After three days in Koln we were ready to venture to new frontiers. We had a reasonably early start and arrived in Aachen about noon.
We checked into our hotel, which for about 35% of the price we got a room the size of the bed in Koln:-)
We wanted to be sure to arrive in Aachen in time for the 2pm tour of their Dom (Cathedral). It is the only tour of the day conducted in English and we were extremely happy we made the effort to catch it. The Dom is very interesting and the tour takes you to the most important parts, that you otherwise would not get to see.
The Dom is quite important to German history. The central portion, an octagonal chapel, was built by Charlemagne. The Cathedral, like Koln, was a site of pilgrimage and the the many visitors brought money to the Cathedral – allowing for its expansion and decoration.
On the first floor above the main hall is a modest looking marble chair. This throne is where the kings of Germany (and of the holy roman empire?) from Otto I to Ferdinand I were crowned for almost 600 years….
We were very lucky to get to go up and see the throne, as the cleaning was transitioning to this area after the new year, so this will be inaccessible, even to tours for many months.
The octagonal main domed area gave great evidence of the impact of cleaning. The mosaics are currently under renovation, and the difference between the cleaned and yet-to-be-cleaned sections was striking.
After the tour I was tired (surprise) so after a snack (crucial) I headed back to the hotel for a nap and Steve went back to the Dom to tour the treasury.
The treasury was really nice. It contained a lot of old stuff including more of Charlemagne’s bones. In the picture below you can see his forearm through the little window in the gold hand statue.
We had a nice dinner at a cozy, heggledy peggeldy restaurant.
More pork with creamy mushroom sauce and spatzle. I ate this almost every other night the whole trip and only gained a pound! Miracle!