Aachen is a city in which history is alive. If you go for a walk in the historic city center, you will finde relics from the Neolithic Age, the remains of Roman thermal baths and the Aachen Cathedral, St. Mary's Church of Charlemagne, which is one of the best preserved monuments of Carolingian times. The burial place of Charlemagne (+814) and place of coronation for more than 30 Roman-Germanic kings in the Middle Ages is one of the most important pilgrimage sites of Christianity.
Aachen is a city of fountains. One of them, the so called Elisenbrunnen, is one of the city’s landmarks. In was built in the 19th century around a hot spring and designed by the architect Friedrich Schinkel. All in all, more than 30 fountains can be found in the city.
Aachen’s cultural scene is enriched by its museums. Particular mention should be made here to the Couven Museum where more than 20 rooms portray the bourgeois life of the 18th and 19th century and the Suermondt-Ludwig Museum, a former city palace, whose exhibition concentrates on sculptures of the Middle Ages and Dutch painters of the 17th century. The Charlemange Centre is to be named as the newest museum of the imperial town. It is located in the middle of the historical hub of the town between the cathedral and the town hall. Here the focus is on Charlemagne and his significance for Aachen and Europe. The Charlegmagne Centre is at the same time also the central point of contact of the Charlemagne Route. It connects important places in the city, such as the cathedral and town hall, Grashaus and Elisenbrunnen forming a path through history.
The biggest events in the city are the conferment of the International Charlemagne Prize which has been presented every year on Ascension Day since 1950 and the CHIO, the Concours Hippique International Officiel, an important international horse show.
Aachen’s International Charlemagne Prize, which was awarded for the first time in 1950, is the oldest and best known prize given to personalities or institutions having rendered outstanding services to Europe and European unification.
At CHIO Aachen the elite of the horse riders, vaulters and drivers meet up as well as the best horses. In addition to top sport in the disciplines show jumping, dressage, vaulting, driving and eventing there is also an exciting programme on offer in Aachen Soers.
In the Charlemagne Centre, in the middle of the historical hub of the town between the cathedral and the town hall, it’s all about Charlemagne and his significance for Aachen and Europe. The Charlegmagne Centre is at the same time also the central point of contact of the Charlemagne Route. It connects important places in the city, such as the cathedral and town hall, Grashaus and Elisenbrunnen forming a path through history.
Since 1958 the building called “Haus Monheim” today in the historical city centre of Aachen is an exhibition location of particularly impressive testimonies of bourgeois housing culture. The rooms form a solid ensemble of different styles of furnishing from Rococo, early classicism of Louise Seize and the Napoleonic empire style to Biedermeier.
Aachen’s Museum Society existing since 1877 reached the foundation in 1883 of a municpial museum in the “Alten Redoute” which was named after its first great founder Barthold Suermondt. The museum has been located in the renovated Villa Cassalette since 1901.
The Ludwig Forum is a house for present day art. From American pop art via the 1980s and 1990s to current trends - collections, changing exhibitions, events, and museum educational activities convey a lively picture of today’s art.
The international newspaper museum, housed in one of the most historic and oldest buildings of the town of Aachen, takes visitors on a trip through the international newspaper history.