The town hall of Aachen is a Gothic style building created in the 14th century as a replacement for the Grashaus. It was built on parts of the former Kaiserpfalz and includes the Granusturm, a tower that was raised by 14 meters. Still today you can see the difference between the older and the newer parts of the tower. A requirement for the design of the town hall building was, that a special room had to be included: a hall for the coronation feast of the Holy Roman Emperors. The coronation happened at the cathedral close by, the feast was held at the town hall – and this hall is still there, used today for the awarding ceremony of the Internationaler Karlspreis zu Aachen.

As Charlemagne is seen as the ‘father of Europe‘ since 1950 the Karlspreis is awarded to people who contributed to the unification of Europe. A certificate and a medal are handed to the chosen one in a large ceremony in the former coronation hall. The long list of awardees includes Konrad Adenauer, Winston Churchill, Robert Schumann, George C. Marshall, François Mitterrand, Václav Havel, Jacques Delors, Tony Blair, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Donald Tusk, Martin Schulz, Maryja Kalesnikawa and Wolodymyr Selenskyj. The committee is critized for including conservative politicians more often and after Henry Kissinger received the price an alternative peace price (Aachener Friedenspreis) was created that is awarded in addition.

The coronation hall is also used to store copies of the Imperial Regalia, including the crown of the emporer. The original items can be found within the Hofburg of Wien. When climbing up you can discover the Karlspreis awardees on multimedia screens. The seat of the Stadtrat is located in the ground level and there is another special room design for the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1748 which gave an end to the War of the Austrian Succession. Conquered territories had to be returned, but also the right to trade slaves was confirmed. The treaty was planned to been negotiated at the town hall and the delegates are painted to the walls, but the room was never used. It was already the second peace treaty negotiated at Aachen after the first treaty in 1668 ending the war between France and Spain.

52062 Aachen

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