Aachen or Aix-La-Chapelle is a city in northwestern Germany near the Low Countries.
The city of Aachen was originally a Roman spa town called Aquisgranum, though after the fall of the Roman empire it became the home of Charlemagne and the capital of his Holy Roman Empire. During this time, many landmarks such as the Palace Chapel of Charlemagne or Aachen Cathedral (presently home to Charlemagne's tomb) and the medieval churches of St. Foillan, St. Paul, and St. Nicholas. As the Holy Roman Empire continued, its relevance abated, and in 1562, Frankfurt became the Holy Roman Capital.
It retained a role as a place where peace treaties were signed, such as that ending the War of Devolution. It was conquered by Revolutionary-era French in 1794, but was reassigned to Prussia in 1814. As Aix-la-Chapelle, it aided to regulate Europe in the wake of the Napoleonic Wars. The city became occupied by the Belgians in the First World War and was severely damaged during the Second World War. In 1944, it was the first major German city captured by the Allies.
Aachen later became a center of coal mining, commerce, and technology in its region.
- Britannica Atlas. 1989.
- Wells, H. G. The Outline of History.
- "Aachen." The New Encyclopedia Britannica. 15th ed, Vol. 1