With heart and soul
Ursula Pankonien was in her mid-thirties when she had her vision of turning the rather barren land of the family farm into a blossoming landscape. She had studied commerce and building engineering in Magdeburg – never far away from the family home in order to be available when all hands were needed in the fields cultivated by her father and her uncle. When the measuring instrument factory where she worked in Bleiche closed down after German reunification, the two and a half hectares of sand surrounding the mill became both her saviour and main preoccupation. In the course of her work for a company in Baden-Württemberg she had stayed at a small hotel which specialised in business guests and industrial tourism.
This gave Ursula her big idea: “Couldn't that work just as well at home?” After all, Magdeburg and the potash works at Zielitz were not far away, and the 71 and 189 main roads provided fast access to the A 2 and A 14 motorways. However, in this area there had never even been an inn, let alone a hotel, and the mills of God grind slowly - those of the banks slower still. It was only after the eleventh persistent application that a start-up loan was granted. “Are you in the hospitality business as a vocation or is it just a job?” In order to answer this question Ursula Pankonien started a poorly paid six-month learning period at a hotel in Lower Saxony.
Finally, after a construction period lasting less than a year, “Landhaus Auerbachs Mühle” opened its doors in 1994 to great celebrations! Four objects are symbolically stored in its foundations: a tablespoon to ensure that guests will always enjoy the food, a doll's pillow to make sure they have pleasant dreams, an issue of the “Volksstimme” newspaper to commemorate the times and a couple of Deutschmark coins.
With the support of their ever-helpful parents it didn't take the Pankonien family long to turn Auerbachs Mühle into an excellent country hotel and restaurant business.
We look forward to welcoming you!
The Pankonien family