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.
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