World Heritage Photos

Aachen Cathedral

Aachen Cathedral, also known as the Kaiserdom (Imperial Cathedral) of Aachen, is one of the oldest churches in Germany. The cathedral is of great architectural, historical and religious importance. The Palatine Chapel is the remaining part of the palace of Charlemagne (German: Karl der Grosse) in Aachen. The Palatine Chapel was built in the period 790-800. The Palatine Chapel is a masterpiece of Carolingian architecture, it was inspired by the byzantine church of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. The Palatine Chapel has been incorporated into Aachen Cathedral. In the 15th century several chapels were added to the Palatine Chapel and it became Aachen Cathedral. Aachen Cathedral was on completion the largest cathedral north of the Alps. From 936-1531 the Aachen Cathedral was the coronation church for thirty German emperors and kings. Aachen Cathedral houses treasures of the early medieval period, such as the throne of Charlemagne, a golden altar piece, a golden pulpit and golden shrines. The Shrine of the Virgin Mary and the Shrine of Charlemagne, which contains his remains, are the most important treasures of Aachen Cathedral. The Shrine of the Virgin Mary contains the four great relics of Aachen Cathedral: the swaddling clothes of Christ, the loin cloth of Christ, the cloak of the Virgin Mary and the decapitation cloth of John the Baptist. These relics made Aachen Cathedral an important pilgrimage destination for centuries. Aachen Cathedral became a meeting place for pilgrims along the 'Way of James' to Santiago de Compostela. Aachen Cathedral gained status as an UNESCO World Heritage in 1978.

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Aachen Cathedral - Aachen Cathedral: The Palatine Chapel is the remaining part of Charlemagne's palace in Aachen. The chapel has been incorporated...

Aachen Cathedral: The Palatine Chapel is the remaining part of Charlemagne's palace in Aachen. The chapel has been incorporated into Aachen Cathedral. The Palatine Chapel is a masterpiece of Carolingian architecture, it was built by Charlemagne in 790-800. In the 15th century, a choir and chapels were added to the Palatine Chapel, the enlarged chapel became Aachen Cathedral.

  1. Aachen Cathedral - Aachen Cathedral: The Palatine Chapel is the remaining part of Charlemagne's palace in Aachen. The chapel has been incorporated...

    Aachen Cathedral: The Palatine Chapel is the remaining part of Charlemagne's palace in Aachen. The chapel has been incorporated into Aachen Cathedral. The Palatine Chapel is a masterpiece of Carolingian architecture, it was built by Charlemagne in 790-800. In the 15th century, a choir and chapels were added to the Palatine Chapel, the enlarged chapel became Aachen Cathedral.

  2. Aachen Cathedral - Aachen Cathedral: On the left the Hungarian Chapel and tower, on the right the octagonal dome of the Palatine Chapel. The bell tower houses...

    Aachen Cathedral: On the left the Hungarian Chapel and tower, on the right the octagonal dome of the Palatine Chapel. The bell tower houses eight bells. The bells were cast after the city fire in 1656, one of the bells, the Marybell, was replaced several times. The modern Marybell was cast in 1958, it is the largest bell and weighs 6045 kg.

  3. Aachen Cathedral - Exterior of Aachen Cathedral with the Palatine Chapel in the center, the Palatine Chapel is the oldest part of the cathedral....

    Exterior of Aachen Cathedral with the Palatine Chapel in the center, the Palatine Chapel is the oldest part of the cathedral. The Palatine Chapel is the final resting place of Charlemagne. The cathedral is one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in northern Europe. At the time of its completion, Aachen Cathedral was the largest cathedral north of the Alps.

  4. Aachen Cathedral - Aachen Cathedral was on completion the largest cathedral north of the Alps. Aachen Cathedral became an important meeting place for...

    Aachen Cathedral was on completion the largest cathedral north of the Alps. Aachen Cathedral became an important meeting place for pilgrims along the famous Way of James to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Pilgrims are able to see the Great Relics of Aachen Cathedral every seven year. Aachen Cathedral is anUNESCO World Heritage.

  5. Aachen Cathedral - Aachen Cathedral: The Barbarossa Chandelier is hanging from the octagonal domed vault of the Palatine Chapel. The chandelier was donated...

    Aachen Cathedral: The Barbarossa Chandelier is hanging from the octagonal domed vault of the Palatine Chapel. The chandelier was donated to Aachen Cathedral in 1168 by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa to hang over the golden Shrine of Charlemagne. The huge Barbarossa Chandelier was made of gilt copper and is 4.2 metres in diameter.

  6. Aachen Cathedral - Aachen Cathedral: The Shrine of the Virgin Mary was completed in 1239. The shrine contains the four Great Relics of Aachen Cathedral: The...

    Aachen Cathedral: The Shrine of the Virgin Mary was completed in 1239. The shrine contains the four Great Relics of Aachen Cathedral: The swaddling clothes of Christ, the loin cloth of Christ, the cloak of the Virgin Mary and the decapitation cloth of John the Baptist, these relics made the cathedral an important pilgrimage destination for centuries.

  7. Aachen Cathedral - Aachen Cathedral: The golden Shrine of Charlemagne contains his remains. The shrine was made in Aachen, ordered by the Roman...

    Aachen Cathedral: The golden Shrine of Charlemagne contains his remains. The shrine was made in Aachen, ordered by the Roman Emperor Frederick II in 1182 and completed in 1215. The Shrine of the Virgin Mary and the golden Shrine of Charlemagne are the most important treasures of Aachen Cathedral. Aachen Cathedral is a main pilgrimage destination.

  8. Aachen Cathedral - Aachen Cathedral: The main altar with the Pala d'Oro, the golden front. The Pala d'Oro dates from around 1020. It was a gift from the...

    Aachen Cathedral: The main altar with the Pala d'Oro, the golden front. The Pala d'Oro dates from around 1020. It was a gift from the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III and his cousin Henry II. The golden panel depicts several scenes from the life of Christ, the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael. Aachen Cathedral houses also a golden pulpit and golden shrines. 

  9. Aachen Cathedral - Aachen Cathedral: The marble throne of Charlemagne is located in the upper gallery. Between 936 and 1531, the cathedral was the...

    Aachen Cathedral: The marble throne of Charlemagne is located in the upper gallery. Between 936 and 1531, the cathedral was the coronation site for thirty one German kings and emperors. The marble slabs of the throne came from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. The throne was made around 800, in the Carolingian period.

  10. Aachen Cathedral - Aachen Cathedral: The Cathedral Treasury is one of the most important ecclesiastical treasuries in Northern Europe. The...

    Aachen Cathedral: The Cathedral Treasury is one of the most important ecclesiastical treasuries in Northern Europe. The Treasury houses around hundred sacral art treasures, among them the Bust of Charlemagne, the Lothair Cross, the Persephone Sarcophagus and an arm reliquary, containing bones from Charlemagne's right arm. Aachen Cathedral is UNESCO World Heritage.

  11. Aachen Cathedral - Aachen Cathedral: The vaulted ceiling of the octagonal Palatine Chapel is adorned with mosaics. the mosaics were inspired by the...

    Aachen Cathedral: The vaulted ceiling of the octagonal Palatine Chapel is adorned with mosaics. the mosaics were inspired by the Byzantine mosaics from the 5th and 6th centuries in Ravenna. During WW I and WW II, Aachen Cathedral suffered relatively little damage. Aachen Cathedral gained the status as an UNESCO World Heritage in 1978.

  12. Aachen Cathedral - Aachen Cathedral: The Palatine Chapel is octagonal in shape, it is surrounded by arcades and a number of chapels. The vaults are...

    Aachen Cathedral: The Palatine Chapel is octagonal in shape, it is surrounded by arcades and a number of chapels. The vaults are adorned with mosaics. The Palatine Chapel was inspired by the Byzantine church of San Vitale in Ravenna (see also the World Heritage Photos of Ravenna in Italy). Aachen Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in Germany.