Germany // Northern Bavaria: Franconia //

So, G’sell, so – the treachery of the Nördlingen town guards

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Every half-hour between 10pm and midnight the tower watchman atop the Daniel issues the traditional cry “So G’sell, so” (roughly “ah, so that’s how it is, lads”). The “official” explanation for this strange custom is that one evening in 1440 the town guards left the town gate open, having been bribed by Count Hans of Oettingen, who wanted to storm the town. Their treachery was discovered by a woman passing the Löpsinger Gate; her appalled reaction is echoed to this day in the watchman’s cry. It’s not certain how accurate the story is, but it is a matter of record that two guards were charged with treason that year and executed.

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