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Aachen is an appealing small city with a historic city center and a variety of shopping opportunities that are easily accessed with local public transportation. The historic city surrounds the cathedral and city hall. Historic facades, varied streets, alleys, open spaces and appealing outdoor restaurants create an enjoyable experience. Aachen Cathedral, originally built on the orders of Charlemagne in AD 786 (and whose remains are still interred there), is still the main attraction of the city and was the church of coronation for 42 German kings and queens. Although it has an old history, Aachen is a “young city”. Students influence the life of the city, particularly in the students’ quarter with its trendy new bars, modern cafés and arthouse movie theaters. RWTH Aachen University is one of the Germany's Universities of Excellence with strong emphasis on technological research, especially for electrical and mechanical engineering, computer sciences, physics, and chemistry. The Klinikum Aachen, or university hospital, is the largest single-building hospital in Europe.
Aachen is located right on the border with neighboring Netherlands and Belgium, thus offering easy visits to the francophone culture of Liege or the exciting mix of historic ambience and modernity in the Dutch city of Maastricht. The major German cities of Cologne (65 km), and Düsseldorf (80 km) are also not far away.
The path to nature is short for Aachen’s residents. It just takes few minutes to get from the lively city center to the many offerings in the surrounding green spaces. The city forest is one of the largest city forests in Germany, and the numerous inner city parks, the nearby Eifel National Park and the High Fens invite you for recreation and adventure tours.