Aachen Cathedral was the first German building to be added to the UNESCO list of world cultural heritage sites in 1978. This 40th anniversary will be celebrated during a week of festivities from 23 to 30 September 2018. The event will be opened with a ceremonial church service. The cathedral will then open its doors to areas not normally accessible to visitors, such as the dais with Charlemagne’s throne. A programme of music and a light installation are also being planned, which will tell the story of the 1,200-year-old building.
The foundation stone for the cathedral was laid by Charlemagne the Great in 790 AD, and the towers originate from this period. As well as the throne, on which over 30 German rulers were crowned, the sites most worth seeing in the cathedral include the “Karlsschrein” (Charlemagne’s Shrine) containing Charlemagne’s bones, and a chandelier donated by Emperor Barbarossa.