Aachen is first and foremost the city of Charlemagne. In the late 8th century, the Holy Roman emperor made Aachen his imperial residence and had the Palatine Chapel built there.
The chapel is now part of the cathedral, the city's main landmark and first German site to be included on UNESCO's world heritage list. Charlemagne's mortal remains now lie in his shrine inside the cathedral. His white marble throne is also there. For over six hundred years after him, it served as the throne of his successors, as well. Aachen is also a city of hot springs. They're in high demand during the holiday season - as are the spicy Christmas pastries called printen. Less traditional and more unconventional is the Ludwig Forum, a museum of contemporary art.