The city of Aachen is special in many ways. Located on the crossroad of Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium, Aachen is Germany’s westernmost city that is brimming with diversity. In Aachen, you will find a great mix of history as you explore the streets of the beautiful old town, combined with the city’s flair as a modern university town. With more than 45,000 students, RWTH Aachen University is the largest university for technical courses in Germany. But, not only the city centre is worth visiting, Aachen’s surrounding countryside on the edge of the Eifel is beautiful too. Discovering this area on your bicycle is perfect. With the Aachen Summer of Cycling, the city is celebrating and promoting its well-developed network of routes. Every year since 1995, the city signposts a different themed circular route which is ideal for families and novice cyclists. In this Collection, we show you five of the most beautiful and exciting Aachen Summer of Cycling Tours.
On these rides, you follow in the footsteps of Charlemagne, Charles the Great, who loved Aachen so much that he made the city the centre of his empire. You will experience the beautiful green surroundings of the city and go on a ‘shopping trip’ to organic farms south of the city. You cycle along the Vennbahnweg, one Europe’s most beautiful railway trails, and explore an exciting mix of culture, nature and history. In the borderland north of Aachen, you discover impressive manor houses and learn about the history of customs in the Locht customs Museum. The German/Dutch industrial area Avantis provides you with a living example of how the relations with neighboring countries are cultivated today. Finally, on the ‘Tour de Science’, the latest Tour of the Aachen Summer of Cycling, an exciting ride around the RWTH campus awaits you with many interesting buildings where history and modern architecture meet.
What are you waiting for? Grab your bike and explore the city of Aachen and its exciting history on great bike paths that make each of these five routes an unforgettable experience.
Charlemagne ruled the Franconian Empire as king from 768 to 814. He initiated cultural and spiritual reforms and had them built: churches and monasteries as well as more than 100 "imperial palaces", which he had built scattered throughout his empire in order to be able to live "appropriately" when traveling. He built one of the most important imperial palaces in Aachen. But it was not only used as occasional accommodation for Charlemagne - Aachen was the center of his empire for a long time. So it's no wonder that he left a lot of traces here, which you will follow on this tour.The tour begins right in the center of Aachen, where Charlemagne had the eight-sided Palatine Chapel built on the ruins of a Roman thermal bath, the upper floor of which today forms the core of Aachen Cathedral. Whether before or after the tour - it is worth planning enough time for downtown Aachen, because there are so many things to see here. But now we cycle first: From the cathedral you drive out of the old town, past various churches worth seeing to the beautiful green area, which was horticultural developed as a city garden for the spa guests and citizens at the beginning of the 19th century.Now follow Jülicher Straße for a while, which was an important arterial road from Aachen before - albeit under the name Kölnsteinweg. Here you cross the Wurm for the first time, which rises in the south of the city in the Aachen city forest. Many mills were built along the river in the 17th century for the copper industry.You are now leaving the city and cycling for a while through the idyllic Haarbachtal and past the former Belgian military base "Camp Astrid" to the Würseler Stadtwald. If you can take a little refreshment, the forester's house Weiden offers a stop on the way before you start your way back.You are now driving through the village of Weiden and heading for Würselen. A detour to the parish church of St. Sebastian in the city center of Würselen, which dates back to Carolingian times, is worthwhile. You cycle back towards Aachen along old courtyards in the Dobach district. The tour ends at Münsterplatz, where you can take another look at one of the most important legacies of Charlemagne - the cathedral.
On this approximately 23-kilometer bike tour, you take an excursion into the countryside south of Aachen. On the way you will pass picturesque castles and idyllic ponds. And you stop at a historic estate on which healthy organic vegetables are sprouting today - so you better mount your basket on the bike so you can take a few tomatoes, cucumbers or herbs home with you!You start in the middle of the city. Past the imposing Aachen Cathedral, you cycle towards the Frankenberger Viertel, where you can take a look at the ancient walls of Frankenberg Castle before it slowly gets greener. You drive through the Gillesbachtal landscape park and past the forest cemetery with its Bismarck tower until you finally reach the wonderfully quiet Aachen forest.Here you can plan a little “organic break”: VIA Integration has been growing organic vegetables for 15 years on the 800-year-old historic fort “Gut Hebscheid”. Salads, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins and herbs grow in the fields and in greenhouses. Also worth seeing: Hobby gardeners can grow their own organic vegetables on seasonal plots in the “Öcher ecological gardens”. People with and without disabilities work hand in hand on the farm.Strengthened and with a full organic shopping basket, you now make your way back to Aachen. The route continues for a while through the forest, which becomes lighter the closer you get to the city. Passing various idyllic ponds, it slowly becomes more urban again, until you are finally back in the center of the city.Tip: If you've got the "organic taste", it is worth making various detours to other organic farms in the area. You could, for example, pay a visit to the Michaelshof, Gut Hasselholz, Gut Paulinenwäldchen or Gut Wegscheid.
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On around 26 kilometers, this round offers you an exciting mix of culture, nature and history. On the way you will get to know the beautiful Vennbahnweg, which runs on the route of a former railway line and offers you a truly enjoyable ride.You start at the “Rothe Erde” train station, right in the center of the former large-scale industry in Aachen. In the ironworks located here, steel was once produced on a large scale. However, production was stopped in 1926 as a result of the First World War. Did you know that after the hut closed, the existing piles of rubble were sold as "Original Aachener Rothe Erde" for sports fields all over Europe? Borussia Dortmund's old stadium was even named after it. Anyone who likes to ride a bike will above all enjoy another relic from the old days: the railway line that runs right through the site. Because the former Vennbahn is now a cycle path - in fact one of the longest and most beautiful railway cycle paths in Europe. If that doesn't start well!The name of this tour reveals how it continues: First, you follow the Vennbahnweg into the beautiful Münsterländchen. Incidentally, this has absolutely nothing to do with the well-known Münsterland. The beautiful landscape got its name from the imperial abbey Kornelimünster, after which the Münsterwald, the Münsterbach and the nature reserve Münsterbusch are named. From the Vennbahnweg you can enjoy a wonderful view of the cathedral - or you can take a closer look at it a little later.Now you leave the Vennbahnweg and cycle through the beautiful Indetal towards Eilendorf. You will pass the Komericher mill. She is another contemporary witness who reminds you of the industrial past of the region, because she provided the energy for the metal and cloth industry of bygone times. Through the beautiful Brander Forest - the largest nature reserve in Aachen - you reach Deltours Erb, one of the oldest farms in Eilendorf. There is a farm shop here that invites you to “go shopping”. A little later you cycle past the old Jewish cemetery Eilendorf, which is a bit hidden away from the bike path. There are still a dozen old tombstones of Jewish families, most of whom were victims of the Holocaust.From the quiet “Prunkweg” you have a wonderful view of Aachen. And that's exactly where it's going: through Eilendorf you reach the Vennbahnweg again, which you follow for a few kilometers to the starting point of the tour at Rothe Erde station.
This 30-kilometer tour takes you north from Aachen to the Dutch border, where you can find out more about the history of customs in the Zollmuseum Locht. The German / Dutch industrial area Avantis, on the other hand, is a living example of how openly the relationship with the neighboring country is cultivated today. On the way you will pass numerous manors, each with its own exciting story ...Your journey begins at Republikplatz, right across from Aachen Westbahnhof. You will now cycle across the RWTH Aachen campus to the north of Aachen, until it finally becomes quieter and greener behind the Richterich district. On the way here you have two good views of stately properties: Rahe Castle and Schönau Castle.Through the beautiful Amstelbachtal you are now heading for the border with the Netherlands. After you have passed the small village of Horbach, it is not far to the modern industrial area Avantis, a cross-border project that belongs to the communities of Heerlen in the Netherlands and Aachen in Germany. Shortly afterwards you will reach the Zollmuseum Locht, where you can find out more about how trade between the two countries used to be. Through the village of Vetschau with many historical farms, you finally cycle back to the starting point in Aachen.
The Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen celebrated its 150th birthday in 2020! As a “university of excellence”, it is one of the best technical universities. More than 46,500 students are being prepared for their professional life by around 10,000 employees - so it's no wonder that RWTH Aachen University impressively shapes the cityscape. The institutes, some of which are internationally renowned, are housed in many attractive buildings where historical and modern architecture meet. You can celebrate this diversity and of course the birthday of RWTH Aachen University on this exciting “Tour de Science”.Although the lap is pretty short at just 17 kilometers, you'd better plan some time. Because there is really something to discover on every corner. Immediately after starting at Aachen Cathedral, it is worth taking a look at the listed "Kármán" auditorium, which is named after the famous aerospace scientist Theodore von Kármán. And then it goes in quick succession: The historic main building of the RWTH at the Templergraben stands in stark contrast to the modern “SuperC”, in which the student office, the international office and the examination office are located.It gets impressive when you cycle past the university clinic and a little later roll along the campus boulevard, where you can admire spectacular architecture by internationally known international builders. At the very end of the tour there is a little more historical flair when you roll past Schinkelstrasse: Here are two of the oldest surviving RWTH buildings. After so much education, it's really good to end the day in Aachen's old town with very mundane things like a fresh coffee or a delicious meal.