„Fons Padulus“ - The discovery of the site of the Padulus spring in Schloß Neuhaus

Landscape history

Johann Georg Rudolphi, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The engraving „FONS PADULUS“ from the „Monumenta Paderbornensia“ is frequently offered in the art trade. This etching was created after the model by Johann Georg Rudolphi for the second edition of the Monumenta, the main work of the Paderborn Prince-Bishop Ferdinand II von Fürstenberg (officiating 1661-83).The Brakel-born Baroque painter Rudolphi (1633-93)[1] had also created the much better-known bird’s-eye view of the castle for the magnificent edition of the „Paderbornische Denkmäler“ („Paderborn Monuments“) published in Amsterdam in 1672. The fact that little attention is paid to the etching of the Padulus spring may be due to the fact that the location of the „source of the Kleine Pader“, as the translation of the Latin title reads, has not yet been found in Neuhaus Palace. Today’s Padulus spring in the backyard of the Manegold house on the corner of Bielefelder Straße and Kaiser-Heinrich-Straße was tapped in 1915 through a 192-metre-deep borehole. It took its name from the original spring.

Johann Georg Rudolphi, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Johann Georg Rudolphi, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The „Padulus-Sprudel“ (Padulus fountain) of the 20th century

An analysis of the water by Dr. W. Lohmann, Berlin, showed a mineral composition comparable to the water of the important healing springs in Bad Ems and Bad Kissingen. The historical healing Padulus spring was remembered and the new spring was named „Padulus-Sprudel“. The Cafe Manegold became the „Kurhaus Padulus-Sprudel“, in the annex of which bathing facilities were created. Healing successes were reported for nervous lack of appetite, stomach and intestinal disorders as well as kidney ailments. One application strengthened resistance to colds and stimulated digestion. The water was also bottled, labelled and sold as Padulus sparkling water. The instructions for use recommended drinking: „A quarter of a litre of Padulus-Sprudel in the morning, at noon and in the evening“. In the 1920s, the spa administration in Lippspringe received a truckload of demijohns twice a week to cover its mineral water needs. At that time there were even plans to lay a water pipeline to Lippspringe. But those days are long gone. Today, the spring is hardly known and only a few old people from Neuhaus bother to drink the healing spring water from the locked backyard on Kaiser-Heinrich-Straße, which still has the same analytical values today as it did in 1915.

14. May 1976

18. May 198220. April 198907. April 200019. July 2000


























Total3758 mg/l4094 mg/l

4858,754 mg/l

5424,855 mg/l

4965,313 mg/l

Analyses by the „Geologisches Landeamt NRW“, quoted from: Müller, Gerhard: Mineralquellen und Heilbäder im Paderborner Land. Geowissenschaftliche und kulturgeschichtliche Aspekte (=Heimatkundliche Schriftenreihe, Vol. 31), Paderborn 2000, p. 43.

The original Pader spring of the 17th century

The copper engraving shows a river running diagonally through the picture, with lush bushes along its banks. In the foreground women are busy spreading out laundry to dry or bleach on a meadow. Behind them, a wooden footbridge with five pairs of supports leads into the river. Two men are walking towards each other on the footbridge. In front of a bushy background the spring basin of the Padulus spring is depicted with the inscription plaque which is still preserved today. In the right background a high half-timbered building can be seen. Three gables of a row of houses adjoin the right edge of the picture.

Old bottle label „Padulus-Sprudel“
Old bottle label „Padulus-Sprudel“, from: Santel, Gregor G.: „Die Padulus-Quelle soll für alle sprudeln.“, in: Die Residenz, Folge 85, p. 7.

The German translation of the Monumenta by F. J. Micus gives us a clue to the location and tells us about the importance of the source [2].

„In the last century, there was a small spring in front of Neuhaus near the so-called Nepomuzener Brücke (Nepomuzen Bridge), which is said to have served well in hot fevers; at least the famous Ferdinand von Fürstenberg was convinced of the healing effect of this water, who gave this well a marble surround and the following inscription [3].

Sacred to the memory.

Padulus spring I am; my water shines brightly like silver;

More pure than amber, colder than stiff ice.

Once scarcely known to the herd, now in the feverish heat

Now, in the heat of the fever, the cooling spring refreshes Ferdinand’s thirsty mouth.

In remembrance of it, the prince encased the spring with marble,

Where he enjoyed refreshment, thanking with a meaningful saying.

Neither Kastalias’ spring, O wanderer, oppose me,

Nor the wave named after the horse of Bellerophon;

For it breathes enthusiasm into the eyes of knowledgeable seers,

My refreshing water soothes and heals the pain.

Ferdinand, by the grace of God and the Apostolic See, Bishop of Paderborn,

Coadjutor of Münster, Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, Count of Pyrmont and

Baron of Fürstenberg, has been restored in the fever heat by the waters of the Padulus spring in the year 1665 was restored.“

Memorial stone of the „Padulusquelle“ with dedication by Paderborn Prince Bishop Ferdinand von Fürstenberg, 1665 (Photo M. Ströhmer 2019)
Memorial stone of the „Padulusquelle“ with dedication by Paderborn Prince Bishop Ferdinand von Fürstenberg, 1665 (Photo M. Ströhmer 2019)

The „Nepomuzener Brücke“ mentioned here can be clearly identified as the bridge of Schloßstraße over the so-called „Wasserkunstpader“ (waterworks Pader), which is still adorned by St. Nepomuk today. The preposition „near“ however, does not allow an exact determination of the location. Franz Joseph Micus reports in 1844 in his book „Denkmale des Landes Paderborn“, with the text of the „Monumenta Paderbornensia“ translated into German, in a footnote: „The stone with the original inscription is still present in the garden of Mr. Postexpediteur [postal forwarding agent] Scherpel at Neuhaus.“ The Scherpel estate corresponds to the present-day site of the „Neuhäuser Mühlenwerke“ (Neuhaus mill works) to the north-east of Schloßstraße between the arms of the Mühlenpader and the Wasserkunstpader. Presumably after the Scherpel house became the property of the Neuhäuser Mühlenwerke in 1940, the stone with the inscription was set into the courtyard wall facing Schloßstraße.

Looking at Rudolphi’s engraving, one could assume that the river depicted is the Wasserkunstpader and that the Padulus spring was therefore located on the farm of the Neuhauser Mühlenwerke. Doubts arise, however, when one thinks about the buildings depicted in the background, for there were no buildings in this area beyond the Pader.

The mirror image of the copper engraving „Fons Padulus“
The mirror image of the copper engraving „Fons Padulus“, adaptation: Gregor G. Santel

Let us now consider the work of the Haarlem-based copperplate engraver Romeyn de Hooghe (1645-1708), who produced the engravings for the Monumenta. He had received the original created by Johann Georg Rudolphi. His task was to cut the image laterally reversed into the hard metal. The mirror-image conversion was laborious and so one often finds engravings in side-inverted representation. Let us assume that Romeyn de Hooghe attached little importance to the surroundings of the Padulus source and engraved the original into the copper without reversing the sides. To get back to the correct representation according to the original, one has to take the trouble to look at the engraving in the mirror or to reverse the sides with technical aids. The illustration above this section shows the engraving „Fons Padulus“ with the sides reversed.

The following discussion of this figure is to be additionally supported by a map. Since no sufficiently accurate map material from the 17th century is available for this area, sections of maps from the original cadastre of the municipality of Neuhaus from 1829 were pieced together and freed of information that is not relevant to the discussion [4]. The river running diagonally through the picture is the Wasserkunstpader. The viewer’s location is now outside the village of Neuhaus. The doubts that arose when looking at the original engraving with regard to the building no longer arise. It can be assumed without hesitation that the buildings are predecessors of the outbuildings marked in the courtyard area of the „Hauptmann von der Lippe“ (Captain von der Lippe). The Hauptmann von der Lippe had been the owner of the area between the arms of the Pader since 1803 [5]. In 1840, the Postexpediteur Scherpel acquired the property.

Location plan of the Padulus spring
Location plan of the Padulus spring, developed from the original cadastre of 1829. The dot „x“ indicates the location of J. G. Rudolphi when drawing the engraving. Graphic: Gregor G. Santel

The Padulus spring was therefore located southeast of the Pader, outside the boundaries of the town of Neuhaus. Now one can also agree with the text from the Monumenta, where the location of the spring is mentioned as „before Neuhaus near the so-called Nepomuzener Brücke“. The location of the painter Rudolphi when he drew the model was probably the point marked with „x“ on the map at the edge of the road to Paderborn. The depiction of the spring basin and the knowledge of the location now allow the conclusion that the spring was located about 20 metres from the Schloßstraße in the river meadow. The spring basin had a diameter of 1.50 metres. This measurement can be taken from the inscription tablet made of sandstone that is still preserved today. It measures 1.55 metres in width and 1.35 metres in height.

The footbridge, which stands in the water with two pairs of supports, probably had a distance of 15 metres from the road. It did not lead across the Pader but only about three metres into the river, which was 10 metres wide at this point. One can only speculate about its significance. It probably did not serve the women in the foreground who were doing their laundry, as the people depicted on it have no connection with them. The gentlemen walking towards each other on the footbridge make a well-heeled impression and so the author gets the idea that the footbridge was a landing stage for boats transporting people on the Pader. We find a clue to this in the diaries of Kaspar von Fürstenberg (1545-1618), brother of the Prince Bishop of Paderborn, Theodor von Fürstenberg (1585-1618). He noted on 14 April 1589 [6]: „The invited guests arrive and live in joy and pleasure, their princely graces sail with them in the new ship up the river Pader to Paderborn and back down again“. The bank on both sides of the footbridge was freely accessible. The stakes stuck in the ground here probably served to moor the ships.

The shape and location of the land in the original cadastre allows further conclusions to be drawn. When dividing up the land in this area, special consideration was given to the spring property. The adjoining plots to the south do not go right up to the Pader, as is usual elsewhere. Access from the road is possible in its full width without obstacles. The road to Paderborn otherwise has a steeply sloping embankment to the adjacent properties.

Castle Neuhaus, marble enclosure of the „Padulusquelle“ (Padulus spring), parchment drawing by J. C. Schlaun, 1719 (Residenzmuseum Schloss Neuhaus, photo and editing M. Ströhmer 2019)
Detail from the drawing of the Neuhaus residence by Johann Conrad Schlaun with the rear view of the Padulus spring. Photo: Paderborn Cultural Office, Ms Gorny

With these new findings regarding the location of the Padulus spring, all Neuhaus views were considered. The second oldest pictorial representation of the Padulus spring was then discovered in a drawing by Johann Conrad Schlaun (1695-1773) from 1719. Schlaun had dedicated this drawing to Prince-Bishop Clemens August von Bayern on his inauguration [7]. In the caption [8] he noted in his own hand: „Neuhaus residence a true and most accurate drawing, showing the same view from the eastern side, humbly presented, drawn with the reed pen“. A section of the left edge of this drawing shows us the Nepomuk Bridge and on the left in front of it, on the bank of the Wasserkunstpader, the Padulus spring in reverse view [9].

"Neuhusium splendium", drawing from the „Pyrach'sche Handschrift“
„Neuhusium splendium“, drawing from the „Pyrach'sche Handschrift“ (Pyrach manuscript) of 1737. Photo: Reproduktion Trapp

Another depiction of the Padulus spring can be found in a view of Neuhaus in the „Pyrach’sche Handschrift“ (Pyrach’s manuscript) from 1737. This hitherto little-known view of Schloss Neuhaus [10] shows the town from the east, albeit from a slightly more southerly vantage point and at a greater distance than in Schlaun’s view. On this very small drawing, 7.7 by 13.2 cm, many things are shown in a simplified way. Below the Nepomukbrücke, however, one can clearly recognise the Padulus spring in the side view. The spring basin with the inscription stone is freely accessible from the road leading to Paderborn, as it was also visible on the map of the original cadastre. If one assumes that the relation of the length of the waterworks lane from the bridge to the bend to the north and the distance of the spring from the road are approximately correct and compares these with the measurements of the original cadastre, the distance of the Padulus spring from the road assumed above of 20 metres is confirmed.

Finally, the question remains open as to when the Padulus spring was abandoned. The last evidence of its location at the Nepomukbrücke is documented for the year 1737 with the drawing by Pyrach. The spring is no longer marked on the maps of the original cadastre of 1829. Since the spring basin with the inscription stone was prince-bishop property, it can be assumed that after secularisation the site was sold to Hauptmann von der Lippe, who was fond of architectural art, and he installed the stones in his garden. On the spring property, which has been part of the Benteler company premises for some years, there is no longer any evidence of the Padulus spring.

Attempt at a graphic reconstruction of the „Fons Padulus“
Attempt at a graphic reconstruction of the „Fons Padulus“, editing and photo: Gregor G. Santel

[1] Dirk Strohmann, Johann Georg Rudolphi 1633-1693, Das druckgraphische Werk, Paderborn 1981.

[2] Excerpt from: Jos. Middeke, Bild der Heimat in: Die Residenz, Heft 27, April 1967. Presumably, Middeke used the edition of 1713 or 1714.

[3] The inscription is reproduced in the translation by Franz Joseph Micus from his book: Denkmale des Landes Paderborn, Paderborn 1844.

[4] Excerpts from the outline, cadastral maps 4 and 5. For the provision of copies of the maps, our sincere thanks go to Mr Heinz Schäfers of the land registry office of the district of Paderborn.

[5] Michael Pavlicic/Elisabeth von Kanne/Josef Leiwen, Hausinschriften an Fachwerkhäusern im Kirchspiel Neuhaus, Paderborn 1986, Objekt Nr. 25.

[6] Alfred Bruns, Die Tagebücher Kaspars von Fürstenberg, Teil 1: 1572-1599, Teil 2: 1600-1610, Münster 1985.

[7] Drawing on parchment, collection of the Verein für Geschichte und Altertumskunde Westfalens, Abteilung Paderborn, last preserved in the Museum für Stadtgeschichte, Paderborn Facsimile printing: Die Residenz Neuhaus der Paderborner Fürstbischöfe, Paderborn 1978.

[8] Translation of the texts on the facsimile print by Dr Volker Werb.

[9] We would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of the Kulturamt, Dr. Graen and Ms. Gorny, for the opportunity to view the original drawing and for preparing the photo cut-out.

[10] First published in: Helmar Lange, Das Residenzschloß Neuhaus bei Paderborn, eine bau- und kunstgeschichtliche Betrachtung, Inauguraldissertation Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 1978. The illustration „‘Neuhusium splendium‘, drawing from the ‚Pyrach’sche Handschrift‘ (Pyrach manuscript) of 1737. Photo: Reproduktion Trapp“ is a reproduction from the dissertation.

Learn more about the landscape history of the pader

Download essay

The text opposite is a composite of two essays by the local historian Gregor G. Santel. The original titles of the essays are: „'Fons Padulus'. Die Entdeckung des Ortes der Padulus-Quelle in Schloß Neuhaus, in: Die Warte, Nr. 82 (1994), p. 39-45“ and „‘Die Padulus-Quelle soll für alle sprudeln‘, in: Die Residenz, Vol. 85, p. 5-11." Should you have further interest in the Padulus spring, we recommend downloading the complete essays (PDF file).

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