Schwerin

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Schwerin
Schwerin Palace - Parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Schwerin Palace - Parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Flag of Schwerin
Flag
Coat of arms of Schwerin
Coat of arms
Schwerin   is located in Germany
Schwerin
Schwerin
Coordinates: 53°38′0″N 11°25′0″E / 53.63333°N 11.41667°E / 53.63333; 11.41667Coordinates: 53°38′0″N 11°25′0″E / 53.63333°N 11.41667°E / 53.63333; 11.41667
Country Germany
State Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
District Urban district
Subdivisions 18 boroughs
Government
 • Lord Mayor Angelika Gramkow (Die Linke)
Area
 • Total 130.46 km2 (50.37 sq mi)
Elevation 38 m (125 ft)
Population (2013-12-31)[1]
 • Total 91,583
 • Density 700/km2 (1,800/sq mi)
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes 19053, 19055, 19057, 19059, 19061, 19063
Dialling codes 0385
Vehicle registration SN
Website schwerin.de
Aerial view of Schwerin Palace
County of Schwerin
Grafschaft Schwerin
State of the Holy Roman Empire
Duchy of Saxony
1161–1358
Capital Schwerin
Government Principality
Historical era Middle Ages
 -  Established 1161
 -  Partitioned to Schwerin
    and Sch-Wittenburg
 
1279
 -  Partitioned to create
    Sch-Boizenburg
 
1323
 -  Inherited Tecklenburg 1328
 -  Sch-Schwerin comital line
    extinct
 
1344
 -  Sch-W'burg-B'burg extinct 1349 1358
 -  Comital line extinct; sold
    to Mecklenburg-Schwerin
 
1358
Bishopric of Schwerin
Bistum Schwerin
State of the Holy Roman Empire
Duchy of Saxony
1165–1648
Capital Schwerin
Government Theocracy
Historical era Middle Ages
 -  Established 1062
 -  Gained territory 1165
 -  Secularised to M-Schwerin 1648

Schwerin ([ʃvɛˈʁiːn] or [ʃvəˈʁiːn], Latin Suerina) is the capital and second-largest city of the northern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The population is 91,583 (as of Dec 31, 2013).

Schwerin was first mentioned in 1018 and was granted city rights in 1160, thus it is the oldest city of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It is globally famous for its romantic Schwerin Palace, crowning an island in the Lake Schwerin. The city also has a largely intact old town, thanks to only minor damages in World War II.

History[edit]

Schwerin is surrounded by many picturesque lakes. The largest of these lakes, the Schweriner See, has an area of 60 km². In the midst of these lakes there was a settlement of the Slavic Obotrite (dated back to the 11th century). The area was called Zuarin (Polabian Zwierzyn), and the name Schwerin is derived from that designation. In 1160, Henry the Lion defeated the Obotrites and captured Schwerin. The town was subsequently expanded into a powerful regional centre. A castle was built on this site, and expanded to become a ducal palace. It is supposedly haunted by the small, impious ghost, called Petermännchen ("Peterman").

In 1358, Schwerin became a part of the Duchy of Mecklenburg, making it the seat of the dukedom from then on. About 1500, the construction of the Schwerin Palace began, as a residence for the dukes. After the division of Mecklenburg (1621), Schwerin became the capital of the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Between 1765 and 1837, the town of Ludwigslust served as the capital, until Schwerin was reinstated.

In the mid-1800s, many residents from Schwerin moved to the United States, many to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Today Milwaukee and Schwerin are sister cities.

After 1918, and during the German Revolution, resulting in the fall of all the German monarchies, the Grand Duke abdicated. Schwerin became capital of the Free State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern thereafter.

At the end of World War II, on 2 May 1945, Schwerin was taken by U.S. troops. It was turned over to the British on 1 June 1945, and one month later, on 1 July 1945,[2] it was handed over to the Soviet forces, as the British and American forces pulled back from the line of contact to the predesignated occupation zones. Schwerin was then in the Soviet Occupation Zone which was to become the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Initially, it was the capital of the State of Mecklenburg which at that time included the western part of Pomerania (Vorpommern). After the states were dissolved in the GDR, in 1952, Schwerin served as the capital of the Schwerin district (Bezirk Schwerin).

After reunification in 1990, the former state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was recreated as one of the Bundesländer. Rostock was a serious contender for state capital but the decision went in favour of Schwerin.

Transport[edit]

City buses and trams are run by NVS (Nahverkehr Schwerin).[3]

Schwerin Hauptbahnhof (central station) is connected by rail to Berlin, Hamburg and Rostock.

Main sights[edit]

  • The landmark of the city is the Schwerin Palace, located on an island in the lake of the same name (Schweriner See). It was, for centuries, the residence of the Dukes of Mecklenburg and today is the seat of the Landtag (state parliament).
  • Schwerin Cathedral, built in 1260–1416 in Brick Gothic style.
  • The Alter Garten (Old Garden) square, surrounded by buildings such as the 18th-century Altes Palais (Old Palace), the neoclassical Staatliches Museum Schwerin (State Art Museum), built in 1877–1882, and the Staatstheater (City Theater), erected in 1886.
  • The town hall (18th century)
  • Schelfkirche (Saint Nicolai, originally built 1238, but rebuilt in 1713 after destruction by a storm)
  • Television mast Schwerin-Zippendorf

Museums[edit]

  • The Staatliches Museum Schwerin-Kunstsammlungen (State Art Museum) houses a remarkable collection of Dutch paintings from 16th centuries Dutch painter schools German art from medieval and renaissance masters up to the present day. There are also a collection of Greek vases, the notable collection of Paintings of Jean-Baptiste Oudry, a collection of sculptures of Houdon, German 18th-century court paintings, and works by such modern artists as Max Liebermann, Franz Stuck, Marcel Duchamp etc. The Graphic cabinet houses rich collections of Dutch and German drawings and prints (Jan van Goyen, Dürer, Cranach, Rembrandt, Merian etc.) and a notable collection of coloured graphics from the time of the GDR.
  • The State Museum of Technology (Technische Museum), housed in the former Marstall (Royal Stables).

Gallery[edit]

Panoramic view of Schwerin's historic city center.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Bevölkerungsstand der Kreise, Ämter und Gemeinden in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 31.12.2013". Statistisches Amt Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (in German). 23 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Some evidence[citation needed] calls into doubt the date on which the British withdrew to the predesignated occupation zone. Local residents claim that the British forces did not relinquish control of Schwerin until later in the year, probably November, following a brief artillery exchange across lake Schwerin between the British and the Soviets. Allegedly there were no deaths.
  3. ^ NVS (Nahverkehr Schwerin)

External links[edit]