"Aachen Cathedral" Vijlen Off The Beaten Path Tip by vtveen
Vijlen Off The Beaten Path: 2 reviews and 8 photos
Although a little bit strange I will add a German sight to a Dutch tip.
Vijlen is so close to Aachen – less than 10 kms’ – and this German city offers an absolutely ‘must see’ sight for tourists. And I’m talking about the Aachen Cathedral.
A visit to Aachen was for us one of the reasons for a weekend in Vijlen. We went by our own car – bus transportation is also rather easy – and parked just outside the city centre. We walked to the centre and we were surprised by the very pleasant sight of the old town around the cathedral and the town hall, with lots of sidewalk cafés, nice shops and cosy alleys.
But most impressive of all was the Aachen Cathedral: quite massive and solid outside, but inside of a stunning beauty. We have visited many churches, but without any doubt this is one of the most beautiful ones we have seen.
Does it look outside rather huge, once inside it is surprisingly ‘small’, with only benches for churchgoers (and visitors) in the octagon, the Carolingian core building of the church dating back to around the year 800. It has an extremely rich decorated classical cupola, nice pillars, arches with bronze railings as decoration. In the middle of the octagon hangs a chandelier, named after Barbarossa (Emperor Frederick I), who donated it to the cathedral.
The impressive choir is gothic (1355 – 1414) and has enormous colourful stained glass windows. The shrines of St. Mary and Charlemagne, the golden pulpit and other valuables can only be seen from behind a fence, but still are worth viewing.
We walked around, sat on one of the benches just looking at this magnificent building and were making pictures (be aware you have to pay € 2,- for a permission for shooting photos).
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