25.12.

800: How did the Pope Crown Charlemagne “by Surprise”? 

800: How did the Pope Crown Charlemagne “by Surprise”? 

The story goes that, on that Christmas Day, Charles came to Saint Peter’s Basilica to attend Mass, without any intention to be crowned. Pope Leo III suddenly put the crown on his head and proclaimed him emperor.

On Christmas Day in 800, Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the restored Roman Empire in Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. To recall, the Western Roman Empire fell in 476, and by this act it was renewed after 324 years. The story goes that, on that Christmas Day, Charles came to Saint Peter’s Basilica to attend Mass, without any intention to be crowned. Pope Leo III suddenly put the crown on his head and proclaimed him emperor.  At that everyone, including the pope, bowed to him. Charles was surprised, and he later declared that he would not set foot in the Church that day that, even though it was Christmas, if he only knew what had awaited him. The restored empire lasted until 1806, more than 1000 years.

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