My little jubilee, the 50th country visited was Liechtenstein. And boy what a ceremony happened. The Principality of Liechtenstein and the Swiss Confederation were celebrating the 100 years of their common Dounae contract. We were about to cross the bridge that was built over the river Rhine, but we were stopped as the celebration was just…
Krapina is my hometown. Zagorje runs through veins. Kajkavian dialect is spoken out loud by my core. So please, allow me to show you a portion of heaven given to us people from Zagorje to enjoy, nourish, and remain proud. Krapina Krapina was first mentioned in 1193. It has always been a favorite site for…
This is a post of a lovely, walkable city that will charm all wine, gastronomy and history lovers. From Markets to Mustard! This capital of Burgundie is calling you to get all its tastes. And you will not know all of these existed! The province was home to the Dukes of Burgundy from the early 11th until…
Avignon is a city on the Rhône river in the south of France. It is surrounded by walls of Avignon (French: Les Remparts d’Avignon) – a series of defensive stone walls that were originally built in the 14th century during the Avignon papacy and have been continually rebuilt and repaired throughout their subsequent history. We entered through Porte Saint-Michel. The…
This historical province of southeastern France, extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône to the west to the Italian border to the east; it is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It largely corresponds with the modern administrative region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur . The largest city of the region and its modern-day capital is Marseille. Known for its diverse landscapes, miles of…
Michel de Notre-Dame, as we all know as Nostradamus, was an apothecary by profession, and published in the year 1555 a book called Les Prophéties (The Prophecies). In his collection of 942 poetic quatrains, he predicted various future events that experts, and many amateurs, find a way of interpreting into related events occurring in the present day. Some historical evidence suggests…
This is going to be a short post. Sanremo is a city on the west coast of Italy, in the province of Liguria. It is the capital of the Riviera dei Fiori or Riviera of Flowers. Its casino also makes it a sort of Italian version of Monte Carlo. This large building in Art Nouveau…
Vivid green pesto, great wine and fabulous walks … Genoa is a city of indulgence. Driving in the city, noticing it’s fabulous big secession buildings it reminded me of the importance of Italy: banks, trades, imports of goods and businesses… Genoa was a medieval rival to Venice. It’s not been primped for tourists like Venice, though.…
Rapallo was never on my list. I never thought there could actually be something about this city. It lies on the Ligurian Sea coast, just between Cinque Terre and Genoa. As a girl from Croatia, I know it from the history books as the Treaty of Rapallo was signed there, in Villa Pagana, formerly known as Villa Spinola. A treaty…
The five Cinque Terre villages are situated in northern Italy on the Mediterranean Sea, just 3 hours by train from Milan, Pisa and Florence. I have arrived by car and totally enjoyed the national park that spreads across the five villages. La Spezia My journey started in La Spezia. This was the very first stop as I…
Tintine was slowly climbing up the hills of San Marino. Not much pressure should have been put on this car as she had enough of the shocks in the last year or two. The hills around us were rising and soon we found ourselves surrounded by an amazing view. It was San Marino surrounded by…
My Life in Sicily finished after a year spent on this island. It was time to turn on my Tintine (a beautiful red car), hop on a ferry and say goodbye. I was nostalgic as a was driving through Reggio Calabria. But soon I was in Puglia – the region with the best Italian cheeses.…
During my weekend jaunt to western Germany, I made a day trip to Aachen, once the capital of Charlemagne’s short-lived empire and the final resting place of ”Charles the […]
During my weekend jaunt to western Germany, I made a day trip to Aachen, once the capital of Charlemagne’s short-lived empire and the final resting place of ”Charles the Great” himself.
Aachen is the city in North Rhine-Westphalia of Germany known also as Aix-la-Chapelle in French.Its name derives from the Ach(e), meaning “river” or “stream” in Old High German.
This city lives and breathes Europe as it is practically Europe in miniature. On the border with Belgium and the Netherlands, it has encapsulated the spirit, values and ideals of Europe since the days of Charlemagne.
So who was Charlemagne and how he made this city famous?
Charlemagne, 8th century, also known as Karl and Charles the Great, was a medieval emperor who ruled much of Western Europe. In 771, Charlemagne became king of the Franks, a Germanic tribe in present-day Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and western Germany. He embarked on a mission to unite all Germanic peoples into one kingdom, and convert his subjects to Christianity. It was the first time these lands had been united politically since the Roman Empire.
In 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne emperor of the Romans. In this role, he encouraged the Carolingian Renaissance, a cultural and intellectual revival in Europe. When he died in 814, Charlemagne’s empire encompassed much of Western Europe, and he had also ensured the survival of Christianity in the West. Today, Charlemagne is referred to by some as the father of Europe.
The ruler seated in the Palace of Aachen a group of buildings with residential, political and religious purposes to be the centre of power of the Carolingian Empire.
Today much of the palace is destroyed, but the Palatine Chapel has been preserved and is considered as a masterpiece of Carolingian architecture and a characteristic example of architecture from the Carolingian Renaissance.
Important part of this palace and todays cityscape of Aachen is Aachen Cathedral, traditionally known in English as the Cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle. It is the oldest cathedral in northern Europe and was constructed by Odo of Metz.
Aachen Cathedral houses a collection of medieval art objects which are exceptional in their historical, artistic and religious meaning.
Charlemagne’s throne, is the most important chapelle sight. It is an austere chair that places has been made from stone taken from the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. All German kings in the medieval times were crowned on this throne.
The Barbarossa chandelier was made on the order of Emperor Frederick I, nicknamed Barbarossa, and his wife Beatrice in 12 century. It has a diameter of 4.20 meters and is just amazing inner sight of the chapel.
Finally, Charlemagne was buried there after his death in 814. After that, for 595 years, the Aachen chapel was the church of coronation for thirty German kings and twelve queens.
Today, in the glory of his name, the Charlemagne Prize is given for services to European unity.
Aachen is also renowned for its relaxed atmosphere, best experienced on a stroll through the historical streets. There are charming places that to the grand old buildings dotted along the Charlemagne Route.
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