By train to Rostock , about an hour, then local train to Warnamunde 15 minutes. Warnemunde is on the Baltic coast, and a good holiday resort. For the return to Schwerin there are occasional direct trains,mostly you have to change at Rostock.
If you like steam trains you will love this. A narrow guarge line from Bad Doberan to Kuhlungsborn , return fare 12 euro. The train rattles through the main street of Bad Doberan with its bell clanging . There is a museum at Kuhlungsborn, but if you wish you can return on same train in about 20 mins wait, time for a coffee. The trains run hourly. From Schwerin i took the normal train to Rostock then a train to Bad Doberan. At Bad Doberan DB and Molli share the station. See video of Molli Train bottom of Schwerin page
The Arsenal is on the side of lake Pfaffentech, [ today it is the ministry of interior of Meckenburg ] This striking orange coloured building was built for Grandducal arms in 1840 in English Tudor style.
A rather depressing way to spend three or four hours away from the town centre is to visit Schwerin Zoo. Situated in an area on the south bank of the Schweriner See, the zoo contains, amongst other animals, meerkats, raccoons, prairie dogs, gibbons and monkeys, lions, tigers, bears, wolves, giraffes, rhinos, whistling eurasian red dogs, flamingos, ostriches, emus, water birds and birds of prey. What I found depressing was to see many of these animals completely stressed-out by being encaged: the worst were the bears, tigers, giant otter and a solitary african wild dog, that was so freaked-out it just wildly tore up and down its run without a break for hours. I think that the whole concept of zoos is wrong and cruel and that although we like to think of ourselves as animal lovers, this is not actually the case. Wild animals should be free.
NB You may not want to pay for parking right outside the zoo, which is hard to find a place in anyway. There is free parking across the road outside some shops.
The monument to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 is located at the square in front of the Schwerin Castle. Architect Hermann Willebrand (1874).
Among the most interesting places: 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.
You can watch my 3 min 05 sec about Schwerin Video Schwerin out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
Schwerin Cathedral (Schweriner Dom) was formerly a Roman Catholic cathedral as old as the city itself, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Saint John.
The first cathedral was built of timber. The foundation stone of the stone cathedral of the Prince-Bishopric of Schwerin was laid in 1172.
During the 14th century the nave and transept were completed, as well as the chapter buildings. At the end of the 15th century the cloister on the north side was finished.
The tower is 117 meters high. It was constructed between 1889 and 1893.
We can see the Statue of the Obotrite Prince Niklot in Schwerin Castle (sculptor, Christian Genschow) in the main niche of the castle.
Niklot (1090–1160) was a pagan chief or prince of the Slavic Obotrites and an ancestor of the House of Mecklenburg. For nearly 30 years he resisted Saxon princes, especially Henry the Lion during the Wendish Crusade. He also opposed the conversion of the pagan Polabian Slavs to Roman Catholic Christianity.
The landmark of the city is the Schwerin Castle, 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.
First reports of a castle on the location were made in 973. There was a fort of the Polabian Slav tribe of the Obotrites on an island in the large Lake of Schwerin.
Grand Duke Friedrich decided to rebuild the castle, and ordered his architect Georg Adolph Demmler to do so. Only some parts of the building from the 16th and 17th century were kept.
Dresden architect Gottfried Semper and Berlin architect Friedrich August Stüler could not convince the grand duke of their plans. Instead, Demmler included elements of both of them into his plan, but would find inspiration in French Renaissance castles. It became the most admired master work of the student of Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
Renaissance châteaux of the Loire valley such as Chambord also inspired him and contributed to the construction from 1843 until 1851.
His successor Stüler, again, changed a few things, and included a statue of Niklot on horseback, and the pompous cupola.
Schwerin's most famous and most romantic sight: the palace on an island among the lakes. Bridges connect it to the government quarter and town centre and to the historical gardens(part of Bundesgartenschau in 2009) on the opposite side of the lake. The fairy-tale style of the facades derives from 19th century historism and hides a building that has grown over centuries. Five wings form an irregular pentagon around the central courtyard.
The palace museum can be entered from the southwestern wing next to the bridge to the gardens. It shows some historical rooms in the former residence of the Granddukes of Mecklenburg and art collections. Unfortunately I did not have time to see the museum, which I regretted a lot. So please check the website linked below for more information.
The parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern occupies another large part of the palace which is not open to the public.
The prettiest part of the gardens on the island is the Orangeriegarden by Peter Joseph Lenné on the eastern side. The architect turned parts of the old and now unused fortifications into an orangerie and colonnades around a central parterre.
The Schwerin Castle is fairy-tale in appearance with its many turrets and battlements. Located on an island, the capital’s most famous landmark is the seat of the of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania's government and also houses a museum.
The cathedral is one of the most popular buildings of Schwerin. It has a height of 117 m (384 ft) and it's built in Gothic style.
Take a look on my travelogue to see some more photos of the Cathedral:
The monument in the park in front of the Schloss was erected in 1874 to recall Germany’s victory over France in the war of 1870/71 which lead to the foundation of the second Empire. The sculptor Hermann Willebrand designed it after ancient Roman models.
The building in the style of a neoclassical villa had first been designed as a palais for the Dukes in 1877 but then dedicated to the Ducal art collection. It is now part of Staatliches Museum Schwerin and hosts the largest art gallery in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Sorry to admit that I did not have enough time to enter, the collection seems remarkable.
Location: Werderstraße/Alter Garten, opposite the palace island
If you are interested in baroque art, check out the museum website.
The medieval old town hall in market square was described as „looking like a barn“ in the 19th century and did not seem suitable for the residential town of a Grandduke. The magistrate hired court architect Demmler to design a more representative façade.
Demmler selected the English Tudor gothic, just like for the arsenal on Pfaffenteich, to give the building a more representative face. The façade hides the much older building – its back front in Schlachtermarkt gives an idea of its former shape.
A passageway underneath the town hall connects Markt and Schlachtermarkt.
The market square between Dom and town hall is the heart of the old town.
The so-called “New Building” in front of the choir of the Dom, built in 1783-1785, originally served as a market hall. The white neoclassical building now hosts a café and restaurant.