Schwerin Castle: the Jewel in the Schwerin Lake
Castle Schwerin is a highlight in the heart of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. With its numerous turrets and towers, the Schwerin Castle is one of the most inspiring German Castles. Nestled on an island in Lake Schwerin, this castle is a prime example of romantic historicism in Europe. The newer castles of Reichsburg, Cochem and Schwerin were rebuilt during almost the same period.
A Short History
Originally built in the early 10th century, the castle was home to the Grand Dukes of Mecklenburg-Schwerin for many years. The present building was built on the site of this Slavic fortress in 1845 -57 commissioned by Friedrich Franz II. Rebuilt in neo-Renaissance style, the castle is a combination of local models with hints of French Loire Chateaux like Chambord. Master builders of its era, like Georg Adolph Demmler, Ernest Friedrich Zwirner and Herman Willebrand and the most influential architects like Gottfried Semper from Dresden, and Friedrich Stüler, the court architect to the Prussian king were involved in construction of the new castle.
Located picturesquely in the dreamy baroque gardens and extensive parkland, this sumptuous stately building has 653 rooms, most of them enriched with exquisite carvings, marquetry floors, gilding, and ceiling with stucco works. The grand living quarters, the ceremonial rooms, the throne room, and an ancestral portrait gallery –all impress the visitors with the richness of sculptural and painted décor. The ornate inlaid flooring in the castle is awe-inspiring.
The castle museum in its three floors houses valuable paintings, artisan craftwork and sculptures, mostly picked from the 19th century. Collection of porcelain exhibits from Meissen and Royal Porcelain Manufactory, and an extensive collection of decorative and royal hunting weapons are a highlight. The castle was later turned into a college and since 1990; Schwerin Castle also houses the seat of state parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Visiting Rostock, the Hanseatic town with splendid brick architecture and the UNESCO-listed Wismar will be an interesting one. Friedrichsmoor, the small hunting lodge is best suited for refreshment and resting after a walk among the surrounding countryside.