Aachen Cathedral, located in Germany, was originally built around 790 by Charlemagne and added on to during the Middle Ages.
Charlemagne hoped to make Aachen the center of the empire that he was building, a city to rival Rome, with the cathedral as the main religious center of this empire. The Eastern Holy Roman Empire churches inspired the building of Aachen Cathedral. It is the final resting place of Charlemagne. From 936 to 1531, the kings of Germany were crowned in the Aachen Cathedral where a great white throne made from marble still remains today.
Charlemagne’s palace chapel is the oldest part of the Aachen Cathedral. This chapel was finished in the year 800 and is built in the shape of an octagon that’s held up by Italian-style pillars. A large chandelier finishes the chapel, a gift from an emperor
The Gothic choir was built in 1414 to hold the cathedral’s treasures. Among these treasures include a gold altar showing Christ’s Passion that was made during the 11th century. Charlemagne’s shrine is in the gothic choir and is where his remains have been since the year 1215.
The Cathedral Treasury is filled with many priceless artifacts, such as the gold Lothar cross, which is dated from around the year 1000. A gold and silver bust of Charlemagne is also in this treasury, along with the original sarcophagus made of marble that held Charlemagne’s remains. Many travel to Aachen to see these ancient items in the treasury.
There are certain religious relics that are displayed at the Aachen Cathedral only once every 7 years. Some of these relics include Mary’s cloak, the loincloth that Christ wore when crucified, John the Baptist’s clothes that he wore when his head was cut off, and the clothes that Jesus wore as a baby. Over 100,000 people come to see these reverential relics, with the next year being 2021 when they will be displayed again.