History of Aachen - Major Dates
Information obtained from: http://www.aachen.de/EN/ts/20_aachen_history/index.html
Up to the 1st Century AD - Celts occupied in this area.
1st century AD - Later the Romans turned this area into a military spa town and built temples and bath buildings.
7th century AD - Franks occupied this area around the middle of this time period.
765 - Aachen named in writing for the first time.
768 - King Charlemagne resided in Aachen.
788 - The Palace and the Palace Chapel (today’s Cathedral) were built.
814 - Charlemagne died and was buried in the Palace Chapel.
936 - Otto I was crowned as king.
1002 - Otto III was buried in the Cathedral.
1171 - The first city wall was built.
1248 - After a siege that had lasted for six months, the town was taken by Wilhelm of Holland who was crowned as king in Aachen. The outer ring wall was built from 1257 to 1357. This ring wall was only exceeded in the 19th century with the growing expansion of the city.
1520 - Karl (Charles) V was crowned as king.
1531 - The last coronation in Aachen of a German king (Ferdinand I) took place.
1601 - census counted 14,171 inhabitants, of which 2,829 people are citizens according to law.
1656 - The big Aachen fire.
1794-1814 - The occupation of Aachen by French revolutionary troops brought a lot of suffering to the city.
Numerous cultural artefacts were deported to Paris. In 1802 Aachen became the administrative capital of the
French Roer department and thereby official French territory.
1825 - Opening of the theatre.
1831 - The first municipal library was opened.
1841 - The station quarter and the Theaterstrasse were the first housing developments outside the old city wall.
1865 - The foundation stone of the Polytechnical School was laid by Wilhelm I.
The institute has developed into today’s Rhineland-Westphalia Technical University (RWTH) Aachen.
1897 - The village of Burtscheid was incorporated into the city of Aachen. As a result the
population of Aachen rose to 126.407.
1918-1929 - As a result of WWI the western outskirts of Aachen and the adjacent countryside
including the district of Eupen were given to Belgium, which occupied the city for eleven years.
1930 - The diocese of Aachen was created.
1933 - The city council was dissolved. All senior civil servants of city and state were replaced by
members of the NSDAP (Nazi party).
1939-1945 - Aachen is situated at the most western tip of Germany. Therefore the city was heavily involved in
the events of the war. In July 1941 the first of five air attacks was flown against Aachen.
On the 21 October 1944 the city was liberated by the Americans after 6 weeks of intense fighting
– approx. 65% of all houses and flats had been destroyed. At the end of the war, Aachen had only 11,139
inhabitants left. The most important facilities were reinstalled in 1945. However, a large-scale
reconstruction of the city was out of the question for quite a long time.
The Americans were replaced by the British, whose occupation was followed by that of the Belgians in 1946.
The number of inhabitants of Aachen had risen again to about 100,000. This was mainly due to the return of
those people that had been forced to evacuate their homes during the war.
1972 - Aachen’s population rose to 237,108 due to the incorporation of the neighbouring communities of Brand,
Eilendorf, Richterich and Walheim. The new hospital complex (the so-called “Klinikum”, which had been named
“Europe’s largest construction site” for many years) was finally completed.
1987 - Aachen counted 249,000 inhabitants.