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Aachen Cathedral (UNESCO/NHK)

Aachen Cathedral (UNESCO/NHK)


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Construction of this palatine chapel, with its octagonal basilica and cupola, began c. under the Emperor Charlemagne. Originally inspired by the churches of the Eastern part of the Holy Roman Empire, it was splendidly enlarged in the Middle Ages.

Source: UNESCO TV / © NHK Nippon Hoso Kyokai
URL: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/3/


Aachen Cathedral (UNESCO/NHK) - History

Aachen Cathedral

Aachen Cathedral was included into UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978 and got one of the top sites of the list due its unique history enriched by legends and myths and luxurious treasures kept in the cathedral.

Construction of this palatine chapel, with its octagonal basilica and cupola, began c. 790&ndash800 under the Emperor Charlemagne. Originally inspired by the churches of the Eastern part of the Holy Roman Empire, it was splendidly enlarged in the Middle Ages. The construction of the chapel of the Emperor at Aachen symbolized the unification of the west and its spiritual and political revival under the aegis of Charlemagne. In 814, Charlemagne was buried here, and throughout the Middle Ages until 1531 the Germanic emperors continued to be crowned here. The collection of the treasury of the cathedral is of incalculable archaeological, aesthetic, and historic interest.

The special value of this church was given by its author, the legendary Emperor Charlemagne. It is said that Charlemagne was born in Aachen, the German Western boundary town (the town borders Belgium and Netherlands ), and created the central Northern Europe cultural and politic headquarter at his native place. Besides Charlemagne&rsquos outstanding political activity and lively deeds directed to Christianity religion and Roman culture development he was credited by erection of one of the largest and most significant construction of the Middle Ages &ndash Aachen Cathedral.

The Cathedral itself got several names: the Palatinate Cathedral, St. Mary&rsquos Church and the Minster. The Charlemagne&rsquos activity bore the two main reasons of the modern vivid interest and care to this church &ndash first, he created the royal residence palace at the Cathedral and was also buried there according to his will second, he managed to develop the unique collection of the Christian relics and gathered and kept all of them in the Cathedral.

The first aim &ndash to establish royal residence &ndash coincided with the second inner willingness to create one of the most majestic and influential edifice of Christianity. The Dome mixed up the elements of different architectural styles: Gothic, Byzantine, Classical and art of Carolingian period. This mixture is inevitable consequence of numerous completions during later centuries provided by the next great German Emperors such as Otto III and Frederick Barbarossa. All of these historical figures enriched the German history with great deeds and were crowned and buried in Cathedral.

The Cathedral was built in the form of octagon with the choir and chapels. The octagon takes the core position and has the golden mosaics pictures with the God and twenty four Ancients around Him. It interior is also decorated by fascinating statues and Charlemagne&rsquos grave. During the Gothic period the altar and the stone in the memory of the Emperor Otto III were added.

The unique Christian relics&rsquo collection is the core of pilgrimages from all over the world. This collection comprises four Great Relics: the shroud of the Blessed Virgin, the God&rsquos loin-cloth, the Jesus&rsquo swaddling band and the cloth for St. John&rsquos head.


History

The city of Aachen lies in a Prussian valley, surrounded by wooded heights, on the Wurm, a tributary of the Roer River.

The city owes its origin to its springs which were already known in the time of the Romans. There appears to have been a royal court in Aachen under the Merovingians, but it rose to greater importance under Charlemagne who chose it as his favorite place of residence, adorned it with a noble-imperial palace and chapel, and gave orders that he should be buried there.

Charlemagne (Karl der Grosse in German), the first Holy Roman Emperor, began building his Palatine Chapel (palace chapel) in 786 C.E. The Palatine Chapel has been described as a “masterpiece of Carolingian architecture.” It is all that remains today of Charlemagne’s extensive palace complex in Aachen.

The Palatine Chapel was designed by Odo of Metz. He based it on the Byzantine church of San Vitale (completed 547 C.E.) in Ravenna, Italy. This accounts for the very eastern feel to the chapel, with its octagonal shape, striped arches, marble floor, golden mosaics, and ambulatory. It was consecrated in 805 to serve as the imperial church.

Symbolism of octagon

The construction of Aachen Cathedral features an octagonal dome 32 meters high. Charlemagne’s tomb is in the Cathedral altar. It is adorned with engravings of the King and Pope Leo III. Pope Leo crowned Charlemagne as the Imperator Romanorum, Emperor of the Romans, in the year 800.

The great dome above the altar is octagonal because Charlemagne placed special significance on the number “eight.” The numeral appears frequently in the Holy Bible and was charged with symbolism in the Christian world during medieval times. An octagon can be made by drawing two intersecting squares within a circle. The circle represents God’s eternity while the square represents the secular world. The four corners also represent the four directions to heaven and the four characteristics of man. Charlemagne saw the number eight as symbolizing the power of the Franks and the Roman Empire, the ruler of both the secular and religious worlds. The Franks were later to become known as the Holy Roman Empire. The Emperor’s throne—built in the tenth century—overlooks the altar. The two relics in his hands were symbols of his power as ruler of two worlds. Charlemagne is holding a sceptre symbolizing his rule of the secular world in his right hand, while in his left he holds an orb, the symbol of the religious world.

Barbarossa’s chandelier

Hanging from the vault in the center of the Palatine Chapel is Barbarossa’s Chandelier, a huge (4.2-meter diameter) bronze circlet commissioned by Frederick Barbarossa to celebrate Charlemagne’s canonization. It was created in 1165-1184 in Aachen and is inscribed with a dedication to Mary from Barbarossa and his wife Beatrix.

The chandelier’s design represents the Heavenly Jerusalem as envisioned in the Book of Revelation, yet it has only eight towers (plus eight archways with smaller towers) instead of the 12 described in the Book of Revelation. The dedicatory inscription explains that the deviation from the biblical description was intentional, so that the chandelier would fit perfectly into the eight-sided imperial chapel for which it was designed.


Aachen Cathedral

Architectural Mapping of Aachen Cathedral Marks 40 Years as UNESCO World Heritage Site with Support from disguise.

One of the oldest cathedrals in Europe, Aachen Cathedral (Der Dom) celebrated 40 years as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with nine evenings of architectural projection mapping that traced the history of the famed church. Christoph Hillen of bendedpix in Aachen, Germany did the conceptual design, animation and pixel mapping for the project using the disguise pro range to playback and map images onto the façade of Der Dom.

The projection mapping told the story of the cathedral, which was founded by Charlemagne in the eighth century and serves as his burial place. Images outlined the original structure of the building and followed the evolution of Der Dom over 1200 years depicting such notable events as the Fire of Aachen n 1656, where video flames raced up the sides of the church, and the heavy damage incurred during World War II with air raid siren sound effects. Images of the Holy Roman emperors and real photos of the destruction of war were projected onto Der Dom as video mapping traced rebuilding efforts over the centuries and the cathedral’s rebirth as we see it today. The architectural projection mapping was shown for nine evenings for over 40,000 spectators.

“Our goal was to tell the story of the building, its meaning and importance to history and people from the past until now,” says Christoph. “We tried to avoid showing the usual mapping effects instead, every scene has a detailed depiction of one story of the building.”

Christoph chose a disguise 4x4pro media server, loaded quad-DVI VFC cards drove 14 Christie Boxer 4K30 projectors. “disguise had the capability to drive all the outputs, and its QuickCal feature could handle projector calibration on an extremely difficult surface,” he explains. “disguise also gave us a chance to review the design with VR support so we could see the critical 3D parts of the content from different views, which was very helpful.”


Germany has plenty of delights up its sleeve to keep travellers engrossed. Not just cultural, natural and architectural visual treat to its visitors, but also Unesco World Heritage Sites to add to its charm. Home to outstanding natural views, exciting adventure trails and special slices of culture, the country boasts of a rich history with the North Rhine-Westphalia being an important region. Here are 5 Unesco World Heritage sites in North Rhine-Westphalia that should be on your bucket list:

Aachen Cathedral

The first ever Unesco World Heritage Site in Germany, the Aachen Cathedral received the designation in1978. This cultural monument holds immense significance in German art history and architecture. The Cathedral dates back to the Carolingian period and its foundation stone was laid by Charlemagne in 790 AD. The Aachen Cathedral was chosen to be Charlemagne&rsquos shrine after the emperor&rsquos death. The Aachen Church and Cathedral witnessed more than 30 German rulers throughout history. The interiors house the Gothic choir hall, the largest window of the Gothic era, Charlemagne&rsquos shrine, a magnificent chandelier that was once donated by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. The Cathedral&rsquos gate is a stunning specimen of bronze craftsmanship and is first of its kind in the Alps.

Cologne Cathedral

Attracting a large number of visitors, the Cologne Cathedral is Cologne&rsquos most visible landmark. A shrine for pilgrims, it is one of the highly popular tourist destinations of Germany and one of the most significant in Europe. The cathedral at Cologne is not only an abode for pilgrims, it&rsquos also an amazing opportunity for art lovers to take a close look at Gothic era architecture. The Cathedral dates back to 1248 and underwent several phases of construction, getting completed in the year 1880. The cathedral has well-preserved valuable works like the Shrine of the Magi, remains of the Magi or Three Wise Men. Designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1996, the Cologne cathedral has a treasury that is open to the public. There are valuable pieces of sacred art that hold immense historical and religious significance.

Zeche Zollverein

A living preservation of the German industrial culture, Zollverein was announced a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2001. An impressive industrial site, the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex is now a building that stands as a symbol of the structural change and development in the Ruhr region. Once the largest coal mine in the world, the Zollverein complex now is a specimen of spectacular architecture. The twin-trestle winding tower is a popular emblem of Ruhr. Visitors can learn a lot about the rich history or the Ruhr region when visiting Zollverein. The Heritage Trail, Red Dot Design museum, the gourmet festival in summer, and the Contemporary Art Ruhr Fair, and many more enthralling activities and experiences await tourists.

Augustusburg Castle

The Augustusburg Palace listed as a Unesco World Heritage site, is an amalgam of Rococo architecture and German history. Bruhl attracted a lot of popular visitors. And for many years the Augustusburg castle served as a venue for hosting official receptions held by Germany&rsquos president and federal government. Some of these famous guests were Queen Elizabeth II, Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II and Mikhail Gorbachev. This once splendid venue now stands as a museum that is open to public visitors. The summer season at Augustusburg is a witness to classical and Baroque concerts. The Haydn festival also takes place as a part of the summer events organized at the castle.

Corvey Monastery

Highly esteemed as Westphalia&rsquos first Unesco World Heritage Site, the abbey at Corvey received the designation in 2014. A Benedictine abbey, it is another fine specimen of neatly-preserved Carolingian architecture. It is also the only Carolingian westwork that has survived through all these years. The westworks are intrinsic to the history of the Corvey, and were especially used by kings and their court in the earlier times. The westwork at the Corvey is significant because of its age and its mural magnificence. There are scenes from the Odyssey depicted in the remains of Corvey's westwork. This important historical missionary centre now has a museum and a restaurant that is open to the public.

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with German National Tourist Office, India.


Aachen Cathedral

Aachen Cathedral was included into UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978 and got one of the top sites of the list due its unique history enriched by legends and myths and luxurious treasures kept in the cathedral.
Construction of this palatine chapel, with its octagonal basilica and cupola, began c. 790–800 under the Emperor Charlemagne. Originally inspired by the churches of the Eastern part of the Holy Roman Empire, it was splendidly enlarged in the Middle Ages. The construction of the chapel of the Emperor at Aachen symbolized the unification of the west and its spiritual and political revival under the aegis of Charlemagne. In 814, Charlemagne was buried here, and throughout the Middle Ages until 1531 the Germanic emperors continued to be crowned here. The collection of the treasury of the cathedral is of incalculable archaeological, aesthetic, and historic interest.

The special value of this church was given by its author, the legendary Emperor Charlemagne. It is said that Charlemagne was born in Aachen, the German Western boundary town (the town borders Belgium and Netherlands ), and created the central Northern Europe cultural and politic headquarter at his native place. Besides Charlemagne’s outstanding political activity and lively deeds directed to Christianity religion and Roman culture development he was credited by erection of one of the largest and most significant construction of the Middle Ages – Aachen Cathedral.

The Cathedral itself got several names: the Palatinate Cathedral, St. Mary’s Church and the Minster. The Charlemagne’s activity bore the two main reasons of the modern vivid interest and care to this church – first, he created the royal residence palace at the Cathedral and was also buried there according to his will second, he managed to develop the unique collection of the Christian relics and gathered and kept all of them in the Cathedral.

The first aim – to establish royal residence – coincided with the second inner willingness to create one of the most majestic and influential edifice of Christianity. The Dome mixed up the elements of different architectural styles: Gothic, Byzantine, Classical and art of Carolingian period. This mixture is inevitable consequence of numerous completions during later centuries provided by the next great German Emperors such as Otto III and Frederick Barbarossa. All of these historical figures enriched the German history with great deeds and were crowned and buried in Cathedral.
The Cathedral was built in the form of octagon with the choir and chapels. The octagon takes the core position and has the golden mosaics pictures with the God and twenty four Ancients around Him. It interior is also decorated by fascinating statues and Charlemagne’s grave. During the Gothic period the altar and the stone in the memory of the Emperor Otto III were added.

The unique Christian relics’ collection is the core of pilgrimages from all over the world. This collection comprises four Great Relics: the shroud of the Blessed Virgin, the God’s loin-cloth, the Jesus’ swaddling band and the cloth for St. John’s head.


Aachen Cathedral

Aachen Cathedral is a burial site, coronation church and pilgrimage destination.


The history of today’s Aachen Cathedral began around 803 AD, when it was known as the Marienkirche. The cathedral is a real pilgrimage site, as the place where Charlemagne the Great is buried and as a coronation church of the Roman-German kings. The first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Germany, it is visited every year by over 1 million tourists, either individually or in groups. Every seven years, Christians from all over the world make the pilgrimage to Aachen to get a glimpse of the four great shrines there.

To the right next to the main entrance, there is a model of Aachen Cathedral, which is designed to offer blind people in particular an impression of the enormous building.

Tourists are not permitted to visit the cathedral during services. Normal visiting hours are weekdays from 11 am, Saturdays from 1 pm and Sundays from 12.30 pm. Brief closures due to church events are also possible.


The cathedral's exterior is also protected. To prevent the silhouette of the cathedral and the sight lines from being obstructed, it was given an official "buffer zone" in 2010. This was in response to UNESCO's demand to safeguard the city center in its entirety as a historical heritage. Violations of this rule could result in a place on the "red list" of endangered UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


Of the ten German cathedrals I saw in the last two weeks I would have to rank Aachen as third or perhaps fourth on the list. While not as imposing as Koln or Ulm, or as moving as Speyer or Trier, it was, in its own way, breathtaking.

Even with what people have said here I was still surprised to see how small the cathedral actually was. The restoration work on the outside seems to be coming to an end from what I gather, there was only scaffolding on the rear, and the majority of the cathedral seems to be in a reasonably good state. The interior of the cathedral was particularly gloomy but I liked this it added more atmosphere to the surroundings. The octagonal chamber was the highlight for me, an architectural oddity and decorated with fantastic tile work, this stands as one of the finest chapels I have been into. I guess this is what the great Byzantine works feel like (though I have yet to visit any of note myself). The fine stained glass windows in the gothic addition helped illuminate the large gold coffin of Charlemagne.

I really liked the architecture of the cathedral it is a real hodgepodge of styles as it was stared in 794 and seemingly added too consistently for the next 1,200 years, the best place to view this is from the Rathaus square (view in the picture).

Unfortunately a massive hangover (damn those Belgian trappists!) and an inability to find the correct door meant I missed the Treasury, and I think this would have really completed the experience. The city of Aachen was quite small and had only a few other things of note, so I think a few hours to see the Cathedral is about enough.

It is about 1 hour from Cologne and is very close to the Dutch and Belgian borders so very well connected. Well worth the trip! I would like to go back at some stage when I am in a better, non post-alcohol state!


Palatine Chapel

The Octagon at the middle of the cathedral was erected as a chapel palace, and the architectural design was drawn from other contemporary Byzantine architectures. The upper circuit of the chapel houses the high altar and the imperial throne.

Western Façade

The westwork of the cathedral is bordered by two stair-towers. It is a two story building with a porch at the west end. Bronze leaves are attached to the porch. There are many bronze structures, which include a bronze pine cone having 129 perforated scales measuring 91 cm in height.

Side Chapels

Around the octagon lay several side chapels which include the Chapel of St. Mathew, the Chapel of St Anne, the Chapel of Hungary, the Chapel of St Nicholas and St Michael, and the Chapel of St Charles & Hubert.

Throne of Charlemagne

The cathedral houses the throne of Charlemagne. The authentic throne was one of Carolingian one which came from the spolia of Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Thirty-one German kings ascended the throne between 936 and 1531.

Marienschrein

The choir of the cathedral houses the shrine of St. Mary, which dates from 1220- 1239. The shrine comprises of the four great Aachen relics the St. Mary’s cloak, Christ’s loincloth, the clothes in which Christ was draped, the cloth in which St. John’s the Baptist was beheaded.

Barbarossa chandelier

A wheel chandelier made up of eight curved faces hangs on a long chain from the vault of the dome about four meters above the ground known as the Barbarossa Chandelier. The artifact was a donation of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and his wife, Beatrice.

Ambon of Henry II

A pulpit was erected as an Ambon between 1002 and 1014 during the reign of Henry II. The pulpit, one of the most remarkable artifacts of Ottonian Renaissance, is still used during ceremonies.

Aachen Cathedral Plan Aachen Cathedral Palatine Chapel Aachen Cathedral Side Chapel
Aachen Cathedral Treasury Aachen Cathedral Ambon of Henry II
Barbarossa Chandelier Charlemagne Tomb Marienschrein
Pala d’Oro Palace Chapel at Aachen Palatine Chapel
Throne of Charlemagne Western Facade of Aachen Cathedral

Pala d’Oro

Pala d’Oro is a golden altarpiece that was designed around 1020 in Fulda. The altar is composed of seventeen gold panels with reliefs. Christ is enthroned in the middle surrounded by Mary and Archangel Michael.

Treasury

The Aachen cathedral treasury is one of the most significant pastoral treasuries in northern Europe. It includes many important relics such as the Bust of Charlemagne, Cross of Lothair, and the Persephone sarcophagus. The relics are displayed to the pilgrims every seven years.


Watch the video: Construction de la mosquée-cathédrale de Cordoue reconstitution 3D (December 2022).

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