""... a rather large village is laid out before us, . . . towered over by a church spire which is visible from far away. The village ... lies in a very pretty and fertile valley surrounded by hills and forests."
(H. Wedemann: Chronik von Bendeleben, Sondershausen, 1899)
Bendeleben, first mentioned in 870, has a unique, imposing ensemble made up of a farm, an orangery and several residences built in baroque style. The leaning church spire of the evangelical church St. Pankratius is one of the first things a visitor notices in the village. The church was built in 1588 with the tower added 35 years later. As soon as it was completed, the tower began leaning.
Restored Bendeleben manor in 2012: The baroque complex with typical mansard-hip roofs was built from 1764 to 1768 for Johann Jacob von Uckermann, who also commissioned the construction of the adjacent park. Today it is the headquarters of the Gut Bendeleben farm, which also offers rental units for tourists. (Photographer: F. von Arnim)
Not far from the church is the Orangery, which was built in 1770. Johann Jacob von Uckermann (1718-1781) also had the baroque garden transformed into a fanciful rococo style pleasure garden outfitted with fountains, canals, pergolas and aviaries. The central axis offers a view to the Orangery, where two greenhouses frame the middle building. After decades of Sleeping Beauty slumber, the Orangery and pleasure garden today have their "old" luster once again.
The Orangery is one of the last remaining examples of this building type from the earliest epoch of hothouse horticulture in Germany. Noteworthy features include the completely glassed walls and the white-painted, wooden concave mirrors in the roof which catch the sun. (Photographer : L. Koch).