The source is situated at the gateway to Saxon Switzerland and the Elbe Sandstone Mountains – just above a romantic little town. Here, in an idyllic park in the Sonnenstein Castle grounds, the water is collected from the Sonnenstein® spring.

The primary water comes directly from the crystalline bedrock of Saxon Switzerland, on the edge of the Eastern Ore Mountains. Protected approx. 80 metres underground, it has no connection to the surface of the earth and is naturally mineralised on its way to the spring.

Sonnenstein® water is primary water, which means it has never come into contact with the earth’s surface and its water cycle. It is completely free of any harmful substances and is filled into bottles under its own pressure, without it being adversely affected by strong electromagnetic fields – essentially by hand.


Special, naturally pure primary water rises from the Sonnenstein® spring.

The castle and the spring both lie directly on a ley line. There are a number of extraordinary historic locations along this line. There are many theories about ley lines.


The primary water is carefully collected and bottled under its own pressure so that its natural characteristics and crystalline structure are retained. This is made possible by the gentle, meandering route of the fully welded, stainless steel pipes, with no kinks or bolted connections – from the spring to the bottling station.

The manufactory and bottling station are just 40m distance from the spring.


Sonnenstein® water was first documented in 1468. From the Erlpeterbrunnen (Alder Peter’s fountain), flowed finest spring water that, according to legend, was very special. Above the fountain, where the water flowed from a stone bottle, stood a poem:

My name is Alder Peter,
Poor folk know me well
Those who have no money,
Can drink with me from my bottle

According to Wendler’s town chronicle, the name comes from the Junker, Peter, who secretly met with the daughter of a knight from Sonnenstein under the alder tree (German: Erle) at the foot of the castle hill. When the Junker died, she mourned at the foot of the alder tree. On the anniversary of his death, his ghost appeared and spirited her away. The legend was recorded in the following poem:

They were spirited away
Those two who drank the dewy tears
A spring sprang from the rocks
Refreshing and sparkling silver
Like a holy miracle worker
It became known far and wide
And it is still known as Alder Peter
To this very day


Sonnenstein Haus 01
Sonnenstein Quelle 03 neu
The manufactory, the source – sheltered under the pavilion –
 and the drinking fountain in the Sonnenstein Castle grounds 
in Pirna, Schlosspark 7



The Erlpeter spring dried up in 1549 and did not reappear – because people apparently “started making money out of the water”.

It was later tapped again at enormous cost, but was destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War. (There has been an Erlpeterbrunnen below Sonnenstein Castle since 1907. However, it no longer has the same high quality as the original.)

Following the tradition of the fountain, the newly tapped Sonnenstein® spring water will now be made available to those in need via a fountain – free of charge.


First mentioned in 1100, Sonnenstein was originally a fortress but later used as a castle for the electors. It therefore became known as both a fortress and a castle. Almost nothing remains of the Renaissance buildings. The Thirty Years’ War severely damaged the fortress. On 23 April, 1639, the Swedes captured the City of Pirna; however, the Sonnenstein fortress was spared. Around 1670, after the Thirty Years’ War and as the Baroque style began to take hold in Saxony, the fortress was expanded. Today, only the mighty outer walls remain. In 1810, the complex was again expanded and a psychiatric hospital established in the castle and its extensive grounds.

Medical historian Zeller stated: “The sun of German psychiatry […] rose on the Sonnenstein in Saxony”.

Sonnenstein historsches Bild

The picturesque Sonnenstein fortress situated above the town of Pirna has a history that spans over a thousand years. This complex can look back on a mythological past, because even the Celts utilised this holy place of power.

According to renowned psychiatrist Professor Körner, it was at Sonnenstein that “the idea of a purely psychiatric hospital” was realised. Sonnenstein’s good reputation was based upon its exceptionally humane, liberal and occupational-therapy-oriented complex treatment. Thanks to remarkable success achieved in healing, Sonnenstein gained attention and recognition throughout Germany and Europe.

The sanatorium had a sustainable influence on the development of German and European psychiatry, which led to a monopoly on the education of psychiatrists in the first decades of its existence. The successful work of Dr Pienitz was continued in following decades by head doctors Dr Friedrich H. Lessing, Dr Guido Weber and Dr Georg Ilberg.


A castle and fortress were built on the Sonnenstein in the 11th century, and continued to be used for military purposes until the 16th century. A well and a brewery were also built in the 16th century.

In 1811, the Sonnenstein psychiatric hospital was founded in the castle – Sonnenstein became the epitome of modern psychiatry.

At the end of the 1930s, the National Socialists took over the premises. On 9 October, 1939, Saxon Interior Minister Fritsch ordered that the Sonnenstein psychiatric hospital, which had already been partially cleared for use as a military hospital, be closed to the public.

At the beginning of the 1950s, the engineers from Junkers Aircraft Works and BMW that were taken prisoner by the Russians were brought to Sonnenstein to develop jet engine technology for the East German aviation sector.

Turbomachinery plant VEB was founded. After reunification, the company and the premises were privatised. When the factory closed at the end of 1994, the premises were gradually renovated and restored.

A number of buildings, including Sonnenstein Castle, were put to use for official purposes (district administration). Several new buildings were constructed (district court buildings); other authorities then followed (education authority, surveyor’s office), and a large clinic was built where the factory once stood.

A few years ago, the castle park and surrounding land became the property of Sonnenstein GmbH und Co. Naturprodukte KG, the company that rediscovered and tapped the healing spring that was renowned there many centuries before. Test drillings and samples attested to excellent water with superb laboratory findings; further testing found that it had an extraordinarily crystalline, hexagonal structure.

In 2016/17, a 19th-century building was renovated in the park near to the spring for the purpose of spring water production.