Aachen has been firmly on the map for millennia. The Romans nursed their war wounds and stiff joints in the steaming waters of Aachen’s mineral springs, but it was Charlemagne who put the city firmly on the European map. The emperor too enjoyed a dip now and then, but it was more for strategic reasons why, in 794, he made Aachen the geographical and political capital of his vast Frankish Empire – arguably the first empire with European dimensions.
Today, Aachen should be on any visitor's map. It is still a quintessentially international city, and has a unique appeal thanks to its location in the border triangle with the Netherlands and Belgium. And Charlemagne’s legacy lives on in the stunning Dom, which in 1978 became Germany’s first Unesco World Heritage Site.