Seemingly floating over the water, Schwerin Castle in northern Germany looks like the creation of a powerful magician. With turrets, wings, and golden domes gleaming under the sun, it can surely enchant any visitor.
Settled on an island in the main lake of Schwerin – the capital city of the federated state Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania – Schweriner Schloss (Schwerin Castle) is one of Germany’s most profound. The castle has a “storybook appearance”, featuring turrets, golden domes, and a stunningly beautiful garden. And unlike many of its peers, which are grand and impressive, this castle looks rather romantic.
Built between 1845 and 1857, Schwerin Castle is considered an outstanding work of romantic historicism in all of Europe. The castle incorporates multiple renowned architectural styles at the time, including Gothic, Slavic, Hanseatic, and even French Renaissance. Inspired by Chambord, the architects intentionally used these elements to accentuate the king-like status of the castle’s owner.
In centuries past, this intimate fortress served as the residence of the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg. But during the 20th century, its role switched back and forth between a Landtag (the seat of the state parliament) and a museum. Today, the castle houses parliamentarians from the federated state, as well as a museum illustrating its history.
Schwerin Castle and the Gardens
Parts of the castle’s attractiveness lies in the surrounding lake and gardens. The beauty of the Neo-Renaissance formal garden landscape can be described in one word “magic”. It cleverly combined statues, flowers, trees, and water, giving the whole area a fairytale impression.
Yet what makes Schwerin Castle extraordinary is the visual connections. Unlike the garden of Sanssouci Palace which has multiple focal points, all the paths and axes in Schwerin’s gardens lead to the castle. It is the pièce de résistance of the entire scenery. Especially, when looking from across the lake, the castle seems like floating over the lake surface.
Tips for visiting Schwerin Castle
- Schwerin is an ideal day trip destination from Hamburg. It’s located just 70km from the port city and easily accessible by regional trains. The trip takes approximately 45 minutes.
- Admission fee to the palace is 8.5€, including photography permission.