastic with a pin attached given as an award for some achievement...

s, needles
Sewing needle
A sewing needle is a long slender tool with a pointed tip. The first needles were made of bone or wood; modern ones are manufactured from high carbon steel wire, nickel- or 18K gold plated for corrosion resistance. The highest quality embroidery needles are plated with two-thirds platinum and...

, button
Button
In modern clothing and fashion design, a button is a small fastener, most commonly made of plastic, but also frequently of seashell, which secures two pieces of fabric together. In archaeology, a button can be a significant artifact. In the applied arts and in craft, a button can be an example of...

s, tobacco
Tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

, woollen goods, and silk
Silk
Silk is a natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be woven into textiles. The best-known type of silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae of the mulberry silkworm Bombyx mori reared in captivity...

 goods.

The twentieth century


Aachen was heavily damaged during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The city and its fortified sourroundings were encircled 13 September-16 October 1944 by the US 1st Infantry Division and 3rd Armored Division in conjunction with the US 2nd Armored Division and 30th Infantry Division during the prolonged Battle of Aachen
Battle of Aachen
The Battle of Aachen was a battle in Aachen, Germany, which occurred between 2–21 October 1944. By September 1944, the Wehrmacht had been pushed into Germany proper, after being defeated in France by the Western Allies...

, later reinforced by US 28th Infantry Division elements. Direct assaults through the heavily defended city finally forced the German garrison to surrender on 21 October 1944. Aachen was the first German city to be captured by the Allies. The city was destroyed partially — and in some parts completely — during the fighting, mostly by American
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 fire and demolitions carried out by the Waffen-SS
Waffen-SS
The Waffen-SS was a multi-ethnic and multi-national military force of the Third Reich. It constituted the armed wing of the Schutzstaffel or SS, an organ of the Nazi Party. The Waffen-SS saw action throughout World War II and grew from three regiments to over 38 divisions, and served alongside...

 defenders. Damaged buildings included the medieval churches of St. Foillan
Foillan
Saint Foillan is an Irish saint of the seventh century.- Family :Foillan was the brother of Saints Ultan and Fursey. He is described as the 'uterine brother' of Fursey, meaning that they had the same mother but not the same father...

, St. Paul
Paul of Tarsus
Paul the Apostle , also known as Saul of Tarsus, is described in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential early Christian missionaries, with the writings ascribed to him by the church forming a considerable portion of the New Testament...

 and St. Nicholas
Saint Nicholas
Saint Nicholas , also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century saint and Greek Bishop of Myra . Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker...

, and the Rathaus
Rathaus
Rathaus is a German word literally translating as “council house”, meaning “city hall” or “town hall”. Many specific buildings are referred to as Rathaus even when spoken about in English.Some important Rathäuser are:* Rathaus Schöneberg...

 (city hall), although Aachen Cathedral
Aachen Cathedral
Aachen Cathedral, frequently referred to as the "Imperial Cathedral" , is a Roman Catholic church in Aachen, Germany. The church is the oldest cathedral in northern Europe and was known as the "Royal Church of St. Mary at Aachen" during the Middle Ages...

 was largely unscathed. Only 4,000 inhabitants remained in the city; the rest had followed evacuation orders. Its first Allied-appointed mayor, Franz Oppenhoff
Franz Oppenhoff
Franz Oppenhoff was a German lawyer who was appointed Mayor of the city of Aachen by Allied forces and subsequently murdered on the order of Heinrich Himmler.-Biography:...

, was murdered by an SS commando unit.

While the emperor's palace
Palace of Aachen
The Palace of Aachen was a group of buildings with residential, political and religious purposes chosen by Charlemagne to be the centre of power of the Carolingian Empire. The palace was located at the north of the current city of Aachen, today in the German Land of North Rhine-Westphalia...

 no longer exists, the church built by Charlemagne is still the main attraction of the city. In addition to holding the remains of its founder, it became the burial place of his successor Otto III
Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor
Otto III , a King of Germany, was the fourth ruler of the Saxon or Ottonian dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire. He was elected King in 983 on the death of his father Otto II and was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 996.-Early reign:...

. Aachen Cathedral has been designated as a UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

.

Main sights







Aachen Cathedral
Aachen Cathedral
Aachen Cathedral, frequently referred to as the "Imperial Cathedral" , is a Roman Catholic church in Aachen, Germany. The church is the oldest cathedral in northern Europe and was known as the "Royal Church of St. Mary at Aachen" during the Middle Ages...

 was erected on the orders of Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

 in AD 786 and was on completion the largest cathedral north of the Alps
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

. On his death Charlemagne's remains were interred in the cathedral and can be seen there to this day. The cathedral was extended several times in later ages, turning it into a curious and unique mixture of building styles. For 600 years, from 936 to 1531, Aachen Cathedral was the church of coronation for 30 German kings and 12 queens.

The 14th century city hall lies between two central places, the Markt (market place) and the Katschhof (between city hall and cathedral). The coronation hall is on the first floor of the building. Inside you can find five frescoes by the Aachen artist Alfre Rethel which show legendary scenes from the life of Charlemagne, as well as Charlemagne's signature.

The Grashaus, a late medieval house at the Markt, is one of the oldest non-religious buildings in downtown Aachen. It hosts the city archive. The Grashaus was the former city hall before the present building took over this function.

The Elisenbrunnen is one of the most famous sights of Aachen. It is a neo-classical hall covering one of the city's famous fountains. It is just a minute away from the cathedral. Just a few steps in south-eastern direction lies the 19th century theatre
Theater Aachen
Theater Aachen is a theatre in Aachen, Germany. It is the principal venue in that city for operas, musical theatre, plays, and concerts. It is the home of the Aachen Symphony Orchestra. Construction on the original theatre began in 1822 and it opened on 15 May 1825...

.

Also well-known and well worth seeing are the two remaining city gates, the Ponttor, one half mile northwest of the cathedral, and the Kleinmarschiertor, close to the central railway station. There are also a few parts of both medieval city walls left, most of them integrated into more recent buildings, but some others still visible. There are even five towers left, some of which are used for housing.

There are many other places and objects worth seeing, for example a notable number of churches and monasteries
Monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

, a few remarkable 17th- and 18th-century buildings in the particular Baroque style typical of the region, a collection of statues and monuments, park areas, cemeteries, among others. The area's industrial history is reflected in dozens of 19th- and early twentieth-century manufacturing sites in the city.

Economy




Aachen has a large number of spin-offs from the university's IT-technology department and is a major centre of IT development in Germany. Due to the low level of investment in cross-border railway projects, the city has preserved a slot within the Thalys
Thalys
Thalys is an international high-speed train operator originally built around the high-speed line between Paris and Brussels. This track is shared with Eurostar trains that go from Paris or Brussels to London via Lille and the Channel Tunnel and with French domestic TGV trains. Thalys reaches...

 high-speed train network which uses existing tracks on its last 70 km from Belgium to Cologne.
The airport that serves Aachen, Maastricht Aachen Airport
Maastricht Aachen Airport
Maastricht Aachen Airport is a regional airport located northeast of the city of Maastricht, in the town of Beek, both municipalities in the Limburg province in the Netherlands. The airport is also northwest of the city of Aachen, Germany....

, is located about 40 km away in Dutch territory, close to the town of Beek.
Aachen was the administrative centre for the coal-mining industries in neighbouring places to the northeast; it never played any role in brown coal
Lignite
Lignite, often referred to as brown coal, or Rosebud coal by Northern Pacific Railroad,is a soft brown fuel with characteristics that put it somewhere between coal and peat...

 mining, however, neither in administrative or industrial terms.
Products manufactured in or around Aachen include electronics, chemicals, plastics, textiles, glass, cosmetics, and needles and pins. Its most important source of revenue, the textile industries, have been dead for almost half a century now.

Transport


Aachen's railway station
Train station
A train station, also called a railroad station or railway station and often shortened to just station,"Station" is commonly understood to mean "train station" unless otherwise qualified. This is evident from dictionary entries e.g...

, the Hauptbahnhof
Aachen Hauptbahnhof
Aachen Central Station is the train station for the city of Aachen, in the far west of Germany near the Dutch and Belgian border. It is the largest of the four currently active Aachen stations, and is integrated into the long-distance network.- History :...

, was constructed in 1841 at the Cologne-Aachen railway line and replaced in 1905, moving it significantly closer to the city centre. It serves main lines to Cologne, Mönchengladbach
Mönchengladbach
Mönchengladbach , formerly known as Münchengladbach, is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located west of the Rhine half way between Düsseldorf and the Dutch border....

 and Liège
Liège
Liège is a major city and municipality of Belgium located in the province of Liège, of which it is the economic capital, in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium....

 as well as branch lines to Heerlen
Heerlen
Heerlen is a city and a municipality in the southeastern Netherlands. The municipality is the second largest in the province of Limburg. It forms part of Parkstad Limburg, , an agglomeration of about 220,000 inhabitants.After its early Roman beginnings and a rather modest medieval period, Heerlen...

, Alsdorf
Alsdorf
This article is about the town Alsdorf in NRW Germany, for other meanings of Alsdorf you can have a look at Alsdorf .Alsdorf is a municipality in the district of Aachen, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Until the 21st century Alsdorf was a mining area, but by now many service companies have...

, Stolberg and Eschweiler
Eschweiler
Eschweiler is a municipality in the district of Aachen in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany on the river Inde, near the German-Belgian-Dutch frontier, and about 15 km east of Aachen and 50 km west of Cologne.- History :...

. ICE high speed trains from Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 via Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

 to Frankfurt am Main and Thalys
Thalys
Thalys is an international high-speed train operator originally built around the high-speed line between Paris and Brussels. This track is shared with Eurostar trains that go from Paris or Brussels to London via Lille and the Channel Tunnel and with French domestic TGV trains. Thalys reaches...

 trains from Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 to Cologne also stop at Aachen Hauptbahnhof. Four RE lines and one RB
RegionalBahn
The Regionalbahn is a type of local passenger train in Germany.-Service:Regionalbahn trains usually call at all stations on a given line, with the exception of RB trains within S-Bahn networks, these may only call at selected stations...

 line connect Aachen with the Ruhr
Ruhr
The Ruhr is a medium-size river in western Germany , a right tributary of the Rhine.-Description:The source of the Ruhr is near the town of Winterberg in the mountainous Sauerland region, at an elevation of approximately 2,200 feet...

gebiet, Mönchengladbach, Liège, Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

 and the Siegerland
Siegerland
The Siegerland is a region of Germany covering the old district of Siegen and the upper part of the district of Altenkirchen, belonging to the Rhineland-Palatinate adjoining it to the west.Geologically, the Siegerland belongs to the Rheinisches Schiefergebirge...

. The euregiobahn, a regional railway system, reaches several minor cities in the Aachen region.
There are four smaller stations in Aachen: Aachen West, Aachen-Schanz, Aachen-Rothe Erde and Eilendorf. Only slower trains stop at these, but Aachen-West has developed enormous importance due to the expanding RWTH Aachen
RWTH Aachen
RWTH Aachen University is a research university located in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany with roughly 33,000 students enrolled in 101 study programs....

 university.

Aachen is connected to the Autobahn A4 (West-East), A44
Bundesautobahn 44
is a German Autobahn. It consists of three main-parts and a few smaller parts. It begins in Aachen at the German-Belgian border and ends near Kassel. Before the German unification it was an unimportant provincial-motorway but after this event it became an integral part of the German highway-system...

 (North-South) and A544 (a smaller motorway from the A4 to the Europaplatz near the city centre). Due to the enormous amount of traffic at the Aachen road interchange, there is often serious traffic accumulation, which is why there are plans to expand the interchange in the coming years.

The nearest airports are Düsseldorf International Airport
Düsseldorf International Airport
Düsseldorf International Airport is the largest airport in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and the third largest airport in Germany, handling 18.99 million passengers in 2010....

 (80 km), Cologne Bonn Airport
Cologne Bonn Airport
Cologne/Bonn Airport is an international airport located in the district of Porz in the city of Cologne, Germany, and is surrounded by the Wahner Heide nature reserve. The airport is centrally located in the Cologne/Bonn Region southeast of Cologne city centre and northeast of Bonn...

 (90 km) and Maastricht Aachen Airport
Maastricht Aachen Airport
Maastricht Aachen Airport is a regional airport located northeast of the city of Maastricht, in the town of Beek, both municipalities in the Limburg province in the Netherlands. The airport is also northwest of the city of Aachen, Germany....

 (40 km).

Sports



The annual CHIO (short for the French term Concours Hippique International Officiel) is the biggest equestrian
Equestrianism
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...

 meeting of the world and among horsemen considered to be as prestigious for equitation as the tournament of Wimbledon
The Championships, Wimbledon
The Championships, Wimbledon, or simply Wimbledon , is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, considered by many to be the most prestigious. It has been held at the All England Club in Wimbledon, London since 1877. It is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, the other three Majors...

 for tennis. Aachen hosted the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games
2006 FEI World Equestrian Games
The 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games were held in Aachen, Germany from August 20 to September 3, 2006. They were the 5th edition of the games which are held every four years and run by the FEI. It was held in the Soers, a district of Aachen...

 and 2011 CHIO Aachen
2011 CHIO Aachen
The 2011 CHIO Aachen was the 2011 edition of the CHIO Aachen, the German official horse show in five horse sport disciplines ....

.

The local football team Alemannia Aachen
Alemannia Aachen
Alemannia Aachen is a German football club from the western city of Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia. A long term fixture of the country's second division, Alemannia enjoyed a three-year turn in the top flight in the late 1960s and, after a successful 2005–06 campaign, returned to first division play...

 had a short run-out in Germany's first division
Fußball-Bundesliga
The Fußball-Bundesliga is a professional association football league in Germany. At the top of Germany's football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. It is contested by 18 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the 2. Bundesliga...

, after its promotion in 2006. However, the team could not sustain its status and is now back in the second division.
The stadium "Tivoli", opened in 1928, served as the venue for the team's home games and was well known for its incomparable atmosphere throughout the whole of the second division. Today, the stadium is used by the amateurs, whilst the Bundesliga Club holds its games in the new stadium "Neuer Tivoli" – meaning New Tivoli- a couple of metres down the road. The building work for the stadium which has a capacity of 32.960, began in May 2008 and was completed by the beginning of 2009.

In the South of the city you can find Aachen's biggest tennis club "TC Grün Weiss", which hosts the famous ATP Tournament once a year.

Awards


Since 1950, a committee of Aachen citizens annually awards the Karlspreis
Karlspreis
- See also :*Charlemagne*European integration*Leipzig Human Rights Award, originally called the "Alternative Charlemagne Award", formed in opposition to Clinton's recognition with the award- External links :* http://www.karlspreis.de/ *...

 (German for ‘Charlemagne Award’) to personalities of outstanding service to the unification of Europe. The International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen was awarded in the year 2000 to the President of the United States, Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

, for his special personal contribution to cooperation with the states of Europe, for the preservation of peace, freedom, democracy and human rights in Europe, and for his support of the enlargement of the European Union. In 2003 the medal was awarded to Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
Valéry Marie René Georges Giscard d'Estaing is a French centre-right politician who was President of the French Republic from 1974 until 1981...

. In 2004, Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

's efforts to unite Europe were honoured with an ‘Extraordinary Charlemagne Medal’, which was awarded for the first time ever. Most recently in 2011, the Charlemagne Award was conferred on Jean-Claude Trichet
Jean-Claude Trichet
Jean-Claude Trichet is a French civil servant who was the president of the European Central Bank, a position he held from 2003 to 2011. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements...

, the president of the European Central Bank. He was acknowledged for his critical role in the stability of the euro despite the economic crises that prevailed in many economic powers.

Geography


Aachen is at the western end of the Benrath line
Benrath line
In German linguistics, the Benrath line is the maken-machen isogloss: dialects north of the line have the original in maken , while those to the south have...

 that divides High German
High German languages
The High German languages or the High German dialects are any of the varieties of standard German, Luxembourgish and Yiddish, as well as the local German dialects spoken in central and southern Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Luxembourg and in neighboring portions of Belgium and the...

 to the south from the rest of the West Germanic
West Germanic languages
The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three traditional branches of the Germanic family of languages and include languages such as German, English, Dutch, Afrikaans, the Frisian languages, and Yiddish...

 speech area to the north. Aachen has the hottest springs
Hot spring
A hot spring is a spring that is produced by the emergence of geothermally heated groundwater from the Earth's crust. There are geothermal hot springs in many locations all over the crust of the earth.-Definitions:...

 of Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 with water temperatures of 74°C(165°F). The water contains a considerable percentage of common salt
Sodium chloride
Sodium chloride, also known as salt, common salt, table salt or halite, is an inorganic compound with the formula NaCl. Sodium chloride is the salt most responsible for the salinity of the ocean and of the extracellular fluid of many multicellular organisms...

 and other sodium salts
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

 and sulphur
Sulfur
Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

. As a spa
Spa
The term spa is associated with water treatment which is also known as balneotherapy. Spa towns or spa resorts typically offer various health treatments. The belief in the curative powers of mineral waters goes back to prehistoric times. Such practices have been popular worldwide, but are...

 city, Aachen could use the title Bad Aachen, but as the town then would not then appear in first place on alphabetically ordered lists, it declined to do so.

Culture



In 1372, Aachen became the first coin-minting city in the world to regularly place an Anno Domini
Anno Domini
and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....

 date on a general circulation coin
Coin
A coin is a piece of hard material that is standardized in weight, is produced in large quantities in order to facilitate trade, and primarily can be used as a legal tender token for commerce in the designated country, region, or territory....

, a groschen
Groschen
Groschen was the name for a coin used in various German-speaking states as well as some non-German-speaking countries of Central Europe , the Danubian principalities...

.

The Scotch-Club
Scotch-Club
The Scotch Club in Aachen was the first discothèque since October 19, 1959. It was closed in 1992.-Origin of the discothèque:In the Fifties, dancehalls were common throughout the world. People danced to the music of a band that usually played cover songs...

 in Aachen was the first discothèque since October 19, 1959. Klaus Quirini as DJ Heinrich was the first DJ ever.

The local specialty of Aachen is an originally stonehard type of sweet bread, baked in large flat loaves, called Aachener Printen
Aachener Printen
Aachener Printen are a type of Lebkuchen originating from the city of Aachen in Germany. The term is a protected designation of origin and so all manufacturers can be found in or near Aachen.-History:...

. Unlike gingerbread
Gingerbread
Gingerbread is a term used to describe a variety of sweet food products, which can range from a soft, moist loaf cake to something close to a ginger biscuit. What they have in common are the predominant flavors of ginger and a tendency to use honey or molasses rather than just sugar...

 (), which is sweetened with honey, Printen are sweetened with sugar. Today, a soft version is sold under the same name which follows an entirely different recipe.

Notable residents



King Ethelwulf of Wessex, father of Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.Alfred is noted for his defence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings, becoming the only English monarch still to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself...

 was born in Aachen. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German architect. He is commonly referred to and addressed as Mies, his surname....

, one of the founders of modern architecture
Modern architecture
Modern architecture is generally characterized by simplification of form and creation of ornament from the structure and theme of the building. It is a term applied to an overarching movement, with its exact definition and scope varying widely...

 and the last director of the Bauhaus
Bauhaus
', commonly known simply as Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term stood for "School of Building".The Bauhaus school was founded by...

 during its period in Dessau
Dessau
Dessau is a town in Germany on the junction of the rivers Mulde and Elbe, in the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt. Since 1 July 2007, it is part of the merged town Dessau-Roßlau. Population of Dessau proper: 77,973 .-Geography:...

 and Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 was born in Aachen as well. In 1850 Paul Julius Reuter
Paul Reuter
Paul Julius Freiherr von Reuter was a German entrepreneur and later naturalized British citizen...

 founded the Reuters
Reuters
Reuters is a news agency headquartered in New York City. Until 2008 the Reuters news agency formed part of a British independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was also a provider of financial market data...

 News Agency in Aachen which transferred messages between Brussels and Aachen using carrier pigeon
Carrier pigeon
A carrier pigeon is a homing pigeon that is used to carry messages. Using pigeons to carry messages is generally called "pigeon post". Most homing or racing type varieties are used to carry messages. There is no specific breed actually called "carrier pigeon"...

s.

Education




RWTH Aachen University
RWTH Aachen
RWTH Aachen University is a research university located in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany with roughly 33,000 students enrolled in 101 study programs....

, established as Polytechnicum in 1870, is one of the Germany's Universities of Excellence
German Universities Excellence Initiative
The Excellence Initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the German Research Foundation aims to promote cutting-edge research and to create outstanding conditions for young scientists at universities, to deepen cooperation between disciplines and institutions, to...

 with strong emphasis on technological research, especially for electrical and mechanical engineering, computer sciences, physics, and chemistry. The university clinics attached to the RWTH, the Klinikum Aachen
Klinikum Aachen
The Klinikum Aachen, full German name "Universitätsklinikum Aachen" , abbreviated UKA, formerly known as "Neues Klinikum", is a very large hospital in Aachen...

, is the biggest single-building hospital in Europe. Over time, a host of software and computer industries have developed around the university. It also maintains a botanical garden
Botanical garden
A botanical garden The terms botanic and botanical, and garden or gardens are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word botanic is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is a well-tended area displaying a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names...

 (the Botanischer Garten Aachen
Botanischer Garten Aachen
The Botanischer Garten Aachen is a botanical garden maintained by RWTH Aachen. It is variously known as the Botanische Garten der RWTH Aachen, more formally the Botanische Garten der Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, and sometimes the Freundeskreis Botanischer Garten or...

).

FH Aachen, Aachen University of Applied Sciences (AcUAS) was founded in 1971. The AcUAS offers a classic engineering education in professions like Mechatronics, Construction Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering. German and international students are educated in more than 20 international or foreign-oriented programs and can acquire German as well as international degrees (Bachelor/Master) or Doppeldiplome (double degrees). Foreign students accounts for more than 21% of the student body.

The German Army
German Army
The German Army is the land component of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. Following the disbanding of the Wehrmacht after World War II, it was re-established in 1955 as the Bundesheer, part of the newly formed West German Bundeswehr along with the Navy and the Air Force...

's Technical School (Technische Schule des Heeres und Fachschule des Heeres für Technik) is in Aachen.

International relations


Aachen is twinned with:
Liège
Liège
Liège is a major city and municipality of Belgium located in the province of Liège, of which it is the economic capital, in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium....

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

; since 1955. Reims
Reims
Reims , a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, lies east-northeast of Paris. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire....

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

; since 1967. Halifax
Halifax, West Yorkshire
Halifax is a minster town, within the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale in West Yorkshire, England. It has an urban area population of 82,056 in the 2001 Census. It is well-known as a centre of England's woollen manufacture from the 15th century onward, originally dealing through the Halifax Piece...

, England, United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

; since 1979. Toledo
Toledo, Spain
Toledo's Alcázar became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces.-Economy:...

, Castile-La Mancha
Castile-La Mancha
Castile-La Mancha is an autonomous community of Spain. Castile-La Mancha is bordered by Castile and León, Madrid, Aragon, Valencia, Murcia, Andalusia, and Extremadura. It is one of the most sparsely populated of Spain's autonomous communities...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

; since 1985. Ningbo
Ningbo
Ningbo is a seaport city of northeastern Zhejiang province, Eastern China. Holding sub-provincial administrative status, the municipality has a population of 7,605,700 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 3,089,180 in the built up area made of 6 urban districts. It lies south of the Hangzhou Bay,...

, China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

; since 1986. Naumburg
Naumburg
Naumburg is a town in Germany, on the Saale River. It is in the district Burgenlandkreis in the Bundesland of Saxony-Anhalt. It is approximately southwest of Leipzig, south-southwest of Halle, and north-northeast of Jena....

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

; since 1988. Arlington County
Arlington County, Virginia
Arlington County is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The land that became Arlington was originally donated by Virginia to the United States government to form part of the new federal capital district. On February 27, 1801, the United States Congress organized the area as a subdivision of...

, Virginia, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

; since 1993. Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

; since 1999. Kostroma
Kostroma
Kostroma is a historic city and the administrative center of Kostroma Oblast, Russia. A part of the Golden Ring of Russian towns, it is located at the confluence of the Volga and Kostroma Rivers...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

; since 2005. Rosh HaAyin
Rosh HaAyin
Rosh HaAyin is a city in the Center District of Israel. To the west of Rosh HaAyin is the fortress of Antipatris and the source of the Yarkon River. To the southeast is the fortress of Migdal Afek...

, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

; since 2007. Baltimore, Ireland; since 2010.

See also


  • Aachen (district)
    Aachen (district)
    The district of Aachen is a district in the west of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Neighboring districts are Heinsberg, Düren, Euskirchen, and also the Netherlands province of Limburg and the Belgian province of Liège.- History :...

  • Aachen tram
  • Aachener
    Aachener
    The Aachener was a German automobile, built by the Aachen Steel Works and offered for sale in 1902. The company mainly made engines ranging in power from 1¾ hp to 11 hp . It also made automotive components. The complete cars were later marketed under the name "Fafnir"....

  • Aachener Bachverein
    Aachener Bachverein
    Aachener Bachverein is a German oratorio choir of the Evangelical Church in the Rhineland in the city of Aachen that was founded in 1913 by Heinrich Boell...

  • List of mayors of Aachen
  • Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (disambiguation)

External links