Aachen goes by many names: it is Aken in Dutch, Aix-la-Chapelle in French, Aquisgrana in Italian and Aquis grán in Spanish. Many of these names date back to Roman times and the hot springs discovered then. Later on Aachen became the residence of Charlemagne and even later the coronation place for German kings. Today, the city proper has 257,000 inhabitants and about 555,000 people in its wider metropolitan area (“Städteregion Aachen”).
Aachen is well-known for its history but also for science and engineering. RWTH Aachen University is one of only 11 universities in Germany that have been awarded the coveted title of “Excellence University”. Forschungszentrum Jülich, one of the largest interdisciplinary research centers in Europe, lies about 30 km northeast of Aachen. Against this background, Aachen offers a perfect location for an international scientific conference like EAC 2020.
City of Charlemagne
During the Middle Ages, Franconian King Pippin is said to have bathed in the springs of the former Roman thermal baths of „Aquispalatium“ – as Aachen was known then. His son Charlemagne, who lived from 747 until 814, chose Aachen as his residence. He became Roman emperor in 800 and built one of the biggest empires of his time. At the end of the 8th century, Charlemagne had its so-called Kaiserpfalz (imperial palace) built in Aachen combining Roman, Byzantine and German building ideas. The coronation hall with the emperor’s throne and his living area stood at the site of today’s city hall. Aachen’s cathedral was finished around the year 803 and is recognized as UNESCO world heritage today. The Romanesque cathedral and the Gothic city hall building form the heart of the old city, but there is much more to be seen. Aachen is always worth a visit!
Some suggestions if you want to spend the weekend: