Charlemagne, or Charles the Great 742 -814 from the Carolingian dynasty was the leading figure of the early middle ages in Europe and maybe the creator of the political Europe. (Pater Europae) He is interred in the Cathedral of Aachen, at least most? some? parts of him ??. Some say Charlemagne ist already sold out completely. The sale of body parts of prominent people was quite popular and a rewarding business in the old days. It’s said he killed his brother Carloman I. and his nephews to assure he was the only one to follow his father Pipin the Short. It’s said he had many children, so many it’s likely that every European is related to him in one way or another. He brutally subjected the Saxons in the east. His birthplace is unknown but Aachen is on the list as well as Liège in Belgium or Gauting not far from Munich. His third (fourth?) wife was Fastrada who founded the important now Benedictine monastery “Münsterschwarzach” in Franconia.
Charlemagne built his Palatine Chapel, which became part of the Cathedral of Aachen, 798 the biggest church in north of the alpine mountains. Later starting under the Ottonian dynasty the Cathedral become the coronation church of the Holy Roman Empire for many. It was the first German UNESCO World Heritage Site. Charlemagne himself was coronate in Rome, Italia on Christmas Day 800.
Charlemagne spent many winters in Aachen as there were pleasant hot healing springs nearby which the Romans already used before. Father Pipin was here before too and Charlemagne maybe used old foundation walls of his father to set up his buildings.
Charlemagne set up his simple emperors throne here in the cathedral which is still there. Some of the marble panels may have been taken from the Grave Church in Jerusalem or other biblical places in Jerusalem. Pilgrims used to crawl through the gap underneath the throne of canonized Charlemagne and when I was a kid, it was even possible to walk up the throne and to sit on it but is no longer possible.
Grandfather Karl Martell founded monastery Benediktbeuren.
Before continuing to the Netherlands and Belgium we enjoyed some food and local beer in Aachen and the nice town.
As a heritage of WWII there today is an honorable voluntary “Domwache”, (cathedral guard) arrayed by the students fraternity “Franconia” which is observing the cathedral with its irreplaceable cultural treasures all night long to prevent fire or burglary as addition to the official payed security. They followed a group of teenagers which did the same during WWII starting 1941 and extinguished several fires during the war. In the 1950’ties a new guard was established by the Franconia.
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