Schwerin Castle (Schweriner Schloss) has been compared to the iconic, world famous castle of Mad King Ludwig, Neuschwanstein (or, the Swan Castle.)
Surely, there can be no higher honor for a German castle than that! But the Castle is also famous for another reason…
Legends say that Schwerin Castle is haunted by a pint-sized ghost named Petermännchen. Petermännchen is a friendly spirit who is dressed in 17th century clothes and carries on his “person” many sets of keys. This ghost wanders through the underground halls, unlocking doors, and protecting against any intruders.
About The Schwerin Castle And Its History
The origins of the Schwerin Castle are ancient and, as much of Dark Age history, clouded in mystery. Our first reference to this incredible place is from the notes of a Spanish-Moorish traveler, Ibrahim ibn Jacub. He described a large fort inhabited by a group of Slavs that was situated on the island in Lake Schwerin. This fort was ultimately destroyed, only to be rebuilt by its Germanic conquerors led by Henry the Lion in the twelfth century.
Schwerin remained a mere fort until the 16th century when Duke Johann Albrecht I decided to increase its status. With the addition of bastions, a chapel, ornamentation and other comforts, the fort became the Schwerin Castle.
The next centuries were erratic for the castle, with unfinished construction and many years of vacancy. Finally in the nineteenth century, a succession of three Grand Dukes managed to reconstruct the site into what we can see today.
But even the 20th century was not kind to Schwerin Castle. A fire broke out in 1913 that destroyed almost a third of the building. It was made into a museum, only to be changed into a teaching school during the communist years from 1952 to 1981.
In the 1990s with the end of the Cold War, Schwerin Castle was once again made into a seat of parliament, museum and a must-see tourist destination.
Schwerin Castle Highlights And Features
Within the castle walls in the Old Gardens houses, you will find the impressive State Museum. The museum is home to one of Europe’s largest collections of Dutch art.
Built in the 1560s, the Palace Chapel features some elegant art and architecture. Such luxurious details include the stained glass windows, alabaster reliefs portraying Bible scenes and a sandstone altar.
Garden and Lake
The palace setting is as big of an attraction as the building itself. With the proximity of Lake Schwerin and the exquisitely well-manicured gardens, be sure to spend some time outside to take in the natural beauty.
Schwerin Castle Location And Opening Hours
Get off at the exit for Schwerin Zentrum (city center) and follow the signs to the famous castle. There is a parking lot available at Jägerweg and from there, it’s a short ten-minute trek through the garden to reach the castle.
If you are without a car, you can still make it to Schwerin with very little inconvenience. Germany’s extensive railway system will get you there easily. There are regular routes between the nearby cities.
The city’s proximity to water means that you could even arrive by boat!
Schwerin Castle Opening Hours
The Schwerin Castle is open daily from April to October, from 10:00 a.m until 6:00 p.m. In the winter months, the hours and days are slightly truncated. You can visit Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
There are guided tours available.