Grashaus: First Town Hall of an aspiring township

The Grashaus was built in a time of rapid change. All around Charlemagne's palace, an aspiring township had developed that profited from the memory of Charlemagne, and from the coronations and pilgrimages. Its first Town Hall, starting in 1267, was the Grashaus. Several years earlier, a town council lead by two mayors had already taken over administrative activities.

All that is left today of the medieval Grashaus is the façade. On the upper part, seven statues can be made out. It is assumed that these portrayed the seven electoral princes who, at the time the building was erected, chose the German kings. On a stone tape below the statues, the medieval Aachen hymn "urbs aquensis“ is engraved.

From a Town Hall to a jail

The Grashaus only served as the Town Hall for about 80 years, for in 1349 today's Town Hall was completed on the site of the former King's Hall of Charlemagne's palace. Council sessions did in fact continue to be held in the Grashaus, too, but from the 14th century on it served primarily as a jail. The cells were situated behind the walled up archways of the ground floor. Prison conditions were so terrible that in 1806 the French authorities built a new prison. The Grashaus fell into ruin, but art lovers succeeded in preventing its complete demolition in 1837.

The memory of the city

Fifty years later, the new City Archive was built behind the restored façade. Two of the Archive's halls, furnished and decorated in neo-Gothic style, have survived unchanged. Once the City Archive has moved to its new location in the "Haus of Identity and Integration" on Reichsweg, the Grashaus will be refurbished as the station "Europe" on the Route Charlemagne.

Station Europe
Grashaus

The Grashaus was built in 1267 and served until 1349 as Aachen's first Town Hall. It symbolised the will of the citizens to take the fortunes of their town into their own hands. In the framework of the Route Charlemagne, the Grashaus represents the theme "Europe" and will become a place of learning about Europe.

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