Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

May 2014: Aachen

I travelled from Maastricht to Aachen on an ordinary local service bus, the first time that I had ever crossed an international border by this means. With both Germany and the Netherlands being signatories to the Schengen Agreement, there were of course no formalities involved. And so I arrived in this historic spa town, modern Germany's most westerly city. It's one of those places that seems to have a different name in almost every language, although contemporary practice in English is simply to use its native German name without alteration. The city's best known alias is its French name, Aix-la-Chapelle.

The city's undisputed premier attraction is its cathedral, the oldest in northern Europe, former coronation place of German kings, final resting place of Charlemagne and the first building in Germany to be inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not far away, the medieval city hall is another must-see building. Beyond the 'top two', other attractions include the remaining evidence of the city's spa-town past and the narrow streets and lanes of the medieval old town.



Elisenbrunnen and Theatre

Other impressions

Public Art

Aachen has an interesting collection of modern sculptures and other art installations, scattered around the old town. From funky to just plain fun, they hold an uncomplicated playful appeal, engaging visitors and residents, old and young alike.

Base: Mercure am Dom

Linked report from same trip: