The city of Aachen has a particular relation to water. Its name is said to originate from the Old Germanic word Ahha, which means water. When the Romans settled to found the city they soon utilized the hot sulfurous springs and established thermal baths. In the Middle Ages, Aachen gained particular importance as historical residence of Emperor Charlemagne. His throne in the Romanesque cathedral is recognised as UNESCO world heritage and still forms the heart of the old city, together with the Gothic town hall.
Today, Aachen is also a city of sciences. RWTH Aachen University belongs to the German Universities' Excellence Initiative and is internationally reknown for its high quality teaching and research activities in the field of engineering sciences. Against this background, the city offers a perfect location for international scientific discussions and research meetings. Aachen is the westernmost city of Germany, bordering the Netherlands and Belgium. The city is conveniently accessible from all directions by car and railway. Major airports in the vicinity are Cologne and Düsseldorf but also Frankfurt and Brussels are within reach by fast trains.