Built during the reign of Charlemagne, the Aachener Dom is by far the oldest cathedral in Germany and also Germany's first UNESCO World Heritage site.

Begin of Construction

796 A.D.
Styles blend of Roman and Gothic
Function originally: Charlemagne's church and palace, later on coronation church of the German kings, today cathedral

Exhibition of statues of Charlemagne, Aachener Dom in the background

Entrance to the cathedral is free, but you can make donations for reparations at the entrance.


The tower next to the main entranceThe Choir

The front of the building (main entrance)


  • Two different golden shires are inside the dome, Marienschrein and Karlsschrein. Supposedly, Jesus Christ's diapers (yes, diapers) and waistcloth are inside the Marienschrein. Scientists are pretty sure that Charlemagnes bones are in the Karlsschrein.
  • There is a big ancient chandelier in the cathedral.
  • There is a throne made of plain stone in the cathedral. Supposedly, the throne is made out of the stone which was put before Jesus' grave after his crucifixion. Charlemagne (unlike most other kings after him) never sat on the throne, maybe because the throne was built for Jesus?
  • There is a statue of a wolf inside the cathedral. As the legend goes, Charlemagne was off leading several wars at the time the Aacheners were building the cathedral, which meant the Aacheners did not have enough money to complete their work. In order to be able to build the cathedral, they made a deal with the devil: He offered the city money in exchange for the first soul to enter the cathedral. Indeed, the Aacheners were able to finish the construction with the money supplied by the devil. The cathedral, however, was so marvellous, that the pope himself decided that he himself would go to Aachen for the opening ceremony, and insisted on being the first person to enter the building. When the pope opened the large doors of the cathedral, the clever Aacheners let a wolf run into the cathedral before him. The devil, who was hiding behind the door, jumped at the wolf and tore out his soul. Realizing that he had been tricked, the devil slammed to door of the cathedral and went straight back to hell. As he slammed the door, he accidentally ripped off his thumb. If you reach inside the door knobs of the cathedral, you can actually feel the thumb in one of them. Try it! Also see the story of Lous.

Aachener Dom