Charlemagne (747–814) ruled over the largest empire in western Europe since the height of the Roman Empire. He was crowned Emperor in Rome but he made Aachen (Germany) the centre of his empire.
Charlemagne’s reign saw renewed interest in Roman art and ideas and many of the greatest scholars and artists of the age came to his palace at Aachen.
This film focuses on one of the greatest treasures in the V&A’s early medieval collections: five ivory panels which formed the front cover of a magnificent book known as the Lorsch Gospels. The ivory panels were carved around 810 at Aachen. The Lorsch Gospel book was given to Lorsch Abbey. Charlemagne’s palace chapel at Aachen still survives, as does the Carolingian gatehouse of Lorsch Abbey.