Unknown painter: the bombardment of Alsfeld (detail)
The inscription reads: "Daß Schiflein war sehr hart betrengt Doch ist es Gott Lob onversenkt"

Alsfeld devastated!Alsfeld is shelled, conquered and looted

During the 30 Years War and especially during the so-called “Hessian War”, the town of Alsfeld experienced the worst hours of its history: from September 30 to October 5, 1646, the town was besieged and shelled and finally had to surrender after no more ammunition was available and the enemy had entered the town through breaches in the town wall.

The war resulted in the destruction of 76 houses and 54 barns, all of which were burned down. In addition, 150 houses and 26 barns were demolished. This means that with a total of 306 (another source even mentions 400) destroyed buildings, about half of the entire stock had been destroyed!

At the last population census in 1574, just under 3,000 inhabitants lived in Alsfeld, in 1648 after the war only 1,120. The once important medieval town on the trade route through the “Short Hessians” was never to really recover from these losses.

It lost touch and became an insignificant small farming town, which only regained its former population after more than 150 years; in 1803, it exceeded 3,000 again for the first time. MNic