Aachen is a spa and border city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Aachen developed from a Roman settlement and spa, subsequently becoming the preferred medieval Imperial residence of Charlemagne, and, from 936 to 1531, the place where 31 Holy Roman Emperors were crowned Kings of the Germans.
Aachen is the westernmost city in Germany, located near the borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, 61 km (38 mi) west south west of Cologne in a former coal-mining area. One of Germany’s leading institutes of higher education in technology, the RWTH Aachen University is located in the city. Aachen’s industries include science, engineering and information technology. In 2009, Aachen was ranked eighth among cities in Germany for innovation.