Sunday, February 3, 2013

Aachen Cathedral


I was yesterday in Aachen and besides enjoying a nice sunny afternoon of window shopping I also spent some time taking some photos inside Aachen cathedral. I'm not usually fan of visiting religious monuments but I'm glad I made an exception in Aachen because its beautiful dom is something unique in western Europe and is has been added by the UNESCO to its list of World Heritage monuments. The cathedral of Aachen is rather small and it seems to have taken inspiration in buildings from the Byzantine Empire, including the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Its construction was started in the ed of the 8th centure, making it the oldest cathedral in northern Europe and Charlemagne himself contributed to its designed. His remains were later placed in a golden vault that would lay inside the cathedral and during six centuries emperors of the Holy Roman Empire were crowned there. 


The cathedral's central room is an octogonal chapel with a dome covered in hundreds of thousands of tiny coloured tiles which make really beautiful scenes with gold as the predominant colour. Hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the chapel lies an impressive chandelier which was donated to the cathedral by Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa. 


Just after crossing the huge doors leading inside the cathedral there's a statue of a heartless wolf. According to the legend, the construction of the cathedral was demanding too much money and one day the an unknown benefactor appeared in town offering to fund the ongoing construction of the cathedral receiving the soul of the first being who would enter the finished cathedral as payments. Locals recognized him as the devil and tricked him by sending a wolf into the building as soon as building works were over. Satan took the sould of this poor creature but knowing he had been cheated left the town furious.


Aachen might not be the imperial capital it once was and it may not even stand out among so many charming towns and interesting cities that Germany has to offer. But its city center still makes for a lovely daytrip and its cathedral is really worth seeing as it is a very beautiful building which doesn't compare to any other in western and northern Europe. 




8 comments:

  1. Yo tampoco soy una gran entudiasta de visitar iglesias y catedrales (todio el olor a incienso, me da alergia horrible) aunque como bien dices esta merece la pena, por lo que veo en las fotos la vidrieras y la cupula son una autentica maravilla, espero que disfrutaras mucho de la visita a Aachen.
    besito reina y buena semana

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    Replies
    1. Sí, la verdad que fue una buena visita con un poco de turismo y tiendas :)

      Un beso para tí tb y buen fin de semana!

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Bree, have a great weekend!

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  3. The intricate design inside the cathedral is superb. It's very rare and hard to search for Byzantine Cathedrals so it's such a great find.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it is very rare, I had never seen such a cathedral and I was fascinated since the first time I entered it.

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