Constructed mid of the 13th century, the Grashaus was the first town hall of Aachen.
Some years earlier Aachen got its first municipal councillor, so it seemed just reasonable to elevate the town by adding a dedicated building to reflect the free imperial city status.
However, it soon became clear that the building wasn't large and pompous enough and when the today's town hall was built in the 14th century, the Grashaus was used as a justice and also as a prison and dungeon. Public executions (beheadings) were performed here as well.
After the big city fire in 1656, which also hit the Grashaus very hard, it was restored and still used as a prison until 1802.
Once the French occupation ended in 1811, the Grashaus had no dedicated purpose anymore and dilapidated. At the end of the 19th century, the ruin was restored (only the front side could be preserved) and turned into the city archive (until 2012).
Fun & Interesting
The name most likely comes from the time when grass surrounded the house (Grashaus = Grass House) on which the executions took place (but also fairs).
Today, it houses (amongst others) the 'Karlspreisstiftung' (Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize of the City of Aachen), a prize many famous people already have been awarded, like the incumbent President of France Emmanuel Macron or Pope Franziskus in 2016.
If you want to get a tour through the inside, it is possible but needs to be requested and I don't know the prices.
The Grashaus is conveniently situated 100 meters away from the Cathedral. Also because of its historic importance, it's a must-see when visiting Aachen.
Type of activities
For Peace SeekersFor FamiliesFor CouplesFor Solo Travelers