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We present: The City of Aachen

Aachen is a town in the Cologne region in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is known as a so-called urban metropolis. It is also very easy to reach from Cologne, for example with the regional express from Cologne Deutz , at our apartments ! Due to the Aachen law, it was declared the administrative seat for the city region of Aachen on October 21, 2009. It is a member of the so-called Landscape Association Rhineland and was formerly an imperial city. It is defined as a large city because it exceeded the 100,000-inhabitant limit in 1890. Aachen is a direct neighbor of Belgium and the Netherlands.

The city of Aachen also has one of the most traditional and even largest technical universities in Europe ! The Rheinisch Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH) is a great figurehead for the city. It has even been supported by the Excellence Initiative since 2007.

Another flagship of the city is of course the famous Aachen Cathedral . Charlemagne founded the Aachen Royal Palatinate with its Palatinate Chapel, which is considered one of the masterpieces of Carolingian architecture. In 1978 the Aachen Cathedral and the Cathedral Treasury were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site ! And even as the first German cultural monument.

The diocese of Aachen has its bishopric there and also a very large, international horse show takes place there every year. This is the "CHIO Aachen". What is particularly well known from Aachen? Well, the Aachen Printen are certainly known nationwide and may be mentioned, as is the fact that Aachen is a very important location for the German confectionery industry.

Due to the direct border location to Belgium and Holland , there are also many architectural and cultural influences from neighboring countries and regions. This was probably the reason why Charlemagne (Father Europae "Father of Europe") made the city of Aachen his cultural, spiritual and also political center of his sphere of activity. He found the diversity particularly inspiring. Taking this story as a basis, the "International Charlemagne Prize" is awarded annually in Aachen (and has been since 1950), which is given to important personalities who have made a contribution to the unification process within Europe.

Furthermore, Aachen is even recognized as a state spa, which can also be recognized by its old name "Bad Aachen" . Healing thermal springs can be found in the Burtscheid and Monheimsallee spa areas. The tourism association, of course, explicitly refers to these thermal springs in its advertisements and still likes to use the name "Bad Aachen" today. So to speak as a predicate.

There is no clear tradition or derivation for the city name. However, it is assumed that the Latin translation for the word "aqua" (water) would have had an impact on the origin of the name. After all, Charlemagne built his empire on the remains of the Roman baths! This is exactly why the place in the Middle Ages is sometimes referred to as Aquisgrani, Aquis or Aquae. The ancient name could have been Aquae Granni and therefore one suspects a naming that could have been based on a consecrated source. The source was named after the Celtic god Grannus.

There are several theories for the origin of the name. One suspects that the name "Aquisgrani" only came about in the Franconian Empire in the 8th century. Established in the Latin language of the firm at that time. The French term for Aachen (it is called Aix-la-Chapelle) contains, like all other city names in French, the addition "Aix" for "aqua" (meaning water).

Strangely, the city of Aachen is repeatedly called different in different countries and languages. The following terms are used: Ахен in Russian, Aquisgrana in Italy, Aquisgrán in Spain, Oochen in Luxembourg, Aken in Holland and Akwizgran in Poland.

Aachen is a recognized state spa town in Germany and is therefore allowed to use the addition "Bad" in its name.

The location and geography

As already mentioned above, the city of Aachen is located in the so-called "Three Country Corner" . The neighboring countries are Belgium and Holland, as the Netherlands. Adjacent landscape and mountains are for example: the Rhenish Slate Mountains, the Eifel, the High Fens, the famous Ardennes or areas between the Lower Maas and the Lower Rhine. The largest cities nearby are: Heerlen, Roermond and Maastricht in the Netherlands, the city of Liège in Belgium and the German cities of Krefeld, Leverkusen, Mönchengladbach, Duisburg, Bonn, Düsseldorf and of course Cologne! In addition to these cities, Aachen also borders on: Alsdorf, Übach-Palenberg, Baesweiler, Würselen, Eschweiler, Stolberg and Herzogenrath.

The highest point of Aachen is 410 meters above sea level and is located in the south or southeast of the city. In the north we find the lowest point in the city, which is 125 meters above sea level. The city border has a length of approx. 88 kilometers, of which there are even 23.8 kilometers border with Belgium and another 21.8 kilometers with the neighboring country Netherlands.

The city structure of the imperial city

In Aachen there are exactly seven districts , which are briefly listed here: Richterich, Laurensberg, Kornelimünster / Walheim, Haaren, Eilendorf, Brand and of course Aachen-Mitte. These districts are administered by a district council, a district head and a district office. In the municipal elections, citizens elect the district representation for the respective district. In addition to these official names and integrations, there are many other place names for the quarters, settlements and localities.

What is the climate like in Aachen?

The imperial city lies in a so-called temperate climate zone . The climate is oceanic, with balanced temperatures, a relatively mild winter and humid weather. The western weather and the location on the High Fens and the Eifel lead to a higher rainfall than, for example, in other cities in North Rhine-Westphalia. In Aachen this is on average 805 mm / year and in Bonn for example 669 mm / year. Furthermore, the weather is also influenced by the appearance of a blow dryer, which is caused by southern air currents.

The city of Aachen is also in a so-called boiler location, which can lead to inversion weather. The situation regarding the necessary exchange of polluted air is particularly problematic. Due to the unfavorable location of Aachen, there can be a very problematic air hygiene situation in certain areas. If there is a neutral weather (i.e. a low-exchange weather situation) in which there is a very bad or only an average exchange ratio of air due to weak winds, then the supply of fresh air is too low.

In Aachen there is a weather forecast in the middle of the city. This is located directly at the main train station. The Aachen weather column is located on the Grenzwacht house and is an approximately 11 meter high light column.


The geology

The city of Aachen stands on a rather heterogeneous floor . Here you can find, for example: limestones, greywacke, claystones and Devonian or carbon sandstones. Where do these chalk or clay stones come from? Well, that's because the North Sea expanded to the mountains of Aachen during the Cretaceous Period, where it deposited many sands, chalk sediments and clays. This is also the reason why a very important pottery industry was able to develop in Raeren (near Aachen). The clays were deposited there and also in the so-called talc basin in Aachen. However, the Upper Cretaceous chalk and sand deposits can be found on the Lousberg, the heights in the Aachen forest or on the Schneeberg. Younger sediments can be found in the east and north of Aachen and indicate tertiary or quaternary wind and river deposits. The subsoil or soil of Aachen is still affected by a large number of active tectonic disturbances and displacements. This results from disturbances in the Rurgraben. As a result, there were repeatedly noticeable earthquakes in the entire Cologne Bay and in Aachen. Significant earthquakes were recorded in Roermond in 823, 1756 (Düren) and 1992.

The population of Aachen

The city does not have as many inhabitants as Cologne, for example (with over a million), but manages to break the more than 250,000 inhabitants border. The gender distribution here is around 52 percent male and 48 percent female. In 2012, the unemployment rate was almost 10 percent. Due to the high proportion of foreign students, the proportion of foreigners in Aachen is almost 14 percent.

Historically, the small city of Aachen (just over 50,000 inhabitants in 1855) developed relatively quickly into a significantly larger city with more than 100,000 inhabitants (this happened as early as 1890!). Through many incorporations and constant expansion of the administrative boundaries (the district town Burtscheid was integrated, Aachen was chosen for the seat for the responsible district administration), the city continued to grow and experienced a strong increase in the population in the following years. This happened particularly strongly in 1972 and led to an increase of more than 63,000 new residents. The limit of 250,000 inhabitants was reached in 2005.

Overall, and compared to other large cities, the city of Aachen has a relatively low increase, which is around 0.67 percent. Statistical calculations have shown that the population will increase to over 282,000 by 2025.

Strangely, fewer people were identified in the 2011 census. In this evaluation, there were only just under 236,000 inhabitants. However, since the city disagreed with this figure, it appealed against it. This is probably about money again. The legal proceedings, which have now even ended up at the Federal Constitutional Court, have been put on hold as a whole.

The history of the city

The area and of course the city of Aachen is very well known for its interesting history, which is associated with many architectural, archaeological and cultural heritage. The Roman occupiers transformed the former Celtic settlement into a wonderful thermal district, which was equipped with many thermal baths and could convince even in antiquity with a very high standard of living. The bathing culture on site was already extraordinarily high in this early period.

In the 5th century the area was taken over by the Franks and Germanized. The Carolingian and previously Merovingian rule gradually turned into a Franconian government. The Carolingian Palatinate complex was completed towards the 9th century and Aachen was thus designated as the main residence of Charlemagne . Emperor Friedrich I. Barbarossa even granted Aachen city rights, using the so-called Karl privilege. The location became an imperial city and from the Middle Ages to the Reformation became the festive crowning place of many Roman-German kings and emperors!

From the Neolithic to antiquity

The first settlement of Aachen took place between 3000 and 2500 BC. The residents were farmers. Excavations in Aachen's Elisengarten confirmed the presumption of settlement. The found burial mounds from the Aachen forest and excavations also carried out at the Aachen Elisengarten suggest that the Celts settled in Aachen in the early Iron Age and in the Bronze Age.

The Romans then came to the Celts mentioned above and settled around the warm springs. There is even evidence of a Roman spa for the 1st century! There has probably been a city development in the area of ​​today's Aachen since the birth of Christ. At that time, this approx. 25 hectare building was still called Aquae Granni . The operation of the Roman baths continued into late antiquity.

During Franconian times

In the Elisengarten in 2008 and 2009, signs were found that the area was still populated after the 4th century until the year 700. Even after the Romans left the area. There are Franconian tombs that date back to the 7th century. So these are proof of a settlement that still exists later. A courtyard was built in Aachen, which can be assigned to the Frankish king Pippin the Younger. The first mention of this farm was in 765, in the form of a written submission called "Aquis villa".

The Carolingian period in Aachen is not sufficiently documented. This is probably due to the fact that all ceramics were still made according to Roman tradition and are therefore (incorrectly) always assigned to this time. There is also no evidence of dwellings from this Carolingian period.

King Pippin had a son named Karl. This later went down in history under the name "Charlemagne" . He inherited the Franconian Empire from his father and of course the Aachener Hof. Charlemagne spent his first winter there between 768 and 769. Charlemagne loved the city of Aachen very much and spent more and more time there in the following years. He even expanded the site into an imperial palace. A palace was built and the so-called Palatinate Chapel. The city hall of the city of Aachen can be found where the imperial palace once stood. And the famous chapel was converted or converted into the Aachen Cathedral.

Karl's son was crowned emperor in this chapel in 813. Charlemagne was present and certainly very proud at this solemn moment. The Emperor Charlemagne was buried in the forecourt of the chapel. The funeral took place on January 28th. held in 814.

In the 9th century an emperor was crowned again in the Aachen Palatinate Chapel. It was the oldest grandson of Charlemagne, namely Lothar I Arnulf and also Charles III can no longer be detected in the Aachen area. Further activities in the Palatinate can only be demonstrated again from Otto I.

To the Holy Roman Empire

In 936 Otto I was called or crowned King of East Franconia in the beautiful city of Aachen . For the next 600 years, the city was still the crowning place for the German kings (sedes regia)! A total of 30 new German kings were crowned in today's cathedral and thus the Aachen Minster at that time! The last king was Ferdinand the first. Paps Paschalis III. even canonized Charlemagne in 1165! Aachen received city rights and even coin and market rights on January 8, 1666 and became an imperial city! The name was also "Head of the cities" (caput civitatum) and "Head and seat of the German Kingdom" (caput et sedes regni) and was issued by the emperor Friedrich Barbarossa in the form of a letter of freedom (Karlprivileg). documented.

The Aacheners were exempt from so-called fief hearing. The imperial eagle in the coat of arms can be traced back to this. Emperor Frederick II also reaffirmed all the rights that the city had been granted by Charlemagne. This was on 07/29/1215.

The then Emperor Barbarossa had the inner city wall of Aachen built and therefore it still bears the name "Barbarossa Wall". The construction of the wall started in 1171. Today's moat roughly traces the course of this wall. Wilhelm of Holland attacked the city and even besieged it for six months! In 1248 he was able to conquer her and was crowned king there.

In 1257 a certain Richard of Cornwall was crowned and this promoted the expansion of an outer wall ring. The construction time of this wall ring was an incredible 100 years! This wall ring had a total of eleven city gates and had 22 watchtowers. In 1841 there were the first residential buildings, which were outside the walls and were in today's old town, i.e. in the Bahnhofsviertel and Theaterstrasse.

It was the emperor Ludwig IV, who granted the city of Aachen again the city rights or confirmed them again. The city rights were then even extended to the area of ​​the Aachen Empire. It was not only the areas that lay within the Barbarossa wall, but also the quarters that were found outside the walls. These included: the Reichswald, the Stadtbusch and the Aachener Heide. Forestry and agriculture were particularly active in these areas. Of course, it served to supply the city population and of course had to be protected in some form from theft. For this reason the so-called Aachener Landgraben was built.

The first economy that was operated in Aachen was the cloth manufacturing. The cloth walkers were first mentioned or documented in 1258. These were the main economic factor of the location in the following centuries.

In addition to the fabric manufacturing , the brass industry and the copper industry were also operated in Aachen. Due to the ore deposits, which are abundant, for example calamine (zinc ore) was found (especially in Stolberg or Kelmis). This happened especially in the 16th century. There was some religious unrest in the city during the Reformation, and as a result, a large proportion of the copper beaters simply left the city and found a new home in Stolberg or Vaals. In 1349, the city hall of Aachen was built on the remains of an already dilapidated royal hall (which belonged to the so-called Kaiserpfalz), as you can still see it in its present form. The then mayor Gerhard Chorus and the Aachen city council were responsible.

The function of the town hall was previously the grass house, which was then used until the 18th century for court meetings or similar events. In 1903 a second town hall was even built and put into operation. It was called "Pützer Bau". This was almost destroyed in the turmoil of the Second World War and was therefore completely demolished in the 1950s. Today there is an administrative building for the city.

In the 16th century, the city of Aachen lost its importance. The city of Frankfurt even took on the role of the coronation city! From then on there was also religious unrest between the Protestants and the Catholics during the Reformation.

The modern era begins

According to a census in 1601, the population was 14,171. Of these, only 2829 had so-called civil rights. In 1656 there was a great tragedy in the city. On May 2, a fire broke out at the baker Peter Maw, which spread to the neighborhood, destroying around 4664 houses and most of the Gothic Aachen. 7 people died in the fire!

Now there was a wonderful development, which can be expressed in one sentence: "What destroyed the fire, builds up the water again!" Because a spa doctor with the name Francois Blondel (from Liège) transformed it City of Aachen in one of the most modern bathing locations in all of Europe ! In addition to the normal spa operation, there was also a casino, various ballrooms or other things for fun.

The reputation of the bath was good and therefore there was a prominent visitor: Frederick the Great (Prussian King), Tsar Peter the first from Russia or the well-known composer Georg Friedrich Handel were happy to be guests here!

Aachen was also always very important when it came to mediation and diplomacy. Because there, for example, the Revolutionary War between France and Spain ended in 1668 and peace was made. This was called the Aachen Peace.

In 1794 Aachen unfortunately fell back to the French and from then on belonged to France. This was after the French Revolution. Unfortunately, the city was robbed of many cultural assets that are now in Paris. In 1798, the city became the administrative center for the department of la Roer. The administration building was located at Kleinkölnstraße 18 (the Londoner Hof).

In the years 1802 to 1825, the city was even officially a bishopric. In 1930 it was rebuilt with the Prussian Concordat. As a result, it was subordinated to the Archdiocese of Cologne as a suffragan bishopric.

From the 19th century to the present

In 1815 the city of Aachen was assigned to the Kingdom of Prussia . This was decided at the Vienna Congress. In 1816 the city of Aachen became a district, but still belonged to the province of the Grand Duchy of Lower Rhine. From 1822 Aachen became a so-called Rhine province, complete with the administrative district.

The cloth industry has changed a lot due to technical progress. The steam power, the new devices and the mechanization brought great unemployment and led to very low wages for women and children. The riots, which should rather be called citizens' complaints, were crushed by soldiers and paid, armed citizens. So you beat the people down.

The people of Cologne continued to expand their railway network and so it was possible from Cologne in 1841 to go to Aachen by train . The city of Cologne has been building a railway line (the Rhenish Railway) towards Belgium since 1837. In 1843 they arrived at Herbesthal station in Belgium.

During the First World War, German troops near Aachen simply crossed the border and entered the area of ​​Belgium. This was the reason and also the possibility for Great Britain and France to officially enter the war.

When the First World War was over, a large part of the hinterland of Aachen with the district of Eupen and even parts of Schleiden and Monschau went to the country of Belgium. This was in 1918.

The city of Aachen was occupied by the Belgians for a long eleven years . During this time there were also many bloody conflicts and even an attempted coup. Aachen separatists and the normal Aachen population fought numerous conflicts, which were ended by the Belgian troops.

All these times of war (especially the Ruhr struggle or the separatist uprising) naturally led to major economic problems in the city. There was even a shift in the old customs border. All of this took place around 1923 and culminated in the Great Depression from 1929 onwards.

In 1933 members of the NSDAP came to power. They dissolved the city council and replaced all state and city officials. In 1937 the shrine trip took place there. It is interpreted as a quiet demonstration against the Nazi regime.

In 1938, unfortunately, many Jewish apartments and shops were looted and devastated in Aachen (November pogroms). The Aachner Synagogue was destroyed by fire. Over 500 Jews who lived in Aachen were murdered.

The city of Aachen was badly damaged by the Second World War . More than 65 percent of all apartments and houses have been destroyed or made uninhabitable. The city was destroyed by a total of five air raids from 1941.

In 1944 Aachen was forced evacuated and then taken over by the Allies in October of the year. Franz Oppenhoff was appointed as the new mayor by the Americans. He was in office exactly five months before he was murdered. In Aachen, the Oppenhoffallee was named after him. The Allies led the occupation in the following order: America, Great Britain and then Belgium.

In 1946 the population of Aachen rose again to over 100,000 people . In August 1946, the northern part of the old Rhine province (including Aachen) became part of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. This state was newly founded. The district of Bildchen in the west was an annexation area of ​​Belgium from April 1949 to August 1958.

In 1950 the city of Aachen received the International Charlemagne Prize for special activities and peace in Europe.

As a result of the territorial reform from 1972 (the first Aachen law), the city of Aachen and its urban area became larger and then three times the area, and the number of inhabitants even exceeded the limit of more than 237,000!

In the further course, the administrative district of Aachen was then dissolved and is now administered by the administrative district of Cologne. The Aachen Clinic celebrated its topping-out ceremony in 1985 and was handed over to RWTH Aachen University by Johannes Rau (then Prime Minister).

In 1995 a new synagogue was opened in Aachen. There were international guests on site. In May 2009, the federal government awarded the city of Aachen the title "Place of Diversity".

The coat of arms of the city

Aachen has chosen the city colors black / gold and black / yellow. A black eagle can be seen on the coat of arms.

The twin cities

The partner cities are: Montebourg (France), Sariver (Turkey), Naumburg (Saxony Anhalt), Kostroma (Russian Federation), Ningbo (China), Kaptstadt (South Africa), Toledo (Spain), Halifax / Calderdale (UK) , Arlington (USA) and Reims (France).

The infrastructure and the economy

A variety of educational institutions can be found in Aachen. These include, for example: FH Aachen, RWTH, some high schools, educational centers and also a municipal adult education center.

There is also a rich range of culture: many museums and theaters offer space and time for relaxation and distraction.

The city of Aachen fulfills the necessary criteria through various facilities and special features such as: justice center, financial center, authorities, a university clinic and other specialist clinics, various sports facilities, some social and health facilities, many credit institutions and various service offers b> to be able to name a regional center . In principle, this is a preliminary step to a metropolis.

Kurstadt Bad Aachen

The region has always been popular and known for its many healing springs . These can offer up to 74 degrees hot water, which is very sulphurous. The district of Burscheid can therefore advertise that it has some of the hottest springs in all of Central Europe. There are recognized healing springs that have a positive influence on rheumatism and some other diseases.

This was probably the reason why Charlemagne loved the city so much and promoted it significantly. The city of Aachen can also call itself Bad Aachen as a recognized spa town. For marketing-strategic reasons (Aachen is now in the first place in every directory), however, the “Bad” resolution is dispensed with.

In the center of Aachen you can still find the historic Kurpark am Elisenbrunnen. There is a very modern bathing area in the Carolus Thermen.

The city's businesses

In Aachen many companies find branches or even headquarters from various branches of industry.

A very large company was or is (in research) Philips Deutschland GmbH . In 1934, the large electronics manufacturer opened many production facilities in the city. Initially, only radio sets were produced, but after the end of the Second World War, lamps and picture tubes were also produced. In 2004 the picture tube plant had to be closed. The unused production halls were then used for the production of OLED. This branch of production was then sold to the company OLEDWorks in 2015. The entire lamp production was then stopped in 2018. Philips has been doing research in the city of Aachen since 1955. This research department and the research facilities remained on site and can be found in Rothe Erde and on the Melaten Campus.

Aachen is known for many economic areas: environmental technology, laser technology, the IT area, automation and of course mechanical engineering. Some of these startups were founded directly from the university or university of applied sciences and are still closely related to the university and the university of applied sciences. You even founded a competence network called Regina eV IT / Informatik Aachen.

The automotive industry has also found its way into Aachen. On the one hand, there are the supply companies such as: Saint Gobain or Continental AG, on the other hand, there are also development service providers such as the FEV (Research Society for Energy Technology and Combustion Engines), which even has its headquarters in Aachen. There is also the FFA (Ford Research Center Aachen) in the city. As already mentioned above, research is closely linked to the universities of applied sciences. There are also some institutes of the well-known RWTH that have focused their research on the automotive industry. The entire local automotive industry has formed a network. The network is called "Competence center automotive aachen - euregio maas-rhein (car e.V.)".

Other research companies and even high-tech companies are also represented.

In addition to research, there are also several management consultancies in Aachen, such as Adesso SE or the P3 Group.

Everyone knows the world-famous Aachen Printen . There are also a few other companies and products that you are also familiar with that are manufactured in Aachen or have their headquarters there. These are, for example: the Lambertz company (printen and gingerbread), the Lind & Sprüngli company (chocolates and chocolate) or the Zentis company with their sweets, jams and fruit preparations. You certainly know this and these companies make the location for the production of confectionery so well known and popular. The Lindt & Sprüngli company also offers a factory outlet, which is of course very popular before Easter and Christmas.

In addition to all these companies and producers, the city of Aachen also plays an important role in the restaurants and tourist industry . In the first half of 2017, for example, there were almost half a million overnight stays!

As already mentioned in the section on the historical development of the location above, the cloth industry was always very important for Aachen . Together with the production of needles, these were the most important local economic factors. For example, there were over a hundred needle factories in the city!

As in old Cologne, the cloth factories and dyeing plants were always located on the streams. At the beginning of the 1990s, however, there were changes and relocations of production facilities in this area all over Germany. Together with the needle production everything was shifted towards the Far East. In 2004, therefore, the last large needle factory in Aachen had to be closed.

Generali Germany or, for example, the Aachen Munich insurance company belongs to the local insurance industry .

Due to its central location in the three countries corner, Aachen is of course also an interesting location for the logistics industry. In the large Avantis business park there are, for example, shipping and logistics centers from the Honold Logistik Group or the well-known "Internet pharmacy" Doc Morris.

The largest local employers include: RWTH (with around 10,000 jobs), the city administration (4,500 jobs), Generali Germany (around 2,300 jobs), Sparkasse Aachen (around 2,000 jobs), Grünenthal GmbH ( around 1,900 jobs), the Aachen Printen and chocolate factory (about 1,800 jobs), the administration of the city region (about 1,700 jobs), Lindt & Sprüngli GmbH (about 1,700 jobs) or FEV GmbH with about 1,500 jobs.

The traffic

The rail connections (international, in Germany and regional) can all be found at Aachen Central Station . Not only the Thalys high-speed train arrives there, but of course also the ICE International. Deutsche Bahn also connects the location quickly and easily with other German cities with the Intercity.

In addition to normal passenger transport, the Aachen location is of course also extremely important for international freight transport. Due to the proximity of Holland or Belgium, the Aachen rail network is of course very important.

Railway history: on the one hand you find in Aachen the oldest still used railway tunnel in Germany (the bush tunnel) and on the other hand a wonderful viaduct. It bears the name "Burtscheider Viaduct".

The Talbot wagon factory was still active until the early 1990s and produced freight and passenger wagons. Customers were, for example, Talent or the Dutch State Railways. Unfortunately, the Bombardier group (from Canada) took over the Talbot factory and moved production to the Czech Republic. The remaining work was sold in 2013. Talbot Services have taken over the location and are now building electric vehicles (street scooters) and rail vehicles on site.

Local public transport

The tram and the trolleybus disappeared from the streets of Aachen in 1974. Since then, the transport of the population has been ensured by omnibuses . The Euregiobahn has also been heading to the city since 2001. From 2001 onwards there were four stops (Aachen West, Hauptbahnhof, Aachen Rothe Erde and Aachen Eilendorf). In 2004 the Aachen Schanz stop was added. The responsible transport association (AVV) is responsible for the Euregiobahn and the bus lines and even goes to Holland or Belgium. The stops in the Netherlands or Belgium are, for example: Kerkrade, Kelmis, Heerlen or Eupen.

The connections by car

The city of Aachen is connected to a diverse motorway junction. The A4, A44 and A544 federal highways all meet at the Aachen interchange. From Aachen, the A4 goes to Holland and the A44 to Belgium. The car connection is very good .

Aviation in the region

The international Airport Maastricht / Aachen is not located directly in Aachen and even abroad. It is located around 30 kilometers from the city center and is therefore easy to reach. Airlines are, for example: Ryanair or Transavia. The airlines fly there as part of charter flights.

There is also the Liège airport, which is about 50 kilometers away in Belgium. Small aircraft can also use the airfield in Aachen Merzbrück.

The nearest major airports, approximately 90 kilometers away, are Cologne Bonn Airport and Düsseldorf / International Airport. These can be reached either by car or by train (line RE 1, RE 4 or S 13 from the main station).


The media landscape

There are also some print media in the city. These include: the “Aachener Nachrichten daily” and the “Aachener Zeitung”. Until 1996, this newspaper was still called "Aachener Volkszeitung". Both newspapers are distributed by the Aachen newspaper publisher. As in other cities across Germany, there are still a few free advertising magazines that are distributed to households. These include, for example: King Kalli, Super Wednesday, Super Sunday, moviebeta, Klenkes or Bad Aachen.

News agencies and publishers

A world famous news agency was founded in Aachen in 1850. Who would have thought that Paul Julius Reuter founded the agency in the imperial city. The later headquarters was then London and since 2008 the Thomson Reuters agency has now been in New York!

The sports and non-fiction publisher "Meyer & Meyer" is also based here in Aachen.

TV and radio stations

The WDR (West German Broadcasting Corporation) has a studio in Aachen. Local television is produced here. In addition to the WDR, there is also the TV station Center.TV on site. We also still find the learning transmitter NRWision in the city. As radio stations we find: Radio Aachen and Antenne AC. There is also a project from the university, which also operates a radio station: it is the so-called "Hochschulradio Aachen". Due to the proximity to Belgium and Holland, foreign channels can also be received. This even includes German-language, private radio stations such as: The Hit Radio and Fantasy Dance.

WDR Köln

The public institutions in the city

There are some public law corporations, other institutions and bodies that are based in Aachen. These include, for example: the weather station, the University Hospital Aachen, the public prosecutor's office, all courts (social court, administrative court, labor court, district court, district court), the judicial center, the correctional facility, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Crafts. In addition, health insurance companies (such as Techniker Krankenkasse) count as a corporation under public law and have some branches in Aachen.

The city's medical care

By far the largest medical facility in the city is the University Hospital Aachen . The clinic is even the largest hospital building in Europe (seen as a context). The construction of the clinic started in 1971 and it was only in 1985 that it was opened or inaugurated. There are four other hospitals in the city. These are: the Alexian Hospital, the Marien Hospital, the Luisen Hospital and the Franziskushospital.

Education and research opportunities

As already mentioned above, there is a wide range in the city in this area.

The Technical University (exactly the Rheinisch Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen - RWTH) was founded in 1870 and was then called the "Royal Rheinische Westfälisch Polytechnische Schule zu Aachen". The RWTH is well known and is one of the most traditional and largest technical universities in Europe. In addition to the strong technical characteristics of the range of courses, you can also take the following courses: medicine, architecture or even social sciences and humanities.

The FH Aachen (Aachen University of Applied Sciences) is the second largest university in the city. It was founded in 1971 and has locations in Jülich and Aachen. The main focus of this school is a large number of technical and scientific subjects, design and also economics. The courses are even international!


The Cologne University of Music and Dance even has an offshoot in Aachen. This branch is a department that has entered into a special cooperation with the Aachen Symphony Orchestra and the municipal opera. The cooperation was concluded in 1993 and now creates the possibility of joint opera productions and further musical project work. In addition, the students can also do an internship at the Theater Aachen.

The City of Aachen Theater School

It is a state-recognized and approved vocational school and is therefore BAföG capable. This is the Aachen Theater School. The premises of the baroque factory were used as the location of the theater school.

The Catholic University

This school was founded in 1971 and was called KFH NW. In 2008 it was renamed the KatHO NRW (Catholic University of North Rhine Westphalia). It is an association of several higher technical schools that offer the subjects religious education, social education, curative education and social work. In Germany there is the so-called university ranking CHE, which compares all universities in the field of social work. In this benchmark, the Katholische Hochschule Aachen regularly occupies one of the top spots. Some departments of the university can also be found in Münster, Paderborn or Cologne. The KatHO NWR is among the state-recognized church universities, one of the largest in all of Germany!

There was also the St. Gregorius Catholic College for Church Music in Aachen, founded in 1881. At that time founded under the name of St. Gregorius Church Music School, it was even converted into a university in 2000. Since the number of students was too small for another company (in the winter semester 2005/2006 there were only 22 students !!!), the school was closed on March 31, 2007.

Another inactive school was the Clara Fey School. It was founded in 1967 by the sisters of the poor child of Jesus. The technical school was founded in 1970 with the degree in social pedagogy. In this form it existed for around 22 years and was run by sister Leonie. In 1991 the technical school was then placed under the bishopric of Aachen, which brought some changes. There was a new headmaster and a new branch of training. Too few students were active here (approx. 240 pupils), which is why the school was closed in early 2008.

What other facilities are there in Aachen?

We would like to briefly list the most important facilities here: the German Carpet Research Institute, the Frauenhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME), the FOM University, the Frauenhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT), the Frauenhofer Institute for Production Technology ( IPT), the Bleiberger factory, the Volkshochschule Aachen (VHS) and the Aachen drama school (ASS).

The sights of the city

The Aachen Cathedral is world famous and certainly one of the most important sights of Aachen. It is a landmark. Charlemagne originally had the cathedral built as a chapel for himself. In 800, this magnificent dome was finally completed and (in its form as a free-floating dome) was the largest north of the entire Alps for 400 years. The marble throne of Charlemagne can still be found on the upper floor of the octagon. In the years from 936 to the year 1531 legendary 30 German kings were crowned there! In 1414 a huge, monumental choir hall was added. This masterly architecture in Gothic style has earned the cultivation the nickname "Glass House of Aachen". Because this is a choir hall, which has 27 meter high windows, which come in total on more than 1000 square meters of glass surface.

The bones of Charlemagne are still in the golden shrine, which was made in 1215. Many other chapels have been added to the structure over the years. These come from the period of high Gothic. The treasury in Aachen Cathedral is very famous because it contains some of the most important church treasures. One of them is the Lotharkreuz or the gilded Karlsbüste. This is also the reason why the cathedral and its cathedral treasure was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978.

The Aachen City Hall was simply built on the foundations of the Palastula (i.e. the Kaiserpfalz) by the Aachen citizens and the then mayor Gerhard Chorus. As the rest of the original buildings, only the Granus Tower can be seen. There are numerous other works of art within the building that I would like to briefly list here: the coronation hall, a copy of the imperial jewels or the arithmetic gospels. There is also a restaurant with the name "Zum Postwagen" in the annexes directly at the town hall. In 2008 and 2009, it was decided to open most of the rooms in the town hall to the public. Nowadays, for example, you can take a look at the council meeting room, the coronation room, the “white room”, the peace room, the workman's court or the master's kitchen.

The medieval city fortifications

The city of Aachen at that time was protected by two wall rings . Even today, many remains of this city fortification can be found in the city. Unfortunately there are only two of the mighty eleven city gates left. This is the Ponttor, which is located in Pontstrasse or at the end and the well-known Marschiertor, which can be found in Franzstraße. The year of construction of the pont gate is dated to the last half of the 13th century and the marching gate is said to have been built in 1257.

Other buildings from this city fortification are for example: the remains of the Barbarossa wall, the Adalbertsturm, the Pfaffentürmchen, the Lavenstein, the so-called "Lange Turm" and the Marienburg.

The church buildings of the city

The second oldest church in the city is the Probsteikirche St. Adalbert . It was consecrated in 1005 and is therefore just under 200 years younger than Aachen Cathedral. We also find the monastery church St. Konrelius in Aachen. It is located in the Kornelimünster district and was probably founded in the 9th century. Unfortunately, there was a fire in the 14th century, which caused some damage to the monastery church. These were then corrected in many construction stages and the entire church was converted into the wonderful five-aisled basilica.

Next to the cathedral you can also find the St. Foillan church. This was built in 1480. A house from the 12th century served as the base.

In 1656 there was a big fire in Aachen and therefore the St. Peter Church will be reopened . After the reconstruction, which was done in baroque style, the church was reopened in 1717.

The churches of St. Michael and St. Johann were built in the 18th century and are considered Baroque churches.

In today's Frankenberger quarter (built at the end of the 19th century) there is a locality for the churches: Herz Jesu Kirche (built in 1910 as a Catholic church) and the Dreifaltigkeitskirche (built in 1899 as a Protestant church).

The first really modern church was built in Aachen in 1930. It was the St. Corpus Christi church. The two youngest churches in the city include: St. Mary's Church (Catholic and completed in 1981) and the Sea of ​​Galilee (Evangelical and completed in 2018).

The grass house of Aachen

As already mentioned above, there is a building at the Aachen Fish Market, which is called "Grashaus" . The facade of the building even comes from the old town hall of the city of Aachen. It is dated back to 1267 and is probably on the even older foundations of the previous building. After the new town hall was completed in 1349, the grass house served as a place of jurisdiction, then as a prison and even as a place of execution. In 1886 the look of the building was changed by converting it into three arched windows to form the Aachen City Archives. This was until 2011 and then this situation was changed by the “Route Charlemagne” project. The grass house has since represented the subject of Europe and houses a European classroom.

The Löwenstein house

Historians have determined that this Haus Löwenstein was built around the same time as the Aachen City Hall. It must have been around 1345. It survived the city fire in Aachen in 1656 without major damage. In addition to the town hall and Aachen cathedral, it is the only Gothic building that has remained without fire damage. Historians suspect that the building may have been a former wine house or restaurant. As time went on, it was used as a house. It is located opposite the "Brussels House". Today the city administration uses the house. Below the corner tower is a small figure of the now holy Nepomuk. It was installed in memory of the Bohemian cleric Mr. Johannes Nepomuk. The figure is said to date from 1747. In addition to the city administration, the committee of the Aachen Carnival Association also uses the Löwenstein House as the central carnival archive.

The famous Elisenbrunnen

The convertible halls of the famous Elisenbrunnen are located at Aachen's Friedrich Wilhelm Platz. Messrs. Johann Peter Cremer (state building inspector) and Karl Friedrich Schinkel (master builder) are responsible for this beautiful classicist building. It was completed in 1827. The Elisenbrunnen is a very well-known symbol of the city. Other landmarks are for example the Aachen Cathedral or the already mentioned town hall. Unfortunately, the Second World War completely destroyed the Elisenbrunnen. This was on July 14, 1943. The population of Aachen was delighted when it was completely and faithfully rebuilt in 1953. Some of the elements, such as the old pillars, were allegedly stored at Aachen's Lousberg for some time before they were then moved to the Carolus Thermen and are now located on the outdoor area.

The distribution of the Elisenbrunnen is as follows: it has an open wall hall, which is equipped with a porch. Furthermore, there are some rooms on the right and on the left side of the fountain or wall hall. Open to the public, two drinking fountains . A high sulfur thermal water bubbles out of these, which has a warm temperature of around 52 degrees. It is the so-called imperial spring. This special thermal water was served to the population in a special drinking room in the basement of the so-called dome hall until 1938. Entries on a stone tablet in this vestibule are reminiscent of the famous spa guests who have also gathered at this special emperor's spring. The famous guests include, for example: Georg Friedrich Handel, Giacomo Casanova, Frederick the Great and also Peter the Great.

The culture in the imperial city

There are several museums in the city, which I would like to briefly introduce here. On the one hand, it is the so-called "Heimat- und Geschichtsmuseum" . This used to be found in the so-called Frankenberg Castle and has now been found at the Katschhof in the Center Charlemagne since 2014. In a permanent exhibition there are insights into many periods and epochs of Aachen. These are, for example: early times, Roman antiquity, the Carolingian era, current information from the present. In addition to the permanent exhibition, there are also exhibitions twice a year, which can only be visited temporarily and want to show some focal points of the city's history.

The Couven Museum can be found in the Haus Monheim, which is located on the Hühnermarkt. Furniture from the various eras of the time is exhibited there. These are, for example: Biedermeier, the Napoleonic Empire style, early classicism or Rococo. The house was built in 1663. The house Monheim was then rebuilt in 1786 by Jakob Couven. This was the son of a very famous master builder (Mr. Johann Joseph Couven).

The International Newspaper Museum is located in the "Great House of Aachen" on the famous Pontstrasse. You can find the history of the international press there from the 17th to the 20th century.

Another museum is the Suermondt Ludwig Museum. This museum got its name from the donors and financial supporters. These were the married couple Irene Ludwig and their spouse Peter Ludwig. Another major donor was Mr. Barthold Suermondt. It was originally founded by the Aachen Museum Association in 1883.

We find many other exhibitions in the Villa Cassalette. This was named after the founder and client Eduard Cassalette. He is the grandson of the famous Peter Joseph Cassalette, who founded and ran the Aachen scratch factory. From 1901 the Villa Cassalette resided in the city palace. On display are: contemporary art or art by Francisco de Goya, Rembrandt or Albrecht Dürer. There are graphics, watercolors and around 10,000 valuable hand drawings. There is also a beautiful exhibition of Attic vase painting, stained glass from the Middle Ages or goldsmith's work, tapestries, sculptures and paintings from the period from the 12th to the 20th century.

The "Ludwig Forum for International Art" is located in the old Brauer umbrella factory. The building was built in 1928 and designed by the architect Josef Bachmann. The city of Aachen actually completely gutted the building in 1988 and gave it a whole new look. The basis of the art exhibition was a collection of modern art, which also came from the couple Peter Ludwig mentioned above. The opening took place in 1991. In the museum there is also a restoration workshop, a library and constantly changing ideas of so-called applied art. There is even a sculpture park outside.

The theater play in Aachen

The architect Johann Peter Cremer is responsible for the planning and construction of the theater. The start was in 1822. After completion, it was opened in 1825. In addition to the famous "Big House" , the largest theater in the city of Aachen also has the following venues: Kammerspiele, der Mörgens (located in Mörgensstraße). Many great performances are offered there, such as: readings, concerts, ballet performances, musicals, plays, operettas and of course operas. Well-known names at the Theater in Aachen were, for example: Kazem Abdullah, Marcus Bosch, Wolfgang Sawallisch or Herbert von Karajan. The current conductor of the orchestra is Mr. Christopher Ward. Michael Schmitz Aufterbeck (since 2005) is responsible as general director of the stages in Aachen.

Smaller theaters in the city are for example: the Aachener Heimattheater, the Alt-Aachener Bühne, the Spürbar Theater, the improvisation theater with the name "Fliegender Wechsel", the Öcher Nölde, the Blackout Theater, the AixpertenTheater, the Bühne 78 , Theater Brand, Theater 99, DAS DA THEATER, the Puppet Theater Öcher Schängche or the Grenzlandtheater.

Musical performances

There are many choirs and the large symphony orchestra in Aachen. The well-known conductors here were Marcus Bosch (from 2002 to 2012 general music director), Kazem Abdullah (from 2012 to 2017 general music director) and from 2018 Christopher Ward. There are choirs that are even internationally known for their music art. These include, for example: Aachen Student Orchestra, Colleqium Musicum RWTH Aachen, the Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Cappella Aquensis, the Domchor Aachen, the Bachverein, the Chamber Choir of Aachen, the Carmina Mundi, the so-called "Junge Chor Aachen", the Madrigalchor or the "Sinfonische Choir".

International artists found their way into the city from 1959 to 2017 and master concerts were offered in the city of Aachen. Since 2018 there has been a new concept that adapted the performances in its old form. The “International Chorbiennale” has traditionally been taking place in Aachen since 2009 (every 2 years).

In Aachen, however, not only classical music is offered, but also gospel music, jazz (the Aachen big band is in charge here) or a cappella performances. All musical genres and important artists are presented in the book “Tonarten der Stadt”, which was published in 2018.

There is also a special feature: the first discotheque in all of Germany was also opened in the imperial city in 1959. It was called "Scotch Club".

Other buildings or facilities in the city

The city of Aachen has a variety of interesting buildings and facilities . We would like to briefly list some of them here: Aquis Plaza, the casino from Aachen located directly at the Tivoli Stadium, the Eurogress Aachen (an international and very large congress and event center), the old Kurhaus (exhibitions and concerts are offered there), the Kulturzentrum Barockfabrik, the MalteserKeller, the Musikschule Aachen, the popular city library of the city of Aachen, the Kulturzentrum Bleiberger Fabrik, the observatory on the Hangeweiher (which, by the way, is already listed), the mini golf courses in the city park or at the Gut Entpfuhl, the German French Cultural Institute or the future workshop .

The most important foundations in the city

The two largest and most important foundations in Aachen are: the Bürgerstiftung Lebensraum Aachen and the Aachener Kathy Beys Foundation.

Regular large events and events

The "International Charlemagne Prize in Aachen" is awarded annually for special services in connection with European unification. A well-known award winner is, for example, Bill Clinton.

Although the Cologne Carnival is certainly much bigger and better known than the Carnival in Aachen , we would of course still like to show it here. Because the carnival in Aachen really captivates the whole city and is therefore a "small" big event for every Aachener. Also in Aachen there is a Mardi Gras procession, the special situation on Fat Thursday (in Cologne called Weiberfastnacht, because the women are out of control here, just like in Aachen) or the popular children's train on every Carnival Sunday. A well-known tradition is the award of the "Order against the seriousness of animals". This medal can be compared to a cultural award and is awarded to people (and very often to politicians) who have a particularly funny "humor in office".

A major event is the Aachen fun fair , which bears the name "Öcher Bend" . This was first mentioned in 1413. At the beginning, the fun fair was held in the city center, but was then moved to Bendplatz with increasing size. This is near the Westbahnhof and the fair takes place there twice a year (once in April and then again in August).

The Aachen Christmas Market is particularly beautiful. This always takes place during Advent and the stalls are built around the town hall and the Aachen cathedral. The atmosphere is really nice (I can tell from my own experience) and that's why it is also called one of the three most beautiful Christmas markets in Germany. With a daily (also very international) volume of around 50,000 visitors a day, around one and a half million visitors come together so quickly!

A large consumer fair takes place once a year in Aachen. This is the so-called "Euregio Wirtschaftsschau", which offers offers from the following areas: fashion & beauty, home & garden or beautiful living. The fair always has a duration of ten days.

Other markets in the city are: Historical fair (in Kornelimünster), European market for handicrafts or many small markets.

The "Aachen Cultural Summer" can be described as a large music festival. Musicians from the fields: classical, jazz, pop or rock show their skills here. The music festival “Lust auf Jazz” always takes place in spring. The marching of these jazz bands through the city center is particularly original.

A highlight is the annual international equestrian event CHIO in Aachen. This is where the international equestrian elite meets!

The culinary specialties and specialties

As already mentioned above, the city of Aachen is particularly known for the production of "Aachener Printen" . It is a delicious gingerbread biscuit, which is made or topped with spices (very aromatic) and sometimes also with chocolate. They let their creativity run free and offer great variations such as: honey prints, herb prints, princess prints or chocolate prints. A distinction must also be made here between soft and hard prints.

In the area of ​​ beer production , the Aacheners have not had so much success since all productions have since been discontinued. Various breweries or breweries attempted to produce: the Öcher warehouse (which belonged to the Degraa brewery, which is no longer available) or the so-called Lennet beer. The complete beer production in Aachen was stopped in 2014 at the latest.

The following are mentioned as special culinary specialties: the "Aachener Sauerbraten" , the "Aachener Christmas liver sausage" or the "Öcher caviar". Also popular is the so-called "puttes" (a type of blood sausage), which is also served fried with sauerkraut (compes) and mashed potatoes.

The Cologne apartment recommends a visit

We hope we were able to give you a good overview of the attractions and special features of the city of Aachen. If you spend several days in Cologne and have enough time, we recommend a short day trip to Aachen . You can reach the city quickly and easily by train. The train goes directly from the Cologne Deutz Messe station, so that you, our guests, have a special advantage again. If you are looking for a nice and central accommodation in the cathedral city of Cologne, then send a non-binding email to apartment cologne ! We look forward to your inquiry! The Weihofen family.

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