Aachen (German pronunciation: [ˈʔaːxən] ( listen)), also known as Bad Aachen (Ripuarian: Óche, Limburgish: Aoke, French: Aix-La-Chapelle, Italian: Aquisgrana, Dutch: Aken, Spanish: Aquisgrán, Latin: Aquisgranum) is a spa town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Sometimes in English (especially in old use), the city is referred to as Aix-la-Chapelle (French pronunciation: [ɛkslaʃapɛl]). Aachen was a favoured residence of Charlemagne, and later the place of coronation of the German emperors. Geographically, Aachen is the westernmost city of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, 61 km (38 mi) west-southwest of Cologne. It is located within a coal-mining region, and this fact was important in its economic history. RWTH Aachen University, one of Germany's Universities of Excellence, is located in the city. Aachen's predominant economic focus is on science, engineering, information technology and related sectors. In 2009, Aachen was ranked 8th among cities in Germany for innovation.
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