Charlemagne (April 2, 742 – January 28, 814). He was born in Aachen, the westernmost city of Germany, located in the border area with Belgium and the Netherlands. Son of King Pepin the Short, that assumed the power of the kingdom in the year 751 after winning to the last king Merovingian, and grandson of Charles Martel. Charle was a very tall man, who surpassed in height the men of his region, a fact that deserved him to be named Charle the Great.
It passed the year 768 when his father died, at that time king of the Franks, and divided the kingdom between his two sons: Charles and Carloman. The latter died suddenly in 771 when he was still young. It was then the future Charlemagne, who inherited and had to rebuild the kingdom of the Franks. On Christmas of the year, 800 Charlemagne received the imperial crown given by Pope Leo III. With this coronation the Carolingian Empire was born. Basically, it was a restoration to the Western Roman Empire, disappeared in the year 476. Its geographical extension included France, Switzerland, Austria, Holland and Luxembourg, Belgium and most of Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Croatia. For this reason, Charlemagne is recognized as the father of Europe.
His ultimate wish was to gather under his crown all the countries of Western Europe and rebuild the ancient Roman Empire under the title of Holy Roman-Germanic Empire. He undertook a series of campaigns against the Lombards in Italy; against the Saxons and Bavarians, in Germany, and against the Arabs, in Spain. He did not manage to include the Iberian Peninsula to his extensive kingdom, after losing the battle of Roncesvalles (778), carried out in the Navarrese Pyrenees, so he had to content himself with establishing a border mark to the south of the Pyrenees, to protect the Frankish kingdom of the incursions of the Muslims. Pope Adrian I trusting in the abilities of Carlomagno asked the help of this one to fight against Desiderio. In Rome, he reaffirmed the promise to protect the Papal lands. He embarked on a campaign, which took 30 years, to conquer and Christianize the Roman population. At the fall of Rome, he created a great empire. During his reign, Europe enjoyed a time of peace and unity never before seen.
“The dream of those who are awake is hope.” Charlemagne
In the empire rising, changes and continuations in all spheres of society, to better exemplify, the practice of Christianity, law, order, and culture were fostered; activity in the branches of administration and government proved very effective. There was an impulse in the minting of coins, he founded schools and he cared for the instruction of the young people of the empire, he encouraged the creation of libraries, he launched laws of intervention to solve religious disputes. Among his vital cultural impulses, it is necessary to transcribe the creation of the Palatine School of Aachen. As for the administration of the Empire, it was entrusted to hundreds of royal administrators with the title of counts and issued hundreds of decrees, dealing with a wide range of issues, from juridical and military issues to issues related to monasteries, education, and management of domains.
The Empire did not expand after 800. In fact, already in the decade of the 790 the coastal coasts and valleys suffered the first and fearsome incursions of the Vikings. The Viking invasions ravaged Europe with its light craft. The tactic consisted of establishing themselves in some places of the coast, from where they traced the course of the rivers to progress towards the interior. Then, they left their boats to extend their raids converted into riders.
In 814, Charlemagne appointed his successor the only remaining son, Ludovico Pio. His favorite residence was the palace of Aachen, he resided and governed there from 794 until his death. In his palace, he gathered scholars from all over Europe, the most famous of whom was the English clergyman Alcuin of York, whom he placed in charge of the Palatine school. This sumptuous residential complex deteriorated over the centuries, but the Palatine Chapel, the nucleus of Aachen’s cathedral, where the emperor was buried, is still preserved. In the 12th century, his bones were deposited in the so-called tabernacle of Charlemagne, exhibited in the same cathedral.
“My armies will be the trees and animals of the forests and the birds of the sky.” Charlemagne
On January 28, 814 Charles I the Great, better known as Charlemagne, king of the Franks and emperor of the West, died at his residence in Aachen, in western Germany. With his death there was the disintegration of this great kingdom, the Empire was divided among his three sons; but the death of two of them delayed the segmentation until the moment when the only surviving successor, Ludovico Pio, died. Unfortunately, the heir did not possess the character and genius of Charlemagne for what the empire faced serious crises that generated its fragmentation. Decades later the empire was recovered by great for what the empire faced serious crises that generated its fragmentation. Decades later the empire was recovered Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor.