16
Aachen, Germany
Aachen Cathedral
16 Aachen, Germany - shards

“The story about Aachen, of course, is the Cathedral. Eleven hundred years ago the most important personage in Europe was Charlemagne and Charlemagne ruled from Aachen. He established the Holy Roman Empire, uniting Europe. After his death he was buried in the Cathedral of Aachen.

The Germans had enough of a sense of history that when the war broke out they knew they ought to preserve the remains of Charlemagne. So they hid his casket somewhere in the woods. After the war, we learned where it was and someone in the Transportation Section just ordered a soldier to go and bring his corpse back. Returning with the most revered person for centuries in Europe, he came to the Cathedral and said, ‘Where do I dump this?’ And it’s there today, the bones of Carolus Magnus, the first man to unite Europe, now encased in a shrine.”

Story and Shards Artist Statement Specifications