26 Mar 2018

In the footsteps of Charlemagne in Aachen



I kicked off my road trip adventure around Europe in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany. It's just over the border with Belgium and my first stop was Aachen where I'd have my Destination Challenges kick off in the region.

My challenge was to find 4 places that are related to 'Charlemagne' aka 'Charles The Great' who was king of the Franken and later even got the title of Roman Emperor. It is said that he was the great uniter of European people in West and Central Europe.

Sounds like a social guy... :-)



Reaching out on Instagram


For this Challenge I got help from Sofie from Wanderful Wanderings. Sofie is a Belgian blogger that I befriended some years ago now and totally worth checking out ;-). She saw me reaching out and immediately pointed me in the right direction!




Here are the places that I found related to Charlemagne


The Aachen Cathedral


This majestic cathedral can be found in the heart of the old town of Aachen! The link it has to Charlemagne is that he's buried inside. Historically the cathedral had also a significant role in crowning the kings of its time. It's really an architectural marvel and especially the inside is very impressive.

Aachen cathedral aka Dom from the side

Aachen cathedral aka Dom frog perspective

Aachen cathedral aka Dom entrance

Aachen cathedral aka Dom entrance hall
recognize the roman influences?

Aachen cathedral aka Dom inside ceiling art
Always look up ;-)

Aachen cathedral aka Dom inside Roman ceiling art
It doesn't get more Roman than this. 

Aachen Cathedral aka Dom in the heart of the old town


Aachen Cathedral on Google Maps





The city hall of Aachen


aka the palace of Charlemagne. How cool is that? They turned the palace of a former king into a city hall from where today Aachen is ruled. It's right across the Aachen cathedral so quite hard to miss :-)

Showing the Aachen city hall aka Charlemagne's palais
Tadaaaa, Charlemagne's palace aka the Aachen city hall

Aachen city hall aka Charlemagne's palace from the square
Isn't she a beauty!

Palace towers of the Aachen city hall

Charlemagne statue in front of the Aachen city hall aka his former palace
Charlemagne striking the pose in front of his palace in Aachen

The Aachen city hall aka Charlemagne's castle in mini


City hall Aachen on Google Maps



Centre Charlemagne


This museum is dedicated to the life of Charlemagne aka Charles The Great in Aachen. Unfortunately it was closed when I visited but I hope to swing by next time.


Charlemagne aka Charles the Great in Aachen at Centre Charlemagne
The man himself: Charlemagne aka Charles the Great


Centre Charlemagne on Google Maps


Kaiser Karls Gymnasium


Bumped into this building just by exploring the city. It's a school that got named after Charles The Great.


This school in Aachen is named after Charlemagne

Kaiser Karls Gymnasium on Google Maps




Route Charlemagne Aachen

There's a walking tour that's called 'Route Charlemagne Aachen' in case you ever want to step into his footsteps as well. ;-)

Route Charlemagne Aachen


Eating and drinking in Aachen


While I was bouncing around Aachen in search of Charlemagne places I found some delicious food spots along the way. :-)

Butcher Gerrards


I got told they got the best Karlswurst in town, named after... you guessed it ;-)

Fleischerei Gerrards

Fleischerei Gerrards on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/bKCzYBxsz632

Nobis Printen


This shop sells something very typical for Aachen: Printen.
They are unique to the region and got its history from Aachen being a cross road. Printen are a type of snack that were made to not go bad so people could eat them during their travels. Now you have them in a lot of different varieties.


Nobis Printen on Google mapshttps://goo.gl/maps/gFbm7vnUM162

Weinhaus Lesmeister


At this liquor store I learned that Aachen has a huge variety of locally produced alcoholic beverages. They produce all kinds of (herbal) liquors, wines, beers and even gins! 

You won't get thirsty in Aachen, that's for sure ;-)

Weinhaus Lesmeister winery in Aachen

Weinhaus Lesmeister winery in Aachen variety

Charles The Great Dry Gin in Aachen

Weinhaus Lestmeister on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/q6u6rK4Sv4L2

Some more impressions of Aachen


Devil on the Aachen Cathedral wall

Haus Löwenstein in Aachen
Haus Loewenstein

Horse and Carriage in Aachen
Horse and carriage


Fischp√ľddelchen statue in Aachen
Fishpueddelchen statue. Anybody out there who can tell me the story of this little boy?

getting directions and finding your way in Aachen


Karl's kaffee in Aachen
Literally everything is related to Charlemagne in Aachen :-)


Een bericht gedeeld door Bjorn Troch (@thesocialtraveler) op


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Have you ever visited Aachen?

Please don't hesitate to let us know about your favorite stories and places from Aachen in the comments below so we can explore more of the city during our next visit. ;-)