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Schwerin

The capital city of the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is at the same time its oldest city, having received city rights in 1160. With a population of 91,600, Schwerin ranks second, behind Rostock, among the state’s cities. Its hallmark is the magnificent Palace which today houses the state parliament. It is also Schwerin’s main tourist attraction, being located on an island right in the heart of the city.

The town is surrounded by several lakes and is located in an extensive travel region in northeastern Germany. More than 28% of the city area are covered by water, another large percentage consists of woods. The history of settlements in this area predates the city’s founding by several hundred years, with the first archeological findings dating to at least 600 BC. A massive fortification was built around 1340, remnants of which can be found to this day. After German reunification in 1990, Schwerin became the newly founded state’s capital in a tight race against Rostock.

MV Schwerin City

Further Reading

 

Schwerin Palace

 

 

Schwerin has experienced a large population loss from 1990 on, going from about 130,000 inhabitants to roughly 91,600 today. Factors figuring in that development were out-migration into the suburbs and a decline in birth rates, combined with negative economic outlooks. Today, Schwerin’s inhabitants have the highest average annual income in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the population losses were significantly slowed. Among significant employers for Schwerin and the region are companies in the transportation, food and health care industries. The city is also home to a number of smaller, private institutions of higher education.

The palace and the lakes of the area are the main tourist attractions. There are even a few beach areas at some of the lakes. Further sights include the old town area (“Schelfstadt”), the zoo, the ruins of a castle and some historic church buildings, including the Schwerin Cathedral which towers above the old town core of the city (photo). Schwerin is also home to a number of museums including the State Museum with a renowned collection of paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries. The Mecklenburg State Theatre performs stage plays, operas, musicals and ballet and also hosts the annual Schwerin Festival of performing arts in the summer, with the palace usually forming the backdrop to the performances.

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