Aachen was the main residence for Charlemagne, who’s empire covered most of central Europe. During the middle ages it was the coronation place for German kings and emperors.
Today Aachen is where the areas of French, Dutch and German language intersect, the tripoint of Dutch, Belgium and German borders is only few kilometers from the city and since 1950 the city awards the Charlemagne Prize to people who contribute to the European unification. It is one of the most prestigious European awards.
In 1914, the railway lines from Cologne and the Ruhr area converged at Aachen. It was the logistical hub for the assembly of the German first Army.
Aachen therefore seems to be a good place to start a journey to commemorate the outbreak of the First World War and appreciate what has been achieved with the European unification since.
This post is part of the series “The way to the Western Front”. Explore the full content here..