[Roman Catholic]The abbey, founded in AD 997 was dedicated to St. Nicholas and Apollinaris. Abbey buildings were built adjacent to the St. Nikolaus Chapel, located on the site of the present rectory. The chapel is believed to be the first dedicated to St. Nicholas in the the Rhineland. In 1016/18 the abbey dedication was changed to St. John the Baptist and St. Nicholas.
There are several legends about the origin of the icon. It is now believed to have come to Aachen as an imported icon in 1220 or earlier.