The Schwerin Castle in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Wednesday, 6 March 2013 - 01:14 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks
Reading Time:  4 minutes

City of Schwerin, Lake Schwerin and Schwerin Castle © Günther Pöpperl

City of Schwerin, Lake Schwerin and Schwerin Castle © Günther Pöpperl

Schwerin Castle is a castle located in the city of Schwerin, the capital of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. For centuries it was the home of the dukes and grand dukes of Mecklenburg and later Mecklenburg-Schwerin. It currently serves as the seat of the state parliament.

In 1837, the ducal residence moved back to Schwerin, but the building was in relatively bad condition. Additionally, the Grand Duke didn’t like the individual buildings’ incongruent origins and architectural styles. Grand Duke Friedrich (1800–1842) decided to rebuild the castle, and ordered his architect Georg Adolph Demmler (1804–1886) to do so. A few months later, construction was halted by his successor, Friedrich Franz II (1823–1883), who wanted a complete reconstruction of the historic site. Only some parts of the building from the 16th and 17th century were kept.

Dresden architect Gottfried Semper (1803–1879) and Berlin architect Friedrich August Stüler (1800–1865) could not convince the grand duke of their plans. Instead, Demmler included elements of both of them into his plan, but would find inspiration in French Renaissance castles. It became the most admired master work of the student of Karl Friedrich Schinkel. He also planned a government building in 1825-26 located at Schlossstraße (today the State Chancellery). Renaissance châteaux of the Loire Valley such as Chambord) also inspired him and contributed to the construction from 1843 until 1851.

Schwerin Castle © Niteshift Castle bridge and Schwerin Castle © Chriusha (Хрюша)/cc-by-sa-3.0 Schwerin Castle © LutzKelch/cc-by-sa-3.0 Schwerin Castle on its island © Harald Hoyer/cc-by-sa-3.0 Schwerin Castle and Gardens © Backslash/cc-by-sa-3.0 City of Schwerin, Lake Schwerin and Schwerin Castle © Günther Pöpperl
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City of Schwerin, Lake Schwerin and Schwerin Castle © Günther Pöpperl
There was a fire in the castle in December 1913. The revolution in 1918 resulted in the abdication of the Grand Duke, but only the exterior reconstruction had been completed. It later became a museum and in 1948 the seat of parliament. The German Democratic Republic, opposed to nobility, used it as a college for kindergarten teachers from 1952-1981. Then it was a museum again until 1993. The Orangerie had been a technical museum since 1961. From 1974 on, some renovated rooms were used as an art museum.

Since late 1990, it is once again a place of government and representation as the seat of the Landtag (state assembly) of the State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Since then, massive renovation efforts have been conducted and are, due to the complexity of a castle of this size, still in progress.

The small impious ghost Petermännchen reportedly roams the halls of the Schwerin castle. This little spirit is no more than a few feet high, and is often depicted in clothes from the 17th century, something resembling a cavalier. His existence may be in doubt, but he is a popular legend as ever.

Read more on Schwerin Castle and Wikipedia Schwerin Castle. Photos by Wikipedia Commons.




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