FHU Abroad

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Aachen, Germany (Day 2)

Sep. 12, 2017

Our very first group travel day was everything we hoped it be. Only a 30-minute train ride and we were in a whole new country—Germany!

Students waiting for their train

Not really exactly what to expect, we set out from the train station—and we were all in awe. All of the buildings were built right alongside each other, and we could have admired the architectural details for days. Beautiful, vibrant flowers hung from every lamp post and terrace. We began the day by visiting the original city gate, which is now about a third of the way into the modern city. Then we walked to the palace of Charlemagne the Great, whom most of us had only heard tidbits about in sixth grade history classes. Our little minds that barely cared to absorb the history back then were now standing and staring at the real deal. It made everything feel more relevant, and it made me appreciate and want to further my knowledge not only of the history of Charlemagne and his time, but of all the history that I only skimmed through in the past.

And when we thought that there was nothing more grand to see, we were brought to the most exquisite cathedral I have ever seen. As we entered through the colossal wooden doors, all eyes were glued to the ceiling. It sparkled with millions of gold and silver tiles, creating scenes of Jesus and the disciples. Directly above the assembly space and altar hung a large crown-shaped chandelier that was given to the church as a gift. My absolute favorite feature, however, was in the back of the cathedral. Set in the back wall was the biggest stain glass window I'd every laid eyes on. It was illuminated with sunlight that passed through all the different colors of glass, and it depicted images of Jesus, angels, and other biblical scenes.

Charlemagne's cathedral in Aachen

Stained glass in Aachen cathedral

What amazed me about the stained glass was that the artist(s) must have spent endless hours and effort into its creation, and it put into perspective just how powerful our God is – to motivate people to want to build such magnificent art, all for His glory.

The rest of the day we spent exploring the special city of Aachen. A small group of us ended up finding gelato and soaking up the Aachen ambiance on a bench near some local musicians. After a couple hours of window shopping and scenery gazing, we jumped on the 8:04 train back to our Verviers home.

- Alexa Sherman, Sophomore

Photos by Amelia Beames, Sophomore