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Aula regia

Aula regia Aula regia | © 

After archaeological investigations in 1889, 1909, 1965 and 1994 -1998, the rest of the palace aula was conserved and permanently exposed to view. Just behind the entrance stairs lead down to the historical floor level. The glass cases, monitors and display boards on the visitors‘ stage offer further information about the history of the Aula regia. It is also here that the digital reconstruction of the 16.5 metres wide and 40.5 metres long building can be accessed.

The Aula regia is a large, rectangular single-nave building with portals on the east and west sides, with the main entrance on the north side where a narthex had been. On the opposite end of the hall there are impressive remains of walls of the throne apse, the floor of which is 0.75 metres higher and reachable over three steps. Of the precious furnishings 3,000 fragments of painted plaster from the walls have been discovered, as well as marble and porphyry floor slabs, which once were part of a geometrically shaped and decorative floor (Opus sectile), which are now in the museum. Over the left quoin of the apse a springer can be seen in its original position, which formed the base of a triumph arch above the apse. This element has made it possible to reconstruct the height of the Aula regia, which was about 13 metres high at the gutter and 19 metres high at the height of the ridge.

The throne hall in Ingelheim is in the tradition of antique and late antique palatial aula, such as the Constantine Basilica in Trier, which is one of the largest and most completely conserved examples of its type. In so far the Aula regia is related to the Aula at the Pfalz in Aachen, which was also built before 800. But it differs significantly from the simple rectangular halls typical of that time, such as the one in Frankfurt am Main or the Pfalz castle in Paderborn. Just as the shape and size of the Pfalz area as a whole reflect the significant influence of the palace and villa architecture on Charlemagne‘ s building plan, so does the Aula regia. There is no source which describes the events in the Aula regia or its use. It is, however, probably that the days at court, the imperial assemblies and recorded meetings of the sovereigns took place under its roof.

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