Aachen Cathedral with the Palatine Chapel – Opening hours and Mass times

Aachen Cathedral, Aachen, Germany

Website of the Sanctuary

0049 (0)241/47709-145

The Sanctuary is opened to the public:: January-March everyday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. April-December everyday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

History of Aachen Cathedral

Charlemagne intended his Church of St. Mary to become a complete image of the Heavenly Jerusalem, symbolizing the contact of the Earthly and the Heavenly. After app. 20 years of construction this vision was architecturally and liturgically realized around the year 803. The significance of the church arises from its 1200 year old history: burial place of Charlemagne, coronation church for the Roman-German kings and Pilgrimage Church attracting the faithful from all over the world every seven years.

Aachen Cathedral became Germany’s first World Heritage Site in 1978.

Aachen Cathedral with the Palatine Chapel - Opening hours and Mass times

Why is Aachen Cathedral the World Heritage Site?

  • With its columns of Greek and Italian marble, its bronze doors, the largest mosaic of its dome (now destroyed), the Palatine Chapel of Aachen, from its inception, has been perceived as an exceptional artistic creation. It was the first vaulted structure north of the Alps since Antiquity.
  • Bearing the strong imprint of both Classic and Byzantine tradition this chapel remained, during the Carolingian Renaissance and even at the beginning of the medieval period, one of the prototypes of religious architecture which inspired copies or imitations.
  • The Palatine Chapel of Charlemagne is an excellent and distinctive example of the family of aulian chapels based on a central plan with tribunes.
  • The construction of the Chapel of the Emperor at Aachen symbolised 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 German emperors continued to be crowned at Aachen. The collection of the treasury of the Cathedral is of inestimable archaeological, aesthetic and historic interest.

Integrity

Aachen Cathedral contains all the elements necessary to express the Outstanding Universal Value and is of appropriate size. All features and structures to convey its significance as Emperor Charlemagne´s own Palatine Chapel are present.

Source: whc.unesco.org/

Mass times Schedule

  • Mon-Fri 7 / 10 a.m.
  • Sat 7 / 8 / 10 a.m. / 11:15 a.m. Nuptial Mass
  • Sun 7 / 8 / 10 / 11:30 a.m.

Opening times

Aachen Cathedral is not open for sightseeing during service hours, including unscheduled services.

  • January-March – everyday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • April-December – everyday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Aachen Cathedral is not open for sightseeing during service hours, including unscheduled services and special concerts. Sightseeing hours start weekdays at 11 a.m. and at 12.30 p.m. on Weekends.

Palatine Chapel – Throne of Charlemagne in the Palace cChapel

The Palatine Chapel in Aachen is an early medieval chapel and remaining component of Charlemagne’s Palace of Aachen in what is now Germany. Although the palace itself no longer exists, the chapel was preserved and now forms the central part of Aachen Cathedral. It is Aachen’s major landmark and a central monument of the Carolingian Renaissance. The chapel held the remains of Charlemagne. Later it was appropriated by the Ottonians and coronations were held there from 936 to 1531. As part of Aachen Cathedral, the chapel is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Aachen Cathedral with the Palatine Chapel - Opening hours and Mass times

Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, began building his Palatine Chapel (palace chapel) in 786 AD. 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 AD) 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.

Pala d’oro

The main altar of Aachen Cathedral is decorated by a golden antependium made in the early 11th century. In the center of the antependium Chris the Redeemer is enthroned, accompanied by the Virgin Mary and the Archangel Michael. Grouped around this central image are ten relief panels with scenes from the Passion of Christ.

Aachen Cathedral with the Palatine Chapel - Opening hours and Mass times

Pala d’oro – Source by www.aachenerdom.de

Barbarossa Chandelier

The chandelier was donated by Emperor Frederick I and his wife Beatrix and is attached to an ironwork chain of 27 meters. Its octagonal shape was meant to dovetail harmonically and symbolically with the overall structure of the church. Imagery and inscription refer to the Heavenly Jerusalem.

Aachen Cathedral with the Palatine Chapel - Opening hours and Mass times

Barbarossa Chandelier – Source by www.aachenerdom.de

The Cupola Mosaic

The cupola mosaic displays the adoration of the 24 eldest as written in the book of Revelation, who, at the end of times, offer their crowns to the Lord with covered hands. The recent mosaic dates from the end of the 19th century and cites an engraving by Ciampini from 1699.

The Shrine of the Virgin Mary

The Shrine of the Virgin Mary contains the four main relics of Aachen Cathedral since 1239. They constitute the focal point of the Aachen pilgrimage every seven years and are held in veneration as the swaddling cloth and the loincloth of Christ, the dress of the Virgin Mary, and the decapitation cloth of John the Baptist.

Aachen Cathedral with the Palatine Chapel - Opening hours and Mass times

The Shrine of the Virgin Mary – Source by www.aachenerdom.de

 

The Shrine of Charlemagne

The Shrine contains the mortal remains of Charlemagne, canonized in 1165, since its completion in 1215. Scenes from the life of Charlemagne by Pseudo-Turpin are displayed upon the roof reliefs, the long axes are each occupied by eight emperors and kings.

Aachen Cathedral with the Palatine Chapel - Opening hours and Mass times

The Shrine of Charlemagne – Source by www.aachenerdom.de

The Windows of the Chancel

The windows of this “glass house” were replaced with ornamental luminous curtains and depictions of the story of salvation and the ascension of man to god in the tretradecagon after their destruction during World War II.

Aachen Cathedral with the Palatine Chapel - Opening hours and Mass times

The Windows of the Chancel – Source by www.aachenerdom.de

The Throne

From 936 to 1531 thirty Roman-German kings were crowned at Aachen Cathedral’s main altar and afterwards enthroned on this throne. The four marble slabs, possibly from Jerusalem, exhibit traces of antique graffiti and show the reliquary nature of the throne.

Aachen Cathedral with the Palatine Chapel - Opening hours and Mass times

Aachen Cathedral with the Palatine Chapel – Opening hours and Mass times – Source by www.aachenerdom.de

Aachen Cathedral Treasury

The Aachen Cathedral Treasury contains one of Europe’s most significant church treasuries, a unique collection of precious objects from the history of the Aachen Cathedral. After a redesign of the Treasury’s installation in order to sufficiently address modern conservational, technical, and safeguarding requirements, the Cathedral Treasury was opened in the winter of 1995. Today more than a 100 cultural treasures are displayed on different levels on more than 600 square meters of exhibition area.

The Cathedral Treasury features sacred cultural treasures from Late Antiquity, as well as the Carolingian, Ottonian, Hohenstaufen and Gothic eras. Its lofty position is mostly owed to the fact that for centuries – from 936 until 1531 – today’s Aachen Cathedral was the coronation church for the Roman-German kings. Some of the acquired pieces can be traced back to royal donations, others show the European importance of the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, today’s Aachen Cathedral as a pilgrimage church and as the burial church of Charlemagne.

The Cathedral also contains distinguished pieces of decoration, e.g. the Golden Antependium, Pala d´Oro (1000-1024), the Pulpit of Henry II – Ambo (ca. 1024) and the Barbarossa Chandelier (ca. 1165).

Source:

  • www.aachenerdom.de
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palatine_Chapel,_Aachen
  • www.sacred-destinations.com
  • By Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3448137
  • By Berthold Werner, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50530566
  • By Arnold Paul – Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1976375
  • By Unknown – Original image: Photochrom print https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=96741

Aachen Cathedral Treasury

The Aachen Cathedral Treasury contains one of Europe’s most significant church treasuries, a unique collection of precious objects from the history of the Aachen Cathedral. After a redesign of the Treasury’s installation in order to sufficiently address modern conservational, technical, and safeguarding requirements, the Cathedral Treasury was opened in the winter of 1995. Today more than a 100 cultural treasures are displayed on different levels on more than 600 square meters of exhibition area.

Pala d’oro

The main altar of Aachen Cathedral is decorated by a golden antependium made in the early 11th century. In the center of the antependium Chris the Redeemer is enthroned, accompanied by the Virgin Mary and the Archangel Michael. Grouped around this central image are ten relief panels with scenes from the Passion of Christ.

Barbarossa chandelier

The chandelier was donated by Emperor Frederick I and his wife Beatrix and is attached to an ironwork chain of 27 meters. Its octagonal shape was meant to dovetail harmonically and symbolically with the overall structure of the church. Imagery and inscription refer to the Heavenly Jerusalem.

The Cupola mosaic

The cupola mosaic displays the adoration of the 24 eldest as written in the book of Revelation, who, at the end of times, offer their crowns to the Lord with covered hands. The recent mosaic dates from the end of the 19th century and cites an engraving by Ciampini from 1699.

The Shrine of the Virgin Mary

The Shrine of the Virgin Mary contains the four main relics of Aachen Cathedral since 1239. They constitute the focal point of the Aachen pilgrimage every seven years and are held in veneration as the swaddling cloth and the loincloth of Christ, the dress of the Virgin Mary, and the decapitation cloth of John the Baptist.

The Shrine of Charlemagne

The Shrine contains the mortal remains of Charlemagne, canonized in 1165, since its completion in 1215. Scenes from the life of Charlemagne by Pseudo-Turpin are displayed upon the roof reliefs, the long axes are each occupied by eight emperors and kings.

The windows of the Chancel

The windows of this “glass house” were replaced with ornamental luminous curtains and depictions of the story of salvation and the ascension of man to god in the tretradecagon after their destruction during World War II.

The Throne

From 936 to 1531 thirty Roman-German kings were crowned at Aachen Cathedral’s main altar and afterwards enthroned on this throne. The four marble slabs, possibly from Jerusalem, exhibit traces of antique graffiti and show the reliquary nature of the throne.

History of Aachen Cathedral

Charlemagne intended his Church of St. Mary to become a complete image of the Heavenly Jerusalem, symbolizing the contact of the Earthly and the Heavenly. After app. 20 years of construction this vision was architecturally and liturgically realized around the year 803. The significance of the church arises from its 1200 year old history: burial place of Charlemagne, coronation church for the Roman-German kings and Pilgrimage Church attracting the faithful from all over the world every seven years.

Posted in Europe, Germany and Top Shrines