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ROTHENBURG CITIZENS RE-ENACTING, AT ONE OF THE CITY GATES, A SCENE DURING THE SIEGE IN 1631
During the Thirty Years' War Rothenburg was invested by the Imperial army under Marshal Tilly. The citizens walled up their gates and believed they could hold the city until the Swedish army, under the great Gustavus Adolphus, should come to raise the siege. However, a powder magazine blew up, making a great breach in the wall through which the besiegers poured into the city.
Burgomaster Nusch achieved the almost impossible feat of draining the Pokal at a draught, and not only were the councilmen saved but Rothenburg was spared the sack that often followed the capture of a city in medieval days. The free-lancers of the victorious Imperial army celebrated their victory outside the walls, and each Whitsuntide participants in the city pageant commemorate the occasion in this same way.
This was one of Rothenburg's principal sources of water during its historic siege and is located in the courtyard behind the old Rathaus or Town Hall. One of the free-lance soldiers of the Imperial army is flirting with two of the Rothenburg girls, who have come to draw water. On the left is the keeper of the city wine cellar, who is about to intrude on the party.