Charm Makes a Difference
The City of Charlemagne is an attractive travel destination. Lying at the heart of Europe, it offers a large variety of art and culture, elegant shops, and pubs. The city's official name is "Bad Aachen" (where "Bad" means spa, alluding to the hot springs already the Romans enjoyed), but lexicographic ordering called for dropping the title.
Aachen is situated at the three-country point of Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands. This place (it is the highest point of the Netherlands) is a 40 minutes walk away from the city center. Aachen is Germany's westernmost major city. The sun sets 30 minutes later than in Berlin.
The city center is crossed by numerous lovely alleyways that were restored with great accuracy and are full of restaurants and pubs. The Aachen Cathedral was added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1978 as the first German cultural asset. In total the city comes with 56 Christian churches.
The history of Aachen goes back till the new stone age. The hottest volcanic spring water north of the Alps made the area attractive. The Romans built some spa resorts here. Later Charlemagne fell in love with these springs and ancient buildings. He decided to make Aachen the capital of his empire. Therefore, Aachen became one of the most important meeting points in central Europe. To honor Charlemagne 1200 years after his death in 814, the city celebrates 2014 as the year of Charlemagne. An interactive tour is here.