has guaranted a beautiful Trinity Sunday on Saturday, the 29th May(Jul.)/08th June(Gre.) 1613, the Saturday after Pentecost (Gregorian calendar: 1st Saturday after Trinity Sunday). But many animals are quite strange on this day, others as always, during the day the birds silenced and a nightmarish silence covered the land around the middle course of the Ilm river. Soon after the hour of noon, roll of thunder were coming from afar, which inflated into a thunderstorm, just as the then living people had never before experienced - the later named Thuringian Deluge started. Thick piled clouds darkened the day, lightnings flashed down from all directions, and the thunder roared as if the world were breaking apart. With a mighty force, hailstones as big as hen's eggs fell down from the sky during hailstorms, slew many lifestock, destroyed sowing and a part of the fruit trees, shattering windows and roof shingles.
The severe weather raged from 5 o'clock in the afternoon to least 3 o'clock in the night. About 6 cubic feet of precipitation per square yard fell during this time, the precipitation of 4 average months. A quantity that the clayey loamy soil in the Ilm valley can not even approximately take up. So the water ran from the mountains into the valley, towards the Ilm river. It was so much that everything, that stood in the way, was swept away, whether human, animal or building. Ten Taubachien lost their lives, sixteen houses were torn away by the floods.
The water of the Ilm river rose so intensely in Mellingen, which there is fed by the little river Madel and the Lehnstedt Beck, that it ran across the Magdala Gate until 9 o'clock at night. Mellingen was surrounded by a ring wall at that time, as was customary in other villages too. This wall was not free-standing, back walls of barns, stables etc. were included and served not for the defense, but rather for the protection against undesirables persons. The last village gate in Thuringia stood in Großmölsen and collapsed in a lorry accident on 28th February 1961. In addition to the Magdala Gate, there was at least 4 gates more in Mellingen, two more of this was the Weimar and the Herdsmen Gate.
For comparison: the Ilm river is averaged 27.5 inches (70 cm) deep and the flow rate is about 938.5 gal/s (4¼ m³/s) at the Mellingen water gauging station in our time, at a water level of about 11 feet 6 inches (3.50 m), once the flow rate is about 15400 gal/s (70 m³/s), the water runs over the mill-isle in the center of Mellingen, the first cellars are already under water, see photo on the right. According to historical sources the water level reached about 24 to 28 Saxon feet. A Saxon foot is about 11 inches (28 cm). Therefore the water level reached a height of about 22 feet to 25 feet 8 inches (6.70 m to 7.80 m). Less the 11 feet 6 inches (3.50 m) to the slope edge, this results in a water level of 10 feet 6 inches to 14 feet 2 inches (3.20 m to 4.30 m) in the streets of Mellingens nearby the Ilm river. The height of a village gate can be set at 10 feet to 11 feet 6 inches (3 m to 3.5 m), this fits good together.
It should be passed decades to overcome the consequences of this severe weather.