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“Historic Rathaus and home of International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen”

Rathaus Aachen (City Hall)
Ranked #5 of 59 things to do in Aachen
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Reviewed May 29, 2013

The Aachen Rathaus dates back to 1350. The main floor contains five rooms and the foyer. The Council Hall (to the left as you enter the Rathaus) is still used by the town fathers. There is an interesting exhibit in the Master Craftsmens' Kitchen about World War II and Aachen. Aachen was occupied by Allied troops in October 1944 and a mayor was appointed who was subsequently assassinated by a Nazi commando in March 1945. There are some old movies to watch and several recorded messages about the resistance in Aachen and the fate of the city's Jewish population. (These recordings are also in English.) The Coronation Hall on the top floor of the building is the site of the awarding of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen to recognize outstanding contributions to the unification of Europe. Aachen is capitalizing on the legacy of Charlemagne who really was the first person to unify Europe to any extent and they compare this to the current European Union. While not nearly as impressive as the Bremen Rathaus (which we also visited on this trip), there are several frescoes and copies of the imperial regalia as this hall was used in medieval times for the coronation banquets for the kings who were crowned in the nearby Dom until 1531. Be aware that the Rathaus can close on short notice because of meetings, receptions, etc. which may be booked in the facility.

1  Thank happytraveler30183
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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202 - 206 of 708 reviews

Reviewed May 11, 2013

The Rathaus was the Palace of Charlesamagne and is an amazing building. The annual Prize was presented to the President of Lithuania, a moving and memorable experience.

Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2013

I found the city hall while I was searching for the treasury. Price was 5 euros, and came with a pamphlet (audio guide available too). It's a well laid out museum, with some wonderful history. It's not a long visit, but worth the trip. It's more of a 1600 - 1800 history compared to the cathedral just across the courtyard.

2  Thank Neven87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

I wandered into the city center on the night of the worst blizzard to hit Aachen in fifty years. Somehow, I spotted a door to the far left side of the Rathaus and realized that it was a restaurant. It was almost empty because of the storm, so I was seated immediately. I ordered the pasta with white truffle sauce for 18 euros, and it was by far the best meal I have had in Germany, ever. They bring you wonderful hot breads, flavored butters and a complimentary seafood appetizer. The next day I explored the history of Aachen in the main section of the building. A great place to stop.

2  Thank Americandiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2013

The city hall is a very impressive building - outside and in. Fascinating how this bulding changed over the centuries (display iinside). There is moderate entrance fee and it will take about 45 Minutes to tour. The city hall was the "political" headquarter of the Charlemagne empire built across a large square from the Cathedral (nice view o the Cathefral from the staircase inside city hall). Most impressive is the upper floor coronation hall which is still in use today for celebrations such as the annual Charlemagne medal award for European Peace and Integration. Downstairs rooms from different periods provide a good glimpse into changes in style - up to the current city hall meeting room.

2  Thank Juergen1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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