Aachen

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Aachen, known in French as Aix-la-Chapelle, is the westernmost city of Germany. It has a population of 256605.[1] The city itself claims, that at the end of 2011 (31st december) they had a population of 246,865 people.[2]


History

Archeological excavations prove, that the area where Aachen is located was already inhabited approx. 3000 - 2500 BCE.

In 765 you can find the first written note by king Pipin about "Aquis villa".

In 768 Charlemagne (German: Karl der Grosse) comes for the first time to Aachen. Approx. 20 years later they start to build the chapel (today: Cathedral of Aachen). Aachen becomes the preferred residence of Karl and therefore the center of his kingdom.

In 814 Charlemagne is being buried in Aachen. His successor, Otto I, is being crowned in Aachen. For the next 600 years Aachen is the city where German kings are being crowned.

In 1171 citizens start to build the first city walls of Aachen.

In 1248 after a 6 month siege William II of Holland gains access to Aachen. William is being crowned as German king in Aachen.

The last crowning of a German king in Aachen takes place in 1531.

In 1560 a fire devastates the city.

In 1668 a peace treaty signed in Aachen ends the war of devolution between France and Spain.

In 1748 there's a peace congress in Aachen to end the Austrian war of succession.

In 1794 to 1814 Aachen is occupied by French revolutionary troops. In 1802 Aachen was the administration center of the "Roerdepartement" and is therefore considered a French city.

In 1815 through an agreement of the Congress of Vienna, Aachen belongs now to Prussia.

In 1865 start of the construction of the Polytechnical School (today: RWTH Aachen).

In 1933 the city council is being dissolved, leading bureaucrats are being replaced by NSDAP members. (NSDAP = the Nazi party).

In 1939 - 1945 Aachen has to endure many attacks through World War II, since it is located on the western border towards Netherlands. In 1941 the first of 5 air bombings occurs. On October, 21st 1944 the Americans free Aachen. Approx. 65 % of houses / apartements are destroyed.[3]

Geography

Aachen is home to Schwertbad-Quelle, the warmest hot spring in Germany. Aachen shares 24 km border with Belgium and 22 km border with the Netherlands.[4]

References

  1. Aachen - Britannica Online (subscriber only)
  2. http://www.aachen.de/DE/tourismus_stadtinfo/pdf/statistik/zahlendatenfakten.pdf numbers dates and facts by the city of Aachen - German only.
  3. Website of the city of Aachen
  4. http://www.aachen.de/DE/tourismus_stadtinfo/pdf/statistik/zahlendatenfakten.pdf numbers dates and facts by the city of Aachen - German only.