Leopold Hoesch
Niels Negendank
Nicholas von Brauchitsch
ZDFtheaterkanal / 3sat / ZDFdokukanal
1 x 30'
Lars Roland
Theater Aachen

In the very west of North Rhine-Westphalia, just a few kilometres from the border triangle of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, lies Aachen. The city owes its fame to the hot sulphurous springs that already attracted people 2000 years ago. Charlemagne in particular appreciated the healing waters and built Aachen into the capital of his empire.

Esther Schweins follows in the footsteps of the great past and introduces the Aachen City Theatre, whose history dates back to 1751. Many famous artists started and worked in Aachen, such as Werner Krauß, Karlheinz Stroux, Hans Schalla, Hansjörg Felmy, Jürgen Prochnow. The world-famous director Max Ophüls was engaged as an actor at the Stadttheater Aachen from 1921-1923. Archive recordings with, among others, Herbert von Karajan, whose career began in Aachen in the early 1930s, bear witness to the time.

Paul Esterhazy has been general director of the Aachen Theatre since the 2000/01 season. Under his leadership, the Aachen Theatre has made a name for itself as a venue for world premieres of music theatre.

The film shows the history of Theater Aachen in the old imperial metropolis. The artistic directors Elmar Ottenthal and Paul Esterhazy and the director Uwe Dag Berlin talk about their work and impressions in Aachen. The film also sheds light on the border city's special relationship with its Dutch neighbours and their lively theatre scene. Interviews with a Member of the European Parliament, the Provost of Aachen Cathedral and a historian highlight Aachen's special significance as a European city.

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