Aachen – the nearest German city to Maastricht

Aachen is very old and famous German city. As my bus was leaving from this place at the evening, I decided to take the opportunity to arrive there earlier and use Friday afternoon for discovering the city.

AachenAachen, source: my picture

I am going home. I ordered bus ticket from Aachen to Prague. A friend of mine offered me to drive me there after Friday's lecture, because she lives not far away from Aachen. As my bus was scheduled to leave Aachen at 18:45, and she dropped me off at about 12:15, I had the whole afternoon for sightseeing. I got lucky, because the weather was really nice and sun was is shining since the morning, so I was not freezing as the days before.

My tour began at church named Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche and without map. I only printed out map for how to get from the main train station to the bus station, which was almost 5 km from there – Wilmersdorfer Straße near Gartencenter. I decided to find the main square and then the train station. I remembered a few things from my vitit to Aachen about 4 years ago. It was a short visit on Sunday, when every shop was closed, the first half of it was raining really heavily. So what I saw, after the rain stopped, was mostly the city centre.

Aachen without tour guide

I found the city centre quite easily – I just follow the most crowded street I saw Smiley :D. When I got to the square, I found a map of the city – so I knew where I am and how to get to my bus in the late afternoon. As I had enough time, I decided to go there on foot. But back to what I saw interesting in the city.

I definitely find this city more crowded and busy than Maastricht – at least the centre of the city (Aachen has population of 260 000, Maastricht 120 000). There is also more traffic concentrated near the city centre. I got used to the design of buildings in Maastricht – all are similar, only small differences between them. The buildings in Aachen on the other hand vary a lot – you can find everything from old and historical looking buildings, to new and modern shopping centres or blocks of flats. Also all buildings there are quite high, so the it somehow remembers me Prague. Well, there are no trams or underground in Aachen, only buses. By chance I find quite a big park, one part of it was a old cemetery and on the other side was modern Euroforum and casino Smiley :D. But definitely nice place to spent some time.

Aachen is full of small statues places everywhere in the city. I am not sure of theirs meaning, most of them seem to be just modern art with no historical meaning. But I take it as the feature of the city, so I didn't take picture of every single one of them I saw. I could not miss the water spring – not drinkable because of its high sulphur concentration, but it's very famous and you can find a marble boards with names of people from the history, who visited this place.

University comparison

A also found the RWTH Aachen University (Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen). I got there about 4 p.m. and I saw a lot of students heading out of the campus – probably the end of some lectures. Most of the university buildings are new build and it can be recognized also from the outer look – compared to the SBE or Law faculty at Maastricht University. Well, also Maastricht University has a new and modern looking campus with medical faculty, but it's not in just near the city centre.

Leaving Aachen and driving school

On my way to the bus, I entered different part of the city. Definitely there live more people from Turkey – a lot of Kebab and Döner fast food places, a lot of women with scarf on their heads. Also this part seemed to be a bit empty. Ok, it was also a late afternoon, but still. I also saw a bit cemetery with quite high and old looking memorial stones and statues.

When I got to the Wilmersdorfer Straße, I still had about an hour. There was no bench to sit on, so I sat on the graass. I got lucky, because on the parking lot just arrived a motorbike from a driving school. It's a different system compared to the Czech one. Here the pupil sin alone on the bike and the teacher gives him instructions via radio. In this case was the instructor a woman, very friendly and pleasant to talk to, so soon it was 18:40 and I thought, that my waiting time is over. But it wasn't, bus still nowhere. I will continue in the article My first trip to home from Maastricht.

I found Aachen interesting, but next time, I have to find tome museum or something where I could spent some time. I had enough of sightseeing for this time.

Article last edited 21. 10. 2011, viewed: 1420-times.
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labels Labels:Germany, Historical place, Sightseening
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