Forthcoming Exhibition: Charlemagne. Power, Art and Treasure (Aachen 2014)

Forthcoming Exhibition:
Charlemagne. Power, Art and Treasure
Aachen, 20 June – 21 September 2014


Charlemagne died in Aachen on 28 January 814. 1200 years later, the City of Aachen will be putting on three special exhibitions on the life and works of this legendary Emperor of the Francs. Under the title “Charlemagne. Power, Art and Treasure”, the three exhibitions will run from 20 June to 21 September 2014 as part of the “Year of Charlemagne” celebrations. At three different locations within the boundaries of the former imperial palace, they will offer visitors the chance to see artistic masterpieces from Charlemagne’s court workshops, medieval church treasure, and a cultural history presentation on Charlemagne’s seats of power.

In the former King’s Hall, today’s Town Hall, the focus will be on Charlemagne’s palaces. Visitors will learn about courtly life in Carolingian times. The exhibition will portray how the king and military leader Charlemagne travelled from palace to palace and will display archaeological and cultural-historical evidence to outline the basis of his reign. It will illustrate what power meant in those days, and will trace the boundaries between historical fact and the myth of Charlemagne, a myth to which Aachen owes its status as the birthplace of modern Europe.

In the Centre Charlemagne, a new museum located at the heart of his original palace and due to open its doors in early 2014, visitors will be able to marvel at works of art from Charlemagne’s “Palatine School of Aachen”. Here, choice exhibits will offer an insight into the golden age of Carolingian culture. After centuries of being scattered all over Europe, priceless manuscripts, ivory carvings and goldsmith’s works originating from Charlemagne’s workshops in Aachen will once more be reunited in the Centre Charlemagne.

The Cathedral Treasury will not only be exhibiting the most important pieces from its own church treasure. For the exhibition, curator Georg Minkenberg will be bringing back to Aachen precious objects from the church treasures of Carolingian and medieval times, objects which originally belonged to the Aachen Cathedral Treasury but which fell into other hands in the course of history. The selection of sacred works of art will even feature objects said to be from Charlemagne’s grave.

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