For nearly a thousand years it has been a tradition in the Valley of the Sauer that Gottfried, the first Lord of the castle of Fleckenstein, ordered a well to be dug as soon as he took up occupation of the rock so as to be able to hold it against all comers.
After weeks of work and despite digging a hundred feet down, the welldiggers found no water.
The Emperor’s officer was in despair when one evening a man came to him and said to him »for ten gold ecus and your good will, my lord, I will find water ». His air of confidence impressed the Baron.
Although he found the man rather strange, Gottfried accepted the offer. The stranger set to work.
He went down into the dry well and soon the sound of his pickaxe echoed up hard at work. In the evening he climbed out of the well where Gottfried was waiting anxiously.
« So ? » he asked impatiently.
« Wait a bit my lord… «replied the man as calm as the baron was anxious.
The next day the man climbed into the basket that hung from a rope over the well and was once more lowered into it. The men who handled the rope measured two hundred coils of rope. Never before had such a deep well been so dry.
Another day passed during which the sound of the stranger’s pickaxe, working in the well, did not cease. Even so in the evening he announced that his work was still not finished.
Again the next morning he had himself lowered into to the deep hole hollowed out to the bottom of the great rock of Fleckenstein. The sound of his pick rang out all day without the smallest interuption.
All were amazed to see that he never needed to rest, either to eat or drink. How deep would he dig ? In the morning 300 coils of rope had been unwound.
Then as the sun was setting the noise of the pickaxe suddenly stopped. A deep voice asked that the basket be raised.
Gottfried’s men did as he asked and hoisted the stranger back to the surface.
« Is it finsished then?» asked Gottfried.
« Come with me and you will understand » was all the stranger replied, as calm as ever.
The ancestor of the Barons of Fleckenstein climbed into the basket alongside the strange well digger and ordered his men to lower away.
The wheel squealed under the weight as the two men disappeared into the depths of the hole.. Two hundred coils of rope had unwound when Gottfried felt a strange heat rising up from the bottom of the well.