The Palatine Chapel
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Architect unknown
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Location Aachen, Germany   map
Date 796 to 814   timeline
Building Type church
 Construction System cut stone masonry
Climate temperate
Style Early Christian, Byzantine
Notes Centralized plan, polychromatic arches. Built for Charlemagne.




Plan Drawing

Elevation Drawing

Plan Drawing

Section Drawing

Section Drawing

Elevation Drawing

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Discussion The Palatine Chapel Commentary

"The Palatine Chapel, built about 796-805 at Charlemagne's palace in Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), is the preeminent surviving Carolingian structure. A domed, double-shelled, two-storied octagon, it presents a type reminiscent of Early Christian and Byzantine architecture. Indeed, it is generally accepted that the Palatine Chapel was modeled closely after S. Vitale in Ravenna and was perceived as an antique revival."

"The main entrance to the Palatine Chapel is a large structure adjoining the west side. A square mass of stone containing narthex chambers corresponding to the two levels of the chapel rises between twin cylindrical towers and is fronted by a huge entrance niche."

— Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture: from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. p186-87.

Sources on The Palatine Chapel

Werner Blaser and Monica Stucky. Drawings of Great Buildings. Boston: Birkhauser Verlag, 1983. ISBN 3-7643-1522-9. LC 83-15831. NA2706.U6D72 1983. plan and section drawings, p53. — Available at

Henry A. Millon, ed. Key Monuments of the History of Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1964. photo of facade from the west, p197.

Michael Raeburn, ed. Architecture of the Western World. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1980. color photo of interior, p92. bottom left of the page.

Dennis Sharp, ed. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Whitney Library of Design, an imprint of Watson-Guptil Publications, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. interior photo, p185.

Henri Stierlin. Comprendre l'Architecture Universelle 1. Paris: Office du Livre S.A. Fribourg (Suisse), 1977. north elevation drawing, p135. west elevation drawing, p135. longitudinal section drawing, p135. transverse section drawing, p135. plan drawing of ground floor, p134. plan drawing of first floor, p134.

Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture, from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986. ISBN 0-13-044702-1. NA200.T7. discussion p186-87. — Available at

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about The Palatine Chapel


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