Aix-la-Chapelle, Germany

German: Aachen; Latin: Aquisgranum

City in Germany, noted for healing springs. It was probably the birthplace of Charlemagne. The octagonal “chapel,” from which the city is named, was built 796 to 804 and forms the nave of the cathedral; under its dome is the tomb of Charlemagne, which was found 1000 and contained his body imperially robed and seated on a marble throne. This throne was used at the coronations of 32 emperors, and still exists. Charlemagne‘s remains are now in the Hungarian Chapel, where are also preserved four great relics, exhibited every seven years

  • the cloak of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • the swaddling-clothes of the Infant Jesus
  • the loin-cloth of Christ
  • the cloth in which was wrapped the head of Saint John the Baptist

These were occasions of pilgrimages in the Middle Ages. Among numerous churches, Saint Foillan’s and Saint Paul’s are noteworthy.

Aix was a bishopric, suffragan of Mechlin from 1801 to 1821. It retained a collegiate chapter, with provost and six canons, was a deanery of the Archdiocese of Cologne, and is now the seat of the Diocese of Aachen.

Synods and Councils:

  • 789, Charlemagne proclaimed a collection of laws that acquired canonical authority
  • 799, Felix, Bishop of Urgel, acknowledged himself overcome by Alcuin and renounced Adoptionism
  • 809, the dogma of the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son was defended
  • 816, “Regula Aquensis” (Rules of Aix) for reform of monastic life were promulgated and the Rule of Saint Benedict revised
  • 860 to 862, three synods considered the divorce of Lothaire II from Theutberga

The schismatic council (1166), approved by Anti-pope Paschal III, decreed the canonization of Charlemagne. See also, patrons of Aachen.