Sites & cities that bear the name of Schwerin


Today in : Germany
First trace of activity : ca. 11th century C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Zuarin, Zuarina, Zwierzyn, Swerin, Suerina, Suerinum

Description : Schwerin (Mecklenburgian Low German: Swerin; Latin: Suerina, Suerinum) is the capital and second-largest city of the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern as well as of the region of Mecklenburg, after Rostock. It has around 96,000 inhabitants, and is thus the least populous of all German state capitals. Schwerin was first mentioned in 1018 as Zuarina and was granted city rights in 1160 by Henry the Lion, thus it is the oldest city of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. From 1379 to 1815, the city was, as main residence of the House of Mecklenburg, the capital of the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and from 1815, when the duke was elevated to the title of a grand duke, to 1918, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The city is known for the romantic Schwerin Palace with its characteristic golden dome and its Niklot statue, that is situated on an island in Lake Schwerin. The dukes and grand dukes of Mecklenburg-Schwerin ruled from there, and since 1990, the palace is the official seat of the state parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The city also has a largely intact old town, thanks to only minor damage in World War II. 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.

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