I was in Aachen half a day, passing through. Now it is a small city located almost on the border of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
This provinciality has its own charm - cleanliness and silence, plus the absence of a lively car traffic and crowds of tourists, create an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
Wrote it, climbed the Internet to refresh the memories and discovered that the city has more than 250 thousand inhabitants. That's a small town ... But I really thought so. Perhaps the fact is that I was in the old city, and in the new areas everything is quite different.
Aachen city is very old and, in its time, famous. Under Charles the Great (who is buried here), he became the capital of the Frankish Empire and, during the next 700 years, served as the place of the coronation of the emperors.
At the same time, under Charlemagne, the Aachen cathedral began to be built - a huge Gothic structure, it seems and now, just like in the Middle Ages, it remains the tallest building in this part of the city.
Aachen cathedral (VIII-XV century)
Here, on the market square, is another historic building - the Aachen Town Hall. It was in her that the coronation took place.
Aachen Town Hall (XIVcentury)
Aachen Town Hall (XIV century)
That's all what has survived from its former greatness. Well, market, which, like a thousand years ago, is on the Market Square.
The Market Square with the Monument to Charlemagne
In the XVI century the coronation of the emperors was moved to Frankfurt, and the ensuing religious wars inflicted so great damage on the city that the predominant importance in the region passed to the neighboring Cologne.
City gates (XIII century)
From what I had time to see, I liked Aachen. It hardly makes sense to go here specially, but stop for a day, if possible, it will not hurt.