Aachen City Hall

Aachen, Germany

Aachen's Gothic Rathaus looms over the Markt opposite to the Aachen Cathedral. In the first half of the 14th century, Aachen’s citizenry built the city hall as a sign of their civic freedom. Yet, they had to promise to establish a space in the new town hall that could host the traditional coronation feast that was part of the coronation ceremony of the Holy Roman Empire.

Construction began in 1330 on top of the foundation walls of the Aula Regia, part of the derelict Palace of Aachen, built during the Carolingian dynasty. Dating from the time of Charlemagne, the Granus Tower and masonry from that era were incorporated into the south side of the building. The structure was completed in 1349, and while the town hall served as the administrative center of the city, part of the city’s munitions and weaponry was housed in the Granus Tower, which also served as a prison for some time.

During the great Fire of Aachen in 1656, portions of the roof and towers burned. The destroyed elements were then replaced in a baroque style. From 1727 until 1732 the Chief Architect of Aachen, Johann Joseph Couven, led a fundamental baroque remodeling of the structure, especially of the front façade and entry steps. The gothic figures and muntin adorning the windows were removed, and even the interior was remodeled in the baroque style. Today, the sitting room and the “White Hall” both still convey this change in style.

Since the end of the Imperial City era and the Napoleonic occupation of the area, the structural condition of the City Hall was greatly neglected, so that the building was seen to be falling apart by 1840. After that the building was rebuilt little by little in a neo-Gothic style that tried to capture its original gothic elements. The side of the City Hall that faced the Market was adorned with statues of 50 kings, as well as symbols of art, science, and Christianity.

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Address

Markt 40, Aachen, Germany
See all sites in Aachen

Details

Founded: 1330
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Rohit Ravi (13 months ago)
Rathaus or City Hall is an architectural marvel in Aachen. The place is a perfect spot to spend your evenings. The spot is also the marketplace of Aachen. Charlemagne statue with fountain stands tall in front of the Rathaus. You have a Rewe City in front of the City Hall and lots of restaurants and utility stores in the region.
Doram Jacoby (2 years ago)
A very impressive building.
Panagiotis V.S. (2 years ago)
Beautiful area and very nice for walking
Shadow Step (2 years ago)
Very old, Very beautiful. Must see if you are a tourist.
Andy Cambridge (2 years ago)
Really nice building definitely worth a visit! Provides you with small glimpses of the cities history and some of the roles and how it relates to the city hall. Not just a building of civic function but a true centre to the town both historically and culturally.
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