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Aachen Cathedral: Palatine Chapel Interior

Palatine Chapel Interior

Interior of the Palatine Chapel (786-805), the heart of Aachen Cathedral. The columns of the gallery are purely decorative, not bearing any weight of the arches. Charlemagne had 32 of them shipped from the ancient buildings of Rome and Ravenna. Most of them were looted in the French Revolution but 22 have since been returned and restored to their place in the gallery. The grilles between the pillars were cast of bronze under orders of Charlemagne for this cathedral. They have elaborate patterns with Roman, Celtic and Frankish influences, and are matched in pairs across from each other.

Credit: Holly Hayes