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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery Christmas Market

Today was a day of three firsts: a visit to the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, a visit to the Aachen Christmas Market and a private tour of the Aachen Cathedral.

The Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial contains the graves of 7,992 members of the American military who died in World War II. It is one of fourteen cemeteries for American World War II dead on foreign soil, and is administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission. The fifty-seven acre cemetery and memorial is located three kilometers northwest of the Walloon village of Henri-Chapelle, which lies approximately 30 kilometers east of Liège, Belgium on highway N3. Aachen, Germany is about 16 kilometers to the east of Henri-Chapelle on N3. It is one of three American war cemeteries in Belgium: Flanders Field American Cemetery and Memorial (World War I) and Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial (World War II).

The headstones are arranged in gentle arcs sweeping across a broad green lawn that slopes gently downhill.

To the east is the long colonnade that, with the chapel and map room, forms the memorial overlooking the burial area. The chapel is simple, but richly ornamented.

In the map room are two maps of military operations, carved in black granite, with inscriptions recalling the achievements of our forces.

On the rectangular piers of the colonnade are inscribed the names of 450 missing. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. The seals of the states and territories are also carved on these piers.

Aachen Christmas Market

From November 23rd to December 23rd, Aachen’s main Christmas market is concentrated on the large public squares around the cathedral (Dom) and Rathaus in the old town area.

Around 120 stalls sell Christmas related wares ranging from freshly baked waffles to leather ware and wooden toys at the main market.

As with other Christmas markets in Germany, the emphasis is on traditional Christmas decorations, wooden toys, and handmade items. Mass-produced plastic items and low-quality clothes are generally not sold at German Christmas markets – prices are therefore not that cheap but quality and workmanship high.

Twinkling lights and the scent of mulled wine and Aachener Printen (kind of gingerbread) are in the air wherever you go in this area.

He already bit off the ends. Quite a large brat

A friend of the Heinen's selling hot spiced wine. This stand was voted the best of the Christmas market.

Aachen Cathedral, Aachener Dom, traditionally called in English the Cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle, is a Roman Catholic church in Aachen, Germany, and the see of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Aachen.

It is claimed as one of the oldest cathedrals in Europe and was constructed by order of the emperor Charlemagne, who was buried there after his death in 814. For 595 years, from 936 to 1531, the Palatine Chapel, heart of the cathedral, was the church of coronation for thirty-one German kings and twelve queens. The church has been the mother church of the Diocese of Aachen since 1802.

Max and family organized a private tour of the Cathedral. This is quite an honor for us. Our guide was Max's former head of the Cathedral school.

The throne of Charlemagne.

For tonight, I am leaving you with pictures. Descriptions to be written at a later date.

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