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date: 18 August 2019

Aachen [Fr. Aix-la-Chapelle]locked

  • Charles B. McClendon,
  • Rosamond D. McKitterick
  •  and Joachim E. Gaehde

Extract

[Fr. Aix-la-Chapelle]

City in Nordrhein-Westfalia, Germany. It was the birthplace and residence of Charlemagne, ruler of the Frankish Kingdom, and remained associated with German rulers throughout the Middle Ages; most Holy Roman emperors were crowned there until 1531. Founded by the Romans in the 1st century ad as a modest military settlement, its Roman name, Aquae Granni (‘Waters of Granus’), was derived from a local Celtic deity and the area’s abundant hot springs: the remains of three bath complexes have been uncovered in the centre of the city. Despite the collapse of the Roman Empire, the therapeutic waters encouraged continued habitation, and during the early 790s Charlemagne chose Aquisgranum, as it was then called, as his capital. Until his death in ad 814, he spent part of almost every year there and built an elaborate palace, of which the chapel survives (see §2, (ii) below). He gathered scholars and artists from all over Europe in order to promote the cultural revival known as the ...

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