The golden Shrine of the Virgin Mary was completed in 1238 and contains the Four Great Relics of Aachen: the cloak of the Blessed Virgin; the swaddling-clothes of the Infant Jesus; the loin-cloth worn by Christ on the Cross; and the cloth on which lay the head of St. John the Baptist after his beheading. These relics are shown to the public every 7 years (next time 2014). The end gables have figures of Christ and Pope Leo III; the gables on the long sides depict the Madonna and Child (front side) and Charlemagne. The Twelve Apostles populate the rest of the long sides.
Credit: Holly Hayes