Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/26

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AACHEN
AACHEN
2

9 priests from other dioceses. The minster ranks first among the church buildings; it consists of three distinct parts: the octagon, the choir, and the crown, or ring, of chapels, the octagon forming the central portion. This last is the most important monument of Carlovingian architecture; it was built between 796 and 804, in the reign of Charlemagne, by Master Odo of Metz, and modeled after the Italian circular church of San Vitale at Ravenna. It was consecrated by Pope Leo III. It is an eight-angled, domed building, 54 feet in diameter, with a sixteen-sided circumference of 120 feet, and a height of 124 feet. The interior of the dome is adorned with mosaics on a gold ground, executed by Salviati of Venice, in 1882, representing Our Lord surrounded by the four and twenty Ancients of the Apocalypse. The main building was decorated with marble and mosaics in 1902 after the designs of H. Schaper. Over the spot supposed to be the site of Charlemagne's grave hangs an enormous corona of lamps, the gift of the Emperor Frederick I, Barbarossa; in the choir of the octagon, the so-called upper minster, stands Charlemagne's throne, made of great slabs of white marble, where, after the coronation, the German emperors received the homage of their nobles. The rich upper choir, built in Gothic style, joins on to the eastern side of the octagon; it was begun in the second half of the fourteenth century, and dedicated in 1414. The thirteen windows, each 100 feet high, have been filled with new colored glass; on the pillars
The Cathedral of Aachen, Interior
between them stand fourteen statues (the Mother of God, the Twelve Apostles, and Charlemagne), dating from the fifteenth century. Among the treasures of the choir should be mentioned the famous Gospel-pulpit, enriched with gold plates, the gift of the Emperor Henry II, the throne canopy of the fifteenth century, the new Gothic high altar of 1876, and the memorial stone which marks the spot where the Emperor Otto III formerly lay. The lower portions of the bell tower, to the west of the octagon, belong to the Carlovingian period; the Gothic superstructure dates from 1884. Of the chapels which surround the whole building, the so-called Hungarian chapel contains the minster treasury, which includes a large number of relics, vessels, and vestments, the most important being those known as the four "Great Relics." namely, the cloak of the Blessed Virgin, the swaddling clothes of the Infant Jesus, the loincloth worn by Our Lord on the Cross, and the cloth on which lay the head of St. John the Baptist after his beheading. They are exposed every seven years, and venerated by thousands of pilgrims (139,628 in 1874, and 158,968 in 1881). Among the other Catholic churches of Aachen, the following may be mentioned: the Church of Our Lady, a Gothic church in brick, built by Friederich Statz in 1859; the Church of St. Foillan, the oldest parish church in the city, which dates, in its present form, from the Gothic period, and was renovated between 1883 and 1888; and the Romanesque Church of St. James, built between 1877 and 1888. The most important secular building is the Rathaus, built between 1333 and 1350, on the site of, and out of the ruins of, Charlemagne's imperial palace, and completely renovated between 1882 and 1903. The facade is adorned with the statues of fifty-four German emperors, the great hall (Kaisersaal) with eight frescoes from designs by Alfred Rethel.

In Aachen there are foundations established by the Franciscans, Capuchins, and Redemptorists. The Alexians have one institution, a sanatorium and hospital for insane men and epileptics. The Franciscan Brothers conduct an apprentices' home and an asylum for boys. A number of female orders also have establishments. The Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo have charge of an eye hospital, a city asylum for orphans and the aged, with a wing for insane women, and Our Lady's Hospital, a working-women's home, and a protectory for girls. The Christensians have but one house, which is devoted to the care of the sick. The Sisters of St. Elizabeth have five: a motherhouse, a city hospital of St. Vincent, a city home for the sick, an asylum for the aged poor under the patronage of St. Joseph, and a city hospital of Our Lady of Help. The Franciscan Sisters have six institutions: a motherhouse, a refuge for working-women, an asylum for homeless girls, a home for servant-girls out of employment and domestics no longer able to work, a hospital of St. Mary, and a sanatorium. The Sisters of the Good Shepherd have one house. The Sisters of the Poor Child Jesus conduct two: a school for neglected girls, with a manual-training school and kindergarten attached, and a hospital and sanatorium for members of the Society, with a boarding house, eight shelters, etc. The Carmelites have one institution, and the Ursulines one, a higher boarding school for girls. The Sisters of St. Vincent have a crèche and two kindergartens, besides six Catholic orphanages. Among the religious and social unions should be mentioned eight congregations and two unions for boys, one workmen's union, one journeymen's union with a home of its own, two tradesmen's unions, one union of female shop-employees, the Catholic Protective Union for girls, women, and children, one vestment society, and one Cecilian society. There are two Catholic daily papers published in Aachen.

Councils of Aachen.—A number of important councils were held here in the early Middle Ages. In the mixed council of 789, Charlemagne proclaimed an important capitulary of eighty-one chapters, largely a repetition of earlier ecclesiastical legislation, that was accepted by the clergy and acquired canonical authority. At the council of 799, after a discussion of six days, Felix, Bishop of Urgel, in Spain, avowed himself overcome by Alcuin and withdrew his heretical theory of Adoptianism. In the synods of 816, 817, 818, and 819, clerical and monastic discipline was the chief issue, and the famous "Regula Aquensis" was made obli-