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Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle)
Aachen City Hall (rear)
Aachen City Hall (rear)
Coat of arms of Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle)
Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) is located in Germany
Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle)
Coordinates 50°46′31″N 6°4′58″E / 50.77528°N 6.08278°E / 50.77528; 6.08278
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Cologne
District Aachen
Lord Mayor Marcel Philipp (CDU)
Governing parties CDUGreens
Basic statistics
Area 160.83 km2 (62.10 sq mi)
Elevation 266 m  (873 ft)
Population 257,935  (30 June 2008)
 - Density 1,604 /km2 (4,154 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate AC
Postal codes 52062–52080
Area codes 0241 / 02405 / 02407 / 02408
Freie Reichsstadt Aachen
Free Imperial City of Aachen / Aix-la-Chapelle
Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire
Capital Aachen
Government Republic
Historical era Middle Ages
 - Settlement founded ca. 6th millennium BC
 - Gained Reichsfreiheit 1306
 - Otto I crowned Emperor 936
 - Fire devastated city 1656
 - First Treaty ended
    War of Devolution
May 2, 1668
 - Second Treaty ended War
    of Austrian Succession
April – May 1748
 - Annexed by France 1801
 - Third Treaty handles
    post-Napoleonic France
October – November 1818

Aachen (German pronunciation: [ʔaːχən]  ( listen); French, and, historically, English: Aix-la-Chapelle, Latin Aquisgranum, Ripuarian: Oche, Dutch: Aken) is a historic spa city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It was a favoured residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the Kings of Germany. It is the westernmost city of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, 65 km (40 mi) west of Cologne.[1]



Middle Age-style architecture can be found in Aachen.

A quarry on the Lousberg which was first used in Neolithic times attests to the long occupation of the site of Aachen.

No larger settlements, however, have been found to have existed in this remote rural area, distant at least 15 km from the nearest road even in Roman times, up to the early medieval period when the place is mentioned as a king's mansion for the first time, not long before Charlemagne became ruler of the Franks.

Since Roman times, the hot springs at Aachen have been channeled into baths.[1] There are currently two places to "take the waters", at the Carolus Thermen complex and the bathhouse in Burtscheid[2].

There is some documentary proof that the Romans named the hot sulfur springs of Aachen Aquis-Granum, and indeed to this day the city is known in Spanish as Aquisgrán and in Polish as Akwizgran. The name Granus has lately been identified as that of a Celtic deity.

In French-speaking areas of the former Empire, the word aquis evolved into the modern Aix.


The Middle Ages

Construction of Aix-la-Chapelle, by Jean Fouquet.

After Roman times, Einhard mentions that in 765–6 Pippin the Younger spent both Christmas and Easter at Aquis villa ("Et celebravit natalem Domini in Aquis villa et pascha similiter."),[3] which must have been sufficiently equipped to support the royal household for several months. In the year of his coronation as King of Franks, 768, Charlemagne came to spend Christmas at Aachen for the first time. He went on to remain there in a mansion which he may have extended, although there is no source attesting any significant building activity at Aachen in his time apart from the building of the Palatine Chapel in Aachen (since 1929, cathedral) and the palatial presentation halls. Charlemagne spent most winters between 792 and his death in 814 in Aachen, which became the focus of his court and the political center of his empire. After his death, the king was buried in the church which he had built; his original tomb has been lost, while his alleged remains are preserved in the shrine where he was reburied after being declared a saint; his saintliness, however, was never very widely acknowledged outside the bishopric of Liège where he may still be venerated by tradition.[1]

In 936, Otto I was crowned king of the kingdom in the collegiate church built by Charlemagne. Over the next 500 years, most kings of Germany destined to reign over the Holy Roman Empire were crowned "King of the Germans" in Aachen. The last king to be crowned here was Ferdinand I in 1531.[1] During the Middle Ages, Aachen remained a city of regional importance, due to its proximity to Flanders, achieving a modest position in the trade in woollen cloths, favoured by imperial privilege. The city remained a Free Imperial City, subject to the Emperor only, but was politically far too weak to influence the policies of any of its neighbors. The only dominion it had was over Burtscheid, a neighboring territory ruled by a Benedictine abbess and forced to accept that all of its traffic must pass through the "Aachener Reich". Even in the late 18th century, the Abbess of Burtscheid was prevented from building a road linking her territory to the neighbouring estates of the duke of Jülich; the city of Aachen even deployed its handful of soldiers to chase away the road-diggers.

From the early 16th century, Aachen lost power. A fire devastated the city in 1656.[4] Aachen became attractive as a spa by the middle of the 17th century, not so much because of the effects of the hot springs on the health of its visitors but because Aachen was then — and remained well into the 19th century — a place of high-level prostitution in Europe. Traces of this hidden agenda of the city's history is found in the 18th century guidebooks to Aachen as well as to the other spas; the main indication for visiting patients, ironically, was syphilis; only by the end of the 19th century had rheuma become the most important object of cures at Aachen and Burtscheid. This explains why Aachen was chosen as site of several important congresses and peace treaties: the first congress of Aachen (often referred to as Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle in English) in 1668, leading to the First Treaty of Aachen in the same year which ended the War of Devolution. The second congress ended with the second treaty in 1748, finishing the War of the Austrian Succession.[1] The third congress took place in 1818 to decide the fate of occupied Napoleonic France.

The 19th century

By the middle of the 19th century, industrialization swept away most of the city's medieval rules of production and commerce, although the entirely corrupt remains of the city's mediæval constitution was kept in place (compare the famous remarks of Georg Forster in his Ansichten vom Niederrhein) until 1801, when Aachen became the "chef-lieu du département de la Roer" in Napoléon's First French Empire. In 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars, the Kingdom of Prussia took over and the city became one of its most socially and politically backward centres until the end of the 19th century.[1] Administered within the Rhine Province, by 1880 the population was 80,000. Starting in 1840, the railway from Cologne to Belgium passed through Aachen. The city suffered extreme overcrowding and deplorable sanitary conditions up to 1875 when the mediæval fortifications were finally abandoned as a limit to building operations and new, less miserable quarters were built to the eastern part of the city where drainage of waste liquids was the easiest. In the 19th century and up to the 1930s, the city was important for the production of railway locomotives and carriages, iron, pins, needles, buttons, tobacco, woollen goods, and silk goods.

The 20th century

Aachen was heavily damaged during World War II. It was taken by the Allies on October 21, 1944; the first German city to be captured. Aachen was destroyed partially — and in some parts completely — during the fighting,[1] mostly by American artillery fire and demolitions by fanatical Waffen-SS defenders. Damaged buildings included the mediæval churches of St. Foillan, St. Paul and St. Nicholas, and the Rathaus (city hall), although the Aachen Cathedral was largely unscathed. Only 4,000 inhabitants remained in the city; the rest had obeyed Nazi evacuation orders. Its first Allied-appointed mayor, Franz Oppenhoff, was murdered by an SS commando unit.

It was in Aachen, in 1944, just after having crossed the German border, a U.S. Army chaplain held the first Jewish service in Germany since the beginning of World War II. This service was broadcast live on NBC[5]. The first discothèque opened here in 1959, the Scotch-Club.[citation needed]

While the emperor' palace no longer exists, the church built by Charlemagne is still the main attraction of the city [6]. In addition to holding the remains of its founder, it became the burial place of his successor Otto III. Aachen Cathedral has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The main sights

Aachen city hall
Tree-lined boulevard in Aachen
GermanDutchBelgian border as seen from the town area

The Aachen Cathedral was erected on the orders of Charlemagne in 786 AD and was on completion the largest dome north of the Alps. On his death Charlemagne's remains were interred in the cathedral and can be seen there to this date. The cathedral was extended several times in later ages, turning it into a curious and unique mixture of building styles.

The 14th-century city hall lies between two central places, the Markt (market place) and the Katschhof (between city hall and cathedral). The coronation hall is on the first floor of the building. Inside you can find five frescoes by the Aachen artist Alfre Rethel which show legendary scenes from the life of Charlemagne, as well as Charlemagne's signature.

The Grashaus, a late medieval house at the Markt, is one of the oldest non-religious buildings in downtown Aachen. It hosts the city archive. The Grashaus was the former city hall before the present building took over this function.

The Elisenbrunnen is one of the most famous sights of Aachen. It is a neoclassical hall covering one of the city's famous fountains. It is just a minute away from the cathedral. Just a few steps in southeastern direction lies the 19th century theatre.

Also well known and well worth seeing are the two remaining city gates, the Ponttor, one half mile northwest of the cathedral, and the Kleinmarschiertor, close to the central railway station. There are also a few parts of both medieval city walls left, most of them integrated in more recent buildings, some others visible. There are even five towers left, some of which are used for housing.

There are many other places and objects worth seeing, for example a notable number of churches and monasteries, a few remarkable 17th- and 18th-century buildings in the particular Baroque style typical of the region, a collection of statues and monuments, park areas, cemeteries, amongst others. The area's industrial history is reflected in dozens of 19th- and early 20th-century manufacturing sites in the city.


Ford Research Center, Aachen.

Aachen has a large number of spin-offs from the university's IT-technology department and is a major centre of IT development in Germany. Due to the low level of investment in cross-border railway projects, the city has preserved a slot within the Thalys high-speed train network which uses existing tracks on its last 70 km from Belgium to Cologne. The airport that serves Aachen, Maastricht Aachen Airport, is located about 40 km away on Dutch territory, close to the town of Beek. Aachen was the administrative centre for the coal-mining industries in neighbouring places to the northeast; it never played any role in brown coal mining, however, neither in administrative or industrial terms. Products manufactured in or around Aachen include electronics, chemicals, plastics, textiles, glass, cosmetics, and needles and pins. Its most important source of revenue, the textile industries, have been dead for almost half a century now. Robert Browning's poem "How they brought the good news from Ghent to Aix" refers to Aachen, but not to any historical fact.


Aachen's railway station, the Hauptbahnhof, was constructed in 1841 at the Cologne-Aachen railway line and replaced in 1905, moving it significantly closer to the city centre. It serves main lines to Cologne, Mönchengladbach and Liège as well as branch lines to Heerlen, Alsdorf, Stolberg and Eschweiler. ICE high speed trains from Brussels via Cologne to Frankfurt am Main and Thalys trains from Paris to Cologne also stop at Aachen Hauptbahnhof. Four RE lines and one RB line connect Aachen with the Ruhrgebiet, Mönchengladbach, Liège, Düsseldorf and the Siegerland. The euregiobahn, a regional railway system, reaches several minor cities in the Aachen region. There are four smaller stations in Aachen: Aachen West, Aachen-Schanz, Aachen-Rothe Erde and Eilendorf. Only slower trains stop at these, but Aachen-West has developed enormous importance due to the expanding RWTH Aachen university.

Aachen is connected to the Autobahn A4 (West-East), A44 (North-South) and A544 (a smaller motorway from the A4 to the Europaplatz near the city centre). Due to the enormous amount of traffic at the Aachen road interchange, there is often serious traffic accumulation, which is why there are plans to expand the interchange in the coming years.

The nearest airports are Düsseldorf International Airport (80 km), Cologne Bonn Airport (90 km) and Maastricht Aachen Airport (40 km).


The annual CHIO (short for the French Concours Hippique International Officiel) is the biggest equestrian meeting of the world and among horsemen considered to be as prestigious for equitation as the tournament of Wimbledon for tennis. Aachen was also the host of the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games.

The local football team Alemannia Aachen had a short spell in Germany's first division, after its promotion in 2006. However, the team could not sustain its status and is now back in the second division. Their stadium is called Tivoli. It has been built new until 2009 and has a capacity of 32.960 places.

In southern Aachen is the biggest Aachener tennis club located called "TC Grün Weiss" with an annual International ATP Tournament.


Since 1950, a committee of Aachen citizens annually awards the Karlspreis (German for ‘Charlemagne Award’) to personalities of outstanding service to the unification of Europe. The International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen was awarded in the year 2000 to the President of the United States, Bill Clinton, for his special personal contribution to cooperation with the states of Europe, for the preservation of peace, freedom, democracy and human rights in Europe, and for his support of the enlargement of the European Union. In 2003 the medal was awarded to Valéry Giscard d'Estaing. In 2004, Pope John Paul II's efforts to unite Europe were honoured with an ‘Extraordinary Charlemagne Medal’, which was awarded for the first time ever.


In the Carolus Thermen named for Charlemagne.

For 600 years, from 936 to 1531, the Aachen Cathedral was the church of coronation for 30 German kings and 12 queens.

Aachen is also famous for its carnival (Karneval, Fasching), in which families dress in colorful costumes.

In 1372, Aachen became the first coin-minting city in the world to regularly place an Anno Domini date on a general circulation coin, a groschen. It was written MCCCLXXII. None with this date are known to exist any longer. The earliest date for which an Aachen coin still exists is dated 1373.

House of the family of Mies van der Rohe.

King Ethelwulf of Wessex, father of Alfred the Great was born in Aachen. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the founders of modern architecture and the last director of the Bauhaus during its period in Dessau and Berlin was born in Aachen as well.

Aachen has the hottest springs of Central Europe with water temperatures of 74°C(165°F). The water contains a considerable percentage of common salt and other sodium salts and sulphur.

In 1850 Paul Julius Reuter founded the Reuters News Agency in Aachen which transferred messages between Brussels and Aachen using carrier pigeons.

The local specialty of Aachen is an originally stonehard type of sweet bread, baked in large flat loaves, called Aachener Printen. Unlike gingerbread (German: Lebkuchen), which is sweetened with honey, Printen are sweetened with sugar. Today, a soft version is sold under the same name which follows an entirely different recipe.

Aachen is at the western end of the Benrath line that divides High German to the south from the rest of the West Germanic speech area to the north.


The main building of RWTH Aachen University
Typical Aachen street with early 20th century Gründerzeit houses

RWTH Aachen University, established as Polytechnicum in 1870, is a centre of technological research, especially for electrical and mechanical engineering, computer sciences, physics, and chemistry. The university clinics attached to the RWTH, the Klinikum Aachen, is the biggest single-building hospital in Europe.[7] Over time, a host of software and computer industries have developed around the university. It also maintains a botanical garden (the Botanischer Garten Aachen).

FH Aachen, Aachen University of Applied Sciences (AcUAS) was founded in 1971. The AcUAS offers a classic engineering education in professions like Mechatronics, Construction Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering. German and international students are educated in more than 20 international or foreign-oriented programs and can acquire German as well as international degrees (Bachelor/Master) or Doppeldiplome (double degrees). Foreign students accounts for more than 21% of the student body.

The German Army's Technical School (Technische Schule des Heeres und Fachschule des Heeres für Technik) is in Aachen.

International relations

Twin towns — sister cities

Aachen is twinned with:

Name in different languages

Aachen is known in different languages by different names (see also Names of European cities in different languages).

Language Name Pronunciation in IPA
German Aachen [ˈaːχən]
Local dialect Oche [ˈoːxə]
Albanian Ahen [ˈahɛn]
Arabic, Persian آخن [ˈʔɑːχɪn]
Bulgarian Аахен/Ахен [ˈaxen]
Catalan Aquisgrà [əkizˈɣɾa]
Chinese (Simplified) 亚琛 PY: yà chēn [jɑ̂ tʂʰə́n]
Chinese (Traditional, Taiwan form) 亞亨 PY: yà hēng [jɑ̂ xə́ŋ]
Chinese (Traditional, HK form) 亞琛 JP: aa3 sam1 [ɑː˧ sɐm˥]
Czech Cáchy [ˈt͡saːxɪ]
Dutch Aken [ˈaːkən]
French Aix-la-Chapelle [ɛkslaʃapɛl]
Georgian აახენი [ˈaːχeni]
Greek, Ancient Ἀκυΐσγρανον [akyːˈisɡranon]
Greek, Modern Άαχεν [ˈaːxen]
Hebrew אאכן [ˈʔaχɛn]
Italian Aquisgrana [akwizˈɡɾaːna]
Japanese アーヘン [ˈaːhɛn]
Korean 아헨 [ˈahen]
Latin Aquīsgrānum /ˌakwiːzˈɡɾaːnum/
Latvian Āhene [ˈaːxɛnɛ]
Limburgish Aoke [ˈɔkə]
Lithuanian Achenas [ˈaːxɛnas]
Luxembourgish Oochen [ˈoːxən]
Polish Akwizgran [akˈfizɡɾan]
Portuguese Aquisgrão
Russian Аахен/Ахен [ˈaˑxɪn]
Slovak Aachen [ˈAchen]
Serbian Ahen/Ахен [ˈaxən]
Spanish Aquisgrán [akisˈɣɾan]
Thai อาเคิน [ˈaːkʰən]
Turkish Ahen [ˈahɛn]
Walloon Åxhe [ˈɔːhɛ]
Yiddish אכען [ˈaxɛn], [ˈɔxn]

See also: Aachen dialect

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Bridgwater, W. & Beatrice Aldrich. (1966) The Columbia-Viking Desk Encyclopedia. Columbia University. p11.
  2. ^ Spa districts in Aachen (German)
  3. ^ Pépin le Bref, Annales d'Éginhard
  4. ^ "Aachen". (2006). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved December 9, 2006, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Cathedral of Aachen
  7. ^ "About Aachen". Aachen Institute for Advanced Study in Computational Engineering Science (AICES) at RWTH Aachen University. Retrieved 2009-10-23. 
This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 edition of The Grocer's Encyclopedia.

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

AIX-LA-CHAPELLE (Ger. Aachen, Dutch Aken), a city and spa of Germany, in the kingdom of Prussia, situated in a pleasant valley, 44 m. W. of Cologne and contiguous to the Belgian and Dutch frontiers, to which its municipal boundaries extend. Pop. (1885) 95,725; (1905) including Burtscheid, 143,906. Its position, at the centre of direct railway communications with Cologne and Dusseldorf respectively on the E. and Liege - Brussels and Maestricht-Antwerp on the W., has favoured its rise to one of the most prosperous commerical towns of Germany. The city consists of the old inner town, the former ramparts of which have been converted into promenades, and the newer outer town and suburbs. Of the ancient gates but two remain, the Ponttor on the N.W. and the Marschiertor on the S. Its general appearance is that rather of a spacious modern, than of a medieval city full of historical associations.

Of the cluster of buildings in the centre, which are conspicuous from afar, the town hall (Rathaus) and the cathedral are specially noteworthy. The former, standing on the south side of the market square, is a Gothic structure, erected in 1353-1370 on the ruins of Charlemagne's palace. It contains the magnificent coronation hall of the emperors (143 ft. by 61 ft.), in which thirty-five German kings and eleven queens have banqueted after the coronation ceremony in the cathedral. The two ancient towers, the Granusturm to the W. and the Glockenturm to the E., both of which to a large extent had formed part of the Carolingian palace, were all but destroyed in the fire by which the Rathaus was seriously damaged in 1883. Their restoration was completed in 1902. Behind the Rathaus is the Grashaus, in which Richard of Cornwall, king of the Romans, is said to have held his court. It was restored in 188 9 to accommodate the municipal archives. The cathedral is of great historic and architectural interest. Apart from the spire, which was rebuilt in 1884, it consists of two parts of different styles and date. The older portion, the capella in palatio, an octagonal building surmounted by a dome, was designed on the model of San Vitale at Ravenna by Udo of Metz, was begun under Charlemagne's auspices in 796 and consecrated by Pope Leo III. in 805. After being almost entirely wrecked by Norman raiders it was rebuilt, on the original lines, in 983, by the emperor Otto III. It is surrounded on the first story by a sixteensided gallery (the Hochmiinster) adorned by antique marble and granite columns, of various sizes, brought by Charlemagne's orders from Rome, Ravenna and Trier. These were removed by Napoleon to Paris, but restored to their original positions after the peace of 1815. The mosaic representing Christ surrounded by the four-and-twenty elders," which originally lined the cupola, had almost entirely perished by the 19th century, but was restored in 1882 from a copy made in the 17th century. Interesting too are the magnificent west doors, cast in bronze by native workmen in 804. Underneath the dome, according to tradition, was the tomb of Charlemagne, which, on being opened by Otto III. in 1000, disclosed the body of the emperor, vested in white coronation robes and seated on a marble chair. This chair, now placed in the gallery referred to, was used for centuries in the imperial coronation ceremonies. The site of the tomb is marked by a stone slab, with the inscription Carlo Magno, and above it hangs the famous bronze chandelier presented by the emperor Frederick I. (Barbarossa) in 1168. Charlemagne's bones are preserved in an ornate shrine in the Hungarian Chapel, lying to the north of the octagon. The casket was opened in 1906, at the instance of the emperor William II., and the draperies enclosing the body were temporarily removed to Berlin, with a view to the reproduction of similar cloth. The Gothic choir, forming the more modern portion of the cathedral, was added during the latter half of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century, and contains the tomb of the emperor Otto III. The cathedral possesses many relics, the more sacred of which are exhibited only once every seven years, when they attract large crowds of worshippers.

Of the other thirty-three churches in the city those of St Foillan (founded in the 12th century, but twice rebuilt, in the 15th and 17th centuries, and restored in 1883) and St Paul, with its beautiful stained-glass windows, are remarkable. In addition to those already mentioned, Aix-la-Chapelle possesses several fine secular buildings: the Suermondt museum, containing besides other miscellaneous exhibits the fine collection of pictures by early German, Dutch and Flemish masters, presented to the town by Bartholomaus Suermondt (d. 1887); the public library; the theatre; the post-office; and the fine new central railway station. Among the schools may be mentioned the magnificently equipped Rhenish-Westphalian Polytechnic School (built 1865-1870) and the school of mining and electricity, founded in 1897.

There are many fine streets and squares and some handsome public monuments, notably among the last the fountain on the market square surmounted by a statue of Charlemagne, the bronze equestrian statue of the emperor William I. facing the theatre, the Kriegerdenkmal (a memorial to those who fell in the war of 1870) and the Kongress-Denkmal, a marble hall in antique style erected in 1844 on the Adalberts-Steinweg to commemorate the famous congress of 1818 (see below). Of the squares, the principal is the Friedrich-Wilhelmplatz, on which lies the Elisenbrunnen with its colonnade and garden, the chief resort of visitors taking the baths and waters.

The hot sulphur springs of Aix-la-Chapelle were known to the Romans and have been celebrated for centuries as specific in the cure of rheumatism, gout and scrofulous disorders. There are six in all, of which the Kaiserquelle, with a temperature of 136° F., is the chief. In the neighbouring Burtscheid (incorporated in 1897 with Aix-la-Chapelle) are also springs of far higher temperature, and this suburb, which has also a Kurgarten, is largely frequented during the season.

In respect of trade and industry Aix-la-Chapelle occupies a high place. Its cloth and silk manufactures are important, and owing to the opening up of extensive coalfields in the district almost every branch of iron industry is carried on. It has some large breweries and manufactories of chemicals, and does a considerable trade in cereals, leather, timber and wine. It is also an important banking centre and has several insurance societies of reputation.

The country immediately surrounding Aix-la-Chapelle presents many attractive features. From the Lousberg and the Salvatorberg to the north, the latter crowned by a chapel, magnificent views of the city are obtained; while covering the hills 2 m. west stretches the Stadtwald, a forest with charming walks and drives.


Aix-la-Chapelle is the Aquisgranum of the Romans, named after Apollo Granus, who was worshipped in connexion with hot springs. As early as A.D. 765 King Pippin had a " palace" here, in which it is probable that Charlemagne was born. The greatness of Aix was due to the latter, who between 777 and 786 built a magnificent palace on the site of that of his father, raised the place to the rank of the second city of the empire, and made it for a while the centre of Western culture and learning. From the coronation of Louis the Pious in 813 until that of Ferdinand I. in 1531 the sacring of the German kings took place at Aix, and as many as thirty-two emperors and kings were here crowned. In 851, and again in 882, the place was ravaged by the Northmen in their raids up the Rhine. It was not, however, till late in the 12th century (1172-1176) that the city was surrounded with walls by order of the emperor Frederick I., to whom (in 1166) and to his grandson Frederick II. (in 1215) it owed its first important civic rights. These were still further extended in 1250 by the anti-Caesar William of Holland, who had made himself master of the place and of the imperial regalia, after a long siege, in 1248. The liberties of the burghers were, however, still restrained by the presence of a royal advocatus (Vogt) and bailiff. In 1300 the outer ring of walls was completed, the earlier circumvallation being marked by the limit of the Altstadt (old city). In the ,4th century Aix, now a free city of the Holy Roman Empire, played a conspicuous part, especially in the league which, between 1351 and 1387, kept the peace between the Meuse and the Rhine. In 1450 an insurrection led to the admission of the gilds to a share in the municipal government. In the 16th century Aix began to decline in importance and prosperity. It lay too near the French frontier to be safe, and too remote from the centre of Germany to be convenient, as a capital; and in 1562 the election and coronation of Maximilian II. took place at Frankfort-onMain, a precedent followed till the extinction of the Empire. The Reformation, too, brought its troubles. In 1580 Protestantism got the upper hand; the ban of the empire followed and was executed by Ernest of Bavaria, archbishop-elector of Cologne in 1598. A relapse of the city led to a new ban of the emperor Matthias in 1613, and in the following year Spinola's Spanish troops brought back the recalcitrant city to the Catholic fold. In 1656 a great fire completed the ruin wrought by the religious wars. By the treaty of Luneville (1801) Aix was incorporated with France as chief town of the department of the Roer. By the congress of Vienna it was given to Prussia. The contrast between the new regime and the ancient tradition of the city was curiously illustrated in 1818 by a scene described in Metternich's Memoirs, when, before the opening of the congress, Francis I., emperor of Austria, regarded by all Germany as the successor of the Holy Roman emperors, knelt at the tomb of Charlemagne amid a worshipping crowd, while the Protestant Frederick William III. of Prussia, the new sovereign of the place, stood in the midst, " looking very uncomfortable." See Quix, Geschichte der Stadt Aachen (1841); Pick, Aus Aachens Vergangenheit (Aachen, 1895); Bock, Karts des grossen Pfalzkapelle (Cologne, 1867); and Beissel, Aachen als Kurort (1889).

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