Places of Interest nearby
Location address: Deutschland, Städteregion Aachen, Aachen
Number of texts: 3
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.
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.
But Aachen is much older. 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.
From the early 16th century, Aachen declined in importance. It became newly attractive as a spa by the middle of the 17th century, not so much because of the effects of its hot springs on the health of its visitors but since Aachen was then — and remained well into the 19th century — one of the centres of high-level prostitution in Europe. Traces of this hidden agenda of the city’s history can be found in the 18th century guidebooks to Aachen as well as to other spas; the main indication for visiting patients, ironically, was syphilis.
Aachen was selected by 280 experts of National Geographic in the top 100 “sustainable destinations” of the world as nr. 15