Reiskleinodien im Aachener Rathaus

The Town Hall is erected on the remains of Charlemagne's King's Hall

Charlemagne's King's Hall had been built in emulation of models from classical antiquity like the Basilica of Emperor       Constantine I in Trier. It housed the king's throne room and was connected by a colonnade to St. Mary's Church, today's Cathedral. One massive element of the building which was directly connected to the King's Hall and later came to be called the "Granus Tower", has remained preserved to this day. Some parts of the external walls of the Town Hall also date back to Carolingian times.

Coronation ceremony of the German kings

The King's Hall had played a central role in the coronation ceremony of the German kings since 936, as it was here that the festive coronation banquet took place after the actual coronation in St. Mary's Church. Each successive king followed the tradition of Charlemagne. The coronations were a major reason for the rise of medieval Aachen, for they brought with them political privileges and economic growth.

One of the greatest architectural achievements of the Gothic era

By the beginning of the 14th century, the old King's Hall had become somewhat dilapidated, and the city council agreed with the incumbent Emperor on the construction of a new building that would serve as both the seat of the city's civic administration and as the celebration hall for the coronation banquets. When construction was completed in 1349, the new building was acclaimed by contemporaries as one of the greatest architectural achievements of the Gothic era. It became a model for many Flemish town halls.

A fashionable spa in contemporary Baroque style

After the devastating fire that destroyed medieval Aachen in 1656, the whole town was rebuilt as a fashionable spa in contemporary Baroque style. The Town Hall was also given a Baroque facelift, but this was removed again in the 19th century, when Aachen's city architect Friedrich Ark restored the Gothic exterior and reconstructed the ornamental figures that had been hewn off the façade during its Baroque transformation. In the Coronation Hall, the young artist Alfred Rethel began in 1847 with the creation of his cycle of frescoes on the life of Charlemagne. The Town Hall entered the spotlight of modern European politics in 1950, as the venue of the first award ceremony of the International Charlemagne Prize.

The Town Hall continues to be the seat of the Lord Mayor and the City Council. In the framework of the Route Charlemagne, a new exhibition concept has been developed which enables most of the Town Hall's rooms to be viewed by visitors.

Station Power

Aachen's Town Hall has stood on the foundations of Charlemagne's King's Hall since 1349. It was built as an expression of the aspirations of the medieval town and also served as the celebration hall for the coronation banquets of the German kings, which had previously taken place in the King's Hall.

As a station on the Route Charlemagne, it documents the history of the city and deals with the theme "Power".



To the next station

Die Sparkasse Aachen unterstützt die Stadt Aachen bei der Erhaltung des Rathauses.