This was or is probably the most famous Drees - as the people of the Eifel call their mineral springs - in the Gerolsteiner Land, even though mineral water no longer bubbles here today. The Kyll valley has one of its narrowest points here, the Kyll itself is only a few meters wide. Since the Devonian limestone and dolomite rocks in the subsoil are strongly fissured and karstified, there were and are sufficient transport and ascent routes for the mineral water.
The source and its history
So it is not for nothing that the Sidinger Drees is such a special place. During earlier excavations, a stone axe is said to have been found here. Thus, the Sidinger Drees would be a source area used and revered since at least the Celtic period, because such important utensils as a stone axe were only sacrificed to the powerful source gods at that time. For centuries, the Romans and "Romanized" Celts then settled the Kyll valley. An important manor house was the villa Sarabodis, situated on the opposite side of the Kyll, with a bathhouse and hot water heating. The Romans and Romanized Celts had carefully built their villa there. It was situated exactly opposite a bubbling healing spring, the Sidinger Drees. The Roman rulers used the Drees as a healing, bathing and drinking spring. They showed their devotion to the gods and nymphs of the spring by throwing coins into the well, perhaps in the hope of or in gratitude for the healing of festering wounds and oppressive bowels. During excavation work, hundreds of Roman coins were found, mostly from the time of Emperor Maximinius (235 - 238 AD), as well as votive gurus and other cult objects.
In 1723, the water of the Sidinger Drees was praised as "relieving the congestion of the liver, gall bladder and intestines, and strengthening the stomach and all the intestines". Promptly, Count Franz Georg von Manderscheid-Blankenheim had the spring re-filled and the "highly praised" water filled into jugs with his coat of arms. Via his Cologne branch he distributed the water as far as Holland. The Sidinger Drees is therefore rightly regarded as the original source of the local mineral water industry. In 1890, the Sidinger Drees became the property of the town of Gerolstein, but by then it had finally dried up. Several attempts were later made to find and capture the spring, but in vain. Today, the former Sidinger Drees is adorned by a pavement with a fountain modeled after the Roman one. When pausing at the site, one should be well aware that the most important geological and geographical units of the Gerolstein region are recorded here in a very small area: Dolomites and limestones of the Middle Devonian, young quaternary Eifel basalts, Gerolsteiner mineral water and the young breakthrough valley of the Kyll.
The spring and its subsoil
The mineral water of the Sidinger Drees was a calcium-magnesium-hydrogen carbonate acidulous water. Calcium and magnesium came from the carbonate rocks, and the carbon dioxide contained in the water - the carbonic acid, as the popular saying goes - was partly of volcanic origin. Old writings report that in 1874 there was a very strong bubbling of the spring, and at the same time there was said to be a smell of sulfur in the crater of the Papenkaule, which lies barely 1 km to the northeast. If you look to the north across the Kyll and the railroad line, you can see the forehead of the Sarresdorf lava flow, which burst out of that very area at the end of the last ice age and flowed into the Kyll valley.