Eight questions for...

Monsignor Helmut Poqué, cathedral provost at Aachen Cathedral

When I visit the World Heritage Site of Aachen, what should I definitely not miss?

Aachen Cathedral, Charlemagne's royal church of St. Mary, is a combination of momentous histories: four places within the cathedral are of great significance: the Carolingian central building with the altar at its heart, Charlemagne's grave, the shrine of St. Mary with its relics in the choir hall, and Charlemagne's throne on the grand gallery. To better understand each of these I recommend taking one of the many daily guided tours.

What do you particularly like here?

The extraordinary and unique atmosphere that you find at Aachen Cathedral. The 1,200-year history of this church fascinates me to this day.

Do you have an insider tip?

My tip has to do with the light in the cathedral: the church is bathed in a very special light early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

What impressed you most during your first visit here?

Since I was born in Aachen I already came to the cathedral as a child. Even then I was fascinated by the golden shiny mosaic in the cathedral's central dome.

Which time of the year is the most attractive here?

To fully understand the cathedral, you should see it being used for its original function - as a house of God; that means experiencing holy mass here with the Aachen Cathedral choir.

What else should I see here?

I would definitely visit the cathedral treasury. Some of the exhibits are among the most significant of their time.

Visiting World Heritage Sites means working up an appetite. What regional specialty should I try?

The culinary trademark of the town is without doubt the Aachen Printen - spiced biscuits. They should be part of any visit to Aachen.

And which World Heritage Site would you like to see one day?

As I'm a nature lover, I would like to visit one of the big national parks that comprise part of the natural World Heritage Sites. Or the ancient beech forests in Germany, which have been World Heritage Sites since 2011.

Helmut Poqué

was born in Aachen and dedicated his life to the Catholic Church.

Following his theology studies, he spent years as a priest, and later became director of the priest seminary in the diocese of Aachen. From 2008 until 2014 has served as provost of Aachen Cathedral, a post in which he was responsible for the cathedral's worldly affairs.

 

Bingen

65 km

Koblenz

97 km

Brühl

20 km

Cologne

71 km

Aachen

128 km

Essen