|Floor Plan of Chapel of Aachen|
The Chapel was also an important repository for holy relics, which are still preserved in the Aachen Cathedral:
- the cloak of the Blessed Virgin;
- the swaddling-clothes of the Infant Jesus;
- the loin-cloth worn by Christ on the Cross;
- the cloth on which lay the head of St. John the Baptist after his beheading.*
The Chapel of Aachen became a point of controversy in the 20th century, however, for reasons no one could have foreseen during its construction. Its advanced construction—the high rounded arches, the height of the dome—are not seen again until the development of Romanesque architecture in the 11th century. Most historians attribute this to the skill of Odo of Metz. A German art historian, however, thinks it is evidence of one of the greatest conspiracy theories in the history of the world. I'll tell you about it tomorrow.
*These relics are shown every 7 years; next showing is in 2014. Make your travel plans now! (And hope the Lufthansa strike ends soon; right, Lois?)