About Schwerin Castle
Schwerin Castle (Schweriner Schloss) is a picturesque palace which seemingly floats upon Schwerin Lake. Whilst it is thought that there was a fort on this location as early as the tenth century, the beginnings of Schwerin Castle date back to 1160, when Henry the Lion (Henry III) built a castle there.
Schwerin Castle history
Several older fortresses have been located at the castle island, where Schwerin Castle now stands. The oldest traces date back to 942, though archaeologists are sure there have been people living in the area for thousands of years.
In 1160 a fortress of slavic tribes (the Obotrit tribe) was conquered by an army of soldiers commanded by Heinrich der Löwe, the famous Henry the Lion, duke of Bavaria and Saxony. 1160 therefore became the official founding date of Schwerin.
This first incarnation of Schwerin Castle later became a palace of the dukes of Mecklenburg, but fell into a state of dereliction once the dukes relocated in 1765.
It was only from around 1843 that Schwerin Castle began to take the form we see today. Vast renovation of the building took place, with only some of its older parts having been kept.
The castle garden was designed by Peter Joseph Lenne in the 1840s. It has a Nineteenth Century Mixed Style assembly of features, including a grotto, arcades, terraces and flights of steps. The older baroque garden was designed in 1848 by the French designer Jean Legeay and has been restored.
The court of the Grandduchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin moved into the castle in May 1857.
In 1913, around a third of the palace was destroyed in a fire and reconstruction was still in process when the revolution of 1918 resulted in the Grand Duke being abdicated. The castle underawnt another set of rennovations after it was taken over by the German state in 1918.
Following its period as a museum, it became the seat of the state parliament in 1948, and then a college for kindergarten teachers between 1952 and 1981. Some rooms were used as an art museum from around 1974, with the Orangerie home to a technical museum from 1961.
Schwerin Castle today
Schwerin Castle is now both the seat of the local government and an art museum displaying pieces ranging from the ancient to the twentieth century. Some of the most important pieces at Schwerin’s museum are its seventeenth century Dutch and Flemish paintings.
Schwerin Castle features as one of our top tourist attractions in Germany.
Getting to Schwerin Castle
Schwerin Castle is located in directly within the city of Schwerin in Germany. It is the capital city of the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Schwerin castle is easily reachable by train, by bus and by car from Berlin and from Hamburg.
The nearest train stations are Schwerin Mitte and Schwerin Central Station which are within 20 minutes walk from the castle. There is also a bus line that runs to Schwerin central station.
Medieval Castles in Europe
The landscapes of Europe are littered with medieval strongholds, built centuries ago to defend regions and people of great importance. Here are 15 of the continent's most incredible castles to visit.
As a country famous for its spellbinding folklore, German castles are the stuff of fairy tales and ghost stories in equal measure. Here's our pick of 10 of the very best to visit.
Castles around the World
Discover the most impeccably preserved and incredibly ornate castles around the world, from Germany's picturesque Neuschwanstein Castle to France's towering Mont Saint-Michel.