The Sack of Magdeburg was the destruction of the Protestant city of Magdeburg on 20 May 1631 by the Imperial Army and the forces of the Catholic League. Also called Magdeburg Wedding or Magdeburg's Sacrifice , the incident is considered the worst massacre of the Thirty Years' War. Magdeburg, then one of the largest cities in Germany and about the size of Cologne or Hamburg, never recovered from the disaster.
The citizens of Magdeburg had turned Protestant already in 1524 and joined the Schmalkaldic League against the religious policies of the Catholic emperor Charles V in 1531. During the Schmalkaldic War of 1546/47, the Lower Saxon city became a refuge for Protestant scholars, which earned it the epithet "Lord's Chancellery" , but also an Imperial ban that lasted until 1562. The citizens openly refused to acknowledge Emperor Charles' Augsburg Interim and were besieged by Imperial troops under Elector Maurice of Saxony in 1550/51.
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