Aachen was in many respects the first capital of Western Europe. Romans created the first settlement and discovered the nearby hot springs. But Charlemagne put Aachen on the map in the late 8th century when he made it the center of his vast Frankish Kingdom. Aachen's massive cathedral, which holds Charlemagne's remains, is a testament to the socio-political clout the city once exercised. The landmark cathedral has been recognized by the UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Today, Aachen is no longer an industrial center of major importance, but it has become a vital center of IT-technology and transportation development. The city boasts several research institutes, including the well-known Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule (RWTH), three Fraunhofer institutes, the largest university clinic in Europe and the Ford Research Center. For equestrians, Aachen holds the very best that Germany has to offer.
For more information, please visit the city's official website at: www.aachen.de