Bike Touring Highlight
Cycling may not be permitted at this location.
You will have to dismount and push your bike.
The chapel near the Carolingian royal palace in Aachen was built in the nineties of the 8th century over the remains of a Roman bathing complex and on the site of an early Carolingian chapel. According to tradition, the building, which follows the models of San Vitale in Ravenna and Hagios Sergios and Bacchos in Constantinople, was under the direction of the builder Odo von Metz. In the symbolism of the Middle Ages, the octagon is the sign of the completion of the Old and New Testaments in the resurrection of Christ. Apparently the royal builder saw in the central building an adequate model for the manifestation of his rule.
After extensive planning and consultation since 790, the shell 796 was finished, 798 the pillars were put in place. The building could have been consecrated around 800.
The octagon in the center of the building and the westwork with the two stair towers on the side and the entrance embedded in a niche between them date from this Carolingian period. The bronze gate wings, the so-called wolf doors, which were cast around 800 and were moved into the portal vestibule that was then added in the 18th century, were originally located here.
The upper floors of the westwork were remodeled in the first half of the 14th century and in the 17th century. The high end of the tower was built between 1879 and 1884.
November 20, 2021
A well-known example of a Pfalzkapelle still in existence today is the octagon functioning as the central building of the Aachen Cathedral, which was built between 796 and 805 AD as the chapel of the Aachen Imperial Palace under Charlemagne (Wikipedia).
October 7, 2019
In the know? Log-in to add a tip for other adventurers!