Station: [108] Market Pump / Pump Community / Gothic House

The pump communities still exist in Xanten today. The importance of these pumps is amply demonstrated by the wealth of historical documents reporting fires, which were put out with water from the nearby pumps and the kindness and help of neighbours. Of course, the practical and necessary pump installations are also regarded as social centres. A modern work of art in front of the Cleves Gate illustrates such a scene: Washerwomen who, carrying home their buckets of water with the aid of yokes, can still find time to stop for an entertaining little chat. In 1789, Xanten still had more than 160 private water pumps. One of these is the stone market pump before you, which was erected in 1736. To this day, the pump communities still play a social role in maintaining contact between neighbours and are enhanced by festivals organised by local residents. Some of the most important events are the annual pump fairs organised by the respective local pump communities. Many of the pumps had their own names: For example: the Golden Pump on Mars Street, the Butter Pump in the former Butter Market, the Duck Pump in the Duck Market and the Chicken Pump outside the City Hall. The “Spülsteg” Pump was also called the “Erte-Pomp" or Pea Pump, since its water was particularly good for soaking dried peas. Behind you stands the "Gothic House“. This late-Gothic 16th Century building is a masterpiece on the Xanten market square, primarily due to its façade of brick, tuff stone and glass, and the pinnacles crowning its stepped gable which are visible from afar. [Emphasise] The tuff stone comes from the ruins of the old Roman town of Colonia Ulpia Traiana. The wood of the roof truss is still original and was felled in the winter of 1539/1540 in the Reichwald or Imperial Forest.