Built between 790 and 813 AD by Charlemagne (also known as Charles the Great), it was once the largest church north of the Alps. It is also one of only three buildings to have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to its importance in European history.
The cathedral’s design is based on Byzantine models from Constantinople and Jerusalem, with influences from Roman basilicas. Its octagonal layout consists of four towers at each corner connected by two galleries that form a cross shape when viewed from above. Inside are several remarkable features, including intricate mosaics depicting scenes from Bible stories such as Daniel in the Lion’s Den and Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law; marble columns made up of different coloured stones; stained-glass windows dating back to 1250; chapels dedicated to various saints; and an impressive bronze door which dates back to 990 AD – making it one of oldest surviving doors still used today.
In addition to its architectural beauty, Aachen Cathedral holds great spiritual significance for Christians around Europe. Every year, thousands make pilgrimages here because Charlemagne was buried inside after his death in 814 AD – making him one of very few people ever honoured with this distinction during their lifetime. The cathedral also serves as home base for coronations involving German kings or emperors – something which began with Otto I’s coronation here in 936AD but continued until 1531AD when Charles V became Holy Roman Emperor following his coronation at Aachen Cathedral.
Today, visitors can explore every inch of this magnificent building thanks to guided tours offered daily throughout opening hours (9am–5pm). There are even special events held throughout the year, such as concerts featuring classical music pieces composed specifically for this space or dramatic re-enactments telling tales about Charlemagne himself.