We’ve arrived at the port of Warnemunde in Germany…… The skies are overcast this morning and I am not surprised. I have never been anywhere in Germany on a bright sunny day! Today, hubby and I are off in different directions, as we often do, to see more! He is traveling south-east, to Schwerin, Germany, an hour-plus ride, to see the Schwerin Castle and the Old Town. This city is important to him because in the 1800’s, many residents from Schwerin moved to the United States, many to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and my husband’s family was part of this movement.
So, there will be several posts from different spots! We’re off!
Maybe the skies will clear up after all!
A look back at the ship before boarding the bus………..
Well, we’re officially here!
Schwerin is the state capital of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Northern Germany. It is known for the Schwerin Castle, now a Unesco World Heritage site. The castle sits on an island on the city’s main lake, Lake Schwerin. For centuries, the castle was the home of the dukes and grand dukes of Mecklenburg and later Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The castle is regarded as the most important work of romantic Historicism in Europe and is nicknamed the “Neuschwanstein” of the North (which we visited years, ago so we can compare) Today, the castle serves as the residence of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state parliament.
How did the castle come to be? Schwerin Castle was built in the place of an older building. The site was symbolic because for hundreds of years there had been a fortress on the island. The new castle was built because the old one was barely inhabitable and not suitable for a Grand Duchy.
Grand Duke Paul Frederick, planned to bring back the aristocracy to Schwerin and show them, who was who. Although he was largely interested in military matters and spent most of his time drilling troops, when he reached middle age, he adopted a more reclusive lifestyle, preferring the company of his mistress. He planned to demolish the castle completely and build a new palace, more to his liking, somewhere else. Suddenly, in 1842, the Duke died of a cold from attending to a fire. His 19 year-old son, who was a law student in Bonn, became Grand Duke, Friedrich Franz II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. He decided to have his castle built right on the the old castle island and to build around some of the old fortress and the castle. He wanted to make it clear this was the home of the royal family, that had ruled for ages and would continue to rule despite the difficult times the nobility in Germany was going through. The impact of the War with Napoleon had made its toll, as well as social and economic changes that were sweeping through Prussia at the time.
What a beautiful castle! It consists of 653 rooms and dozens of pointed towers…..and has a fabulous view across the water…….
and getting up closer…………
Now to walk across the bridge to the island. It’s a short walk……….to the castle’s main entrance.
Looking back over the bridge, you can get an idea of what the Old Town is like. We’ll explore that later……..
and a look from here………
My, that is an impressive light fixture! Let’s look closer at that……….
Doesn’t that look like a type of terra cotta on the walls? Yep, terra cotta was dominant in Northern Germany architecture at the time………..
and then there are those men announcing stuff and blowing their horns……………
A new section has been added, as you can see from the change in building materials……..
From the inside of the palace we can glimpse the courtyard…….
and get a look at a different angle……….
and see the cherub types, but not too plump, holding a shield with just a head of armor, with a crown, of course………….
and looking out on the gardens……..wow!
Let’s take another look from a different view……..this time from a boat in the lake………….
Here we see some of the other magnificent buildings that are on the mainland. We’ll see more of those later……
Now, this is picture postcard perfect!……..
We’ll stop here for now and take a break, before I show you how Schwerin Castle looks on the inside today! Stay tuned!