Nördlingen (nörtˈlĭngən) [key], city (1994 pop. 19,615), Bavaria, S central Germany. It is a manufacturing center and a rail junction, with industries in paper, clothing, and precision instruments. The city is home to an annual horse race, the oldest in Germany. Historically a Swabian town, Nördlingen was founded in the 9th cent. and became a free imperial city c.1217. In the Thirty Years War an imperial army under Gallas defeated (1634) troops at Nördlingen led by Duke Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar; the victory by the imperial side was a major reason for France's entry into the war in 1635. In 1645 the town was the scene of a German defeat at the hands of French troops under Condé. It passed to Bavaria in 1803. The picturesque town retains its walls (14th–16th cent.), a town hall (14th cent.), the late-Gothic Church of St. George (1427–1505), and numerous 16th- and 17th-century houses.