Schwerin ([ʃvɛˈʁiːn] or [ʃvəˈʁiːn]; Mecklenburgian: Swerin; Polish: Swarzyn or Zwierzyn; Latin: Suerina) is the capital and second-largest city of the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It has a population of about 100,000.
Coat of arms
|Coordinates: 53°38′0″N 11°25′0″E|
|• Lord Mayor||Rico Badenschier (SPD)|
|• Total||130.46 km2 (50.37 sq mi)|
|Elevation||38 m (125 ft)|
|• Density||730/km2 (1,900/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
19053, 19055, 19057, 19059, 19061, 19063
County of Schwerin
Coat of arms
County of Schwerin during the time of the Hohenstaufen Emperors (circa 1250)
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
• Partitioned to Schwerin
• Partitioned to create
• Inherited Tecklenburg
• Schwerin-Schwerin comital line
• Schwerin-Wittenburg-Boizenburg extinct
• Comital line extinct; sold
Bishopric of Schwerin during the time of the Hohenstaufen Emperors (circa 1250)
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
Schwerin was first mentioned in 1018 as Wendenburg and was granted city rights in 1160 by Henry the Lion, thus it is the oldest city of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It is globally known for its romantic Schwerin Palace, situated on an island in the Lake Schwerin. The palace was one of the main residences of the dukes and grand dukes of Mecklenburg until 1918 and is the official seat of the state parliament since 1990. The city also has a largely intact old town, thanks to only minor damage in World War II.
Schwerin is located within the Hamburg Metropolitan Region and close to Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, and to nearby regiopolises of Rostock and Lübeck. Major industries and employers include high technology, machine building, healthcare, government agencies, railway supply, consumer goods and tourism. Schwerin has three academic colleges, the FHM, HdBA and the Design School.
Schwerin is enclosed by lakes. The largest of these lakes, the Schweriner See, has an area of 60 km2. In the middle part 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 later 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 duchy 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 United States troops. It was turned over to the British on 1 June 1945, and one month later, on 1 July 1945, 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.
The urban area of Schwerin is divided into 18 local districts, each with a local council. The districts consist of one or more districts. The local councilors have between 5 and 15 members depending on the number of inhabitants.
They are determined by the city council for the duration of the election period of the city council after each municipal election. The local councilors are to hear important matters concerning the district and have a right of initiative. However, the final decisions are made by the city council of the city as a whole.
The eighteen current districts are the following:
District 1: Schelfstadt, Werdervorstadt, Schelfwerder
District 2: Altstadt (Old Town), Feldstadt, Paulsstadt, Lewenberg
District 3: Grosser Dreesch (former Dreesch I)
District 4: Neu Zippendorf (former Dreesch II)
District 5: Mueßer Holz (former Dreesch III)
District 6: Gartenstadt, Ostorf (formerly Haselholz, Ostorf)
District 7: Lankow
District 8: Weststadt
District 9: Krebsförden
District 10: Wüstmark, Göhrener Tannen
District 11: Görries
District 12: Friedrichsthal
District 13: Neumühle, Sacktannen
District 14: Warnitz
District 15: Wickendorf
Locality 16: Medewege
Locality 17: Zippendorf
Locality 18: Mueß
Twin towns - sister cities
- 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 Church), originally built 1238, but rebuilt in 1713 after destruction by a storm.
- TV Tower Schwerin-Zippendorf.
- The Staatliches Museum Schwerin-Kunstsammlungen (State Art Museum) houses a remarkable collection of 17th-century Dutch paintings and 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) 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). In 2012 the Technische Museum moved to the city of Wismar located 40 km north of Schwerin.
According to the official 2007 Crime Report for Germany, Schwerin was the only German city with a crime rate over 17,000 total offenses committed per 100,000 inhabitants; thus being 1st in the list of Germany's most dangerous cities. The larger cities, such as Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, or Bremen, all have crime rates ranging from 14,000 to 16,000 total offenses committed per 100,000 people. However, Schwerin is the only city where riding a bus (or tram) without a ticket and social security fraud is counted towards the crime rate, significantly boosting the numbers.
- Karl Lemcke (1832–1913), art historian, songwriter, rector at the University of Stuttgart
- August Kundt (1839–1894), physicist
- Hans von Koester (1844–1928), naval officer
- Franziska Ellmenreich (1847–1931), actress
- Friedrich Klockmann (1858–1937), mineralogist
- Heinrich Friese (1860–1948), entomologist and bee researcher
- Heinrich Cunow (1862–1938), ethnologist, writer and politician for the SPD
- Adolf Friedrich of Mecklenburg (1873–1969), duke, Africa traveler, colonial politician and first President of the German Olympic Committee
- Alexandrine of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1879-1952), duchess
- Hermann Baranowski (1884–1940), Nazi SS concentration camp commandant
- Paul Gosch (1885–1940), painter and architect, Nazi victim
- Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1886–1954), duchess, last Crown Princess of the German Empire
- Bernhard Schwentner (1891–1944), Catholic priest and resistance fighter
- Wilhelm Gustloff (1895–1936), Nazi party leader
- Ludwig Bölkow (1912–2003), industrialist
- Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse (born 1918), typographer and bookbinder
- Verena Keller (singer) (born 1940), mezzo-soprano
- Gabriele Hinzmann (born 1947), athlete
- André Brie (born 1950), politician for The Left
- Anke Westendorf (born 1954), volleyball player
- Detlef Kübeck (born 1956), sprinter
- Rosemarie Kother (born 1956), swimmer
- Katrin Sass (born 1956), theater, film and television actress
- Heidrun Bluhm (born 1958), politician for The Left
- Andrea Pollack (born 1961), swimmer
- Matthias Stammann (born 1968), football player
- Heike Balck (born 1970), athlete
- Sylvia Roll (born 1973), volleyball player
- Hanka Pachale (born 1976), volleyball player
- Robert Müller (born 1986), football player
- Stephan Gusche (born 1990), football player
- Till Lindemann (born 1967), singer, songwriter, actor, poet
- "Statistisches Amt M-V – Bevölkerungsstand der Kreise, Ämter und Gemeinden 2018". Statistisches Amt Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (in German). July 2019.
- Some evidence 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.
- "Stadtteile". www.schwerin.de (in German). Retrieved 2017-07-26.
- "Städtepartnerschaften". schwerin.de (in German). Schwerin. Retrieved 2019-11-28.
- NVS (Nahverkehr Schwerin)
- Official Police Report for Germany, cf. p. 17.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Schwerin.|
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