A central religious and political activity in The Middle Ages, a Coronation was the installation of a new King, Queen or other important “Royal” person. Many of Europe's traditions involving the ceremony actually arose from Germany. With the advent of Christianity as the predominant religion, Coronations also cemented both the “secular” to the “religious” Authority. Seen as a union of power, The Church took enormous efforts to provide a formal “spectacle”. In early Germany, (those former Provinces of Western Rome) – the “Imperial” traditions of installing an Official were duplicated, incorporating then Paganism into the “ritual”. After their installment, German Kings were commonly taken around on their War Shields – so all could see them. They carried their sword or spear as their symbol of Rulership. In fact, the use of a “ceremonial” weapon as a symbol of Coronation (and later usage in Knighthood) – would continue (and still does) today.
A Crown (of gold, silver or related precious metal and jewel), was used to symbolize The Kings power and status. This would also be incorporated in The Church (when a new Pope was installed, as well). For many centuries most of Europe “crowned” their Rulers on Christmas Day (or at least very shortly after The New Year). This was symbolic with Christ (as King). Often, special locations were selected for Coronations due to cultural or religious significance.