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Aachen City Hall (rear)
Aachen City Hall (rear)
Flag of Aachen
Coat of arms of Aachen
Coat of arms
Country Germany
State North Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. region Cologne
District Urban district
266 m (873 ft)
 • Total 258,770
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes 0241 / 02405 / 02407 / 02408
Vehicle registration AC
Free Imperial City of Aachen / Aix-la-Chapelle

Freie Reichsstadt Aachen
Status Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire
Capital Aachen
Government Republic
Historical era Middle Ages
• Settlement founded
ca 6th millennium BC
• Gained Reichsfreiheit
• Otto I crowned Emperor
• Fire devastated city
• First Treaty ended
    War of Devolution
May 2 1668
• Second Treaty ended War
    of Austrian Succession
April–May 1748
• Annexed by France
• Third Treaty handles
    post-Napoleonic France
October–November 1818
Succeeded by
Roer (department)
Karte Aachen Stadtbezirke

Aachen is a German city in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has about 260,000 inhabitants and a well-known university, the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH).


The Romans built a spa over hot water springs here in ancient times.

In the Middle Ages, it was the capital city of the Frankish emperor, Charlemagne. The city was called Aix-la-Chapelle by the French.

Aachen Germany Imperial-Cathedral-01
Aachen Cathedral

Charlemagne ordered the building of a cathedral in 786 AD. He was buried in a tomb in this cathedral. German emperors were crowned in the cathedral in Aachen until 1531.

European countries made two important peace agreements in Aachen. In 1668, the first treaty (agreement) ended the War of Devolution between France and the alliance of England, Holland and Sweden. The treaty allowed France to keep most of the towns it had captured in Flanders the year before. In 1748, the second treaty ended the War of the Austrian Succession. In this war, France, Prussia, and other nations tried to take territory from the Austrian Empire. The treaty said that Maria Theresa of Austria was the ruler of these territories. It also gave Prussia the territory of Silesia.

Since 1972, Aachen has been part of the Cologne Government Region.

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