Rathaus (Town Hall), Aachen

Rathaus (Town Hall), Aachen (must see)

Aachen Town Hall is located between two of the town's primary squares--Market Square and Katschhof Square. The building is from the early 14th century, and it's still the seat of the mayor and city council. In those days, the hall was the location of the coronation feast, part of the ceremony that went along with the coronation of a new Holy Roman Emperor at the cathedral. Between 936 to 1531, 31 emperors of Holy Roman Empire were crowned in Aachen.

The building was built upon parts of the original Palace of Aachen built during the Carolingian dynasty. You can see elements and masonry from the era of Charlemagne incorporated into the south wall.

Over the years, several fires have damaged the building. The resulting reconstruction has changed and updated the look of the building. For example, after the Great Fire of Aachen in 1656, the destroyed roof and towers were replaced with baroque elements. The 18th century saw many other gothic adornments removed as the building was further updated in the trendy baroque style.

After the Napoleonic era, the building fell into disrepair. In the 19th century, Chief Architect Friedrich Joseph Ark began rebuilding--this time in the neogothic style to return the building to its original state. Frescoes were added that depicted the legends of Charlemagne. In addition, the sides of the building were adorned with statues of 50 kings and symbols of science, art, and Christianity.

Bombing raids in World War II damaged the building. The building burned with such heat that the steel skeletons of the tower caps twisted. The complete collapse of the building was only prevented thanks to makeshift emergency beams. It wasn't until the late 1960s that a plan was formed to rebuild the towers.

Charlemagne has often been called Father of Europe. Today the Charlemagne Prize is awarded at this location. The prize is awarded to individuals who have made strides towards a more unified Europe. Previous recipients include Pope John Paul II, US President Bill Clinton, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Rathaus (Town Hall) on Map

Sight Name: Rathaus (Town Hall)
Sight Location: Aachen, Germany (See walking tours in Aachen)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Aachen, Germany

Create Your Own Walk in Aachen

Create Your Own Walk in Aachen

Creating your own self-guided walk in Aachen is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Aachen's Historical Buildings Tour

Aachen's Historical Buildings Tour

Evolved from an ancient Roman settlement, Aachen is one of the oldest and most historic cities in Germany. At one time it served as the capital of Holy Roman Empire. Today's Aachen is just a small city yet with a very rich history and stunning architecture. Despite being heavily damaged during World War II, some of its historical buildings have survived to our days courtesy of the strenuous...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Aachen Introduction Walking Tour

Aachen Introduction Walking Tour

The area that is now home to Aachen has been occupied since at least Neolithic times. The mineral springs have drawn people here for eons, and historians have found evidence of settlements from the Bronze and Iron Ages. In those days, the area was settled by the Celtic peoples. They probably came here to worship Grannus, god of light and healing.

The Romans built the town as a spa resort...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles