Together with Rome, Jerusalem and Santiago de Compostela, Aachen was one of the most important pilgrimage sites of the Middle Ages. It all started with a generous gift: it is said that Charlemagne was presented with set of precious relics from Jerusalem when his church was consecrated in 799.
Legend has it that among them were Aachen Cathedral’s four main relics which found safekeeping in the Shrine of the Virgin Mary in 1239. Ever since 1349, the four cloth relics have been displayed to the faithful from around the world every seven years.
What are the sanctuaries?
The four cloth relics are ancient fabrics, which are called…
The next Pilgrimage
The Aachen Pilgrimage has always been more than the veneration of millennia-old relics. It served as a space for spirituality, an occasion for cultural exchange, a wellspring for Aachen’s links to the world, a space for discourse, a forum for social reflection and even a place of protest against National Socialism. To this day, it still does.
Above all, the 10-day Aachen Pilgrimage is an event for the whole city of Aachen and the Diocese. It is a joyful celebration of faith for people of all ages. In 2014, around 125,000 pilgrims visited Aachen to worship the cloth relics and celebrate under the motto “Faith in motion”.
The next Aachen Pilgrimage, whose motto is “Discover me”, will take place from 9 to 19 June 2023.
We would love to have you join us.