The Historic Schwerin Palace in Germany
There are many things a tourist can do in Germany, and one of them is visiting wonderful castles that date back many centuries. One example is the superb Schwerin Palace, built on its very own island in the city of Schwerin, Germany. Aerial views of the palace on Lake Schweriner See are breathtaking, but even when viewed from ground level, the Middle Age royal home and its gardens are strikingly beautiful.
Currently the seat of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state parliament, the palace used to be the lavish home of dukes. After many episodes of destruction and reconstruction, it became one of Europe’s most significant works of Romantic Historicism, which is part of the reason why it is pegged to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Its recorded history goes back to 973 AD, when the island held a tribe fort. The 12th century brought the Germanic noblemen to the island, who first turned the fort to rubble and then decided the location was too good not to use it for a significant construction. Thus a new fort was built, which marked the beginning of a series of structural modifications of the fort which eventually became a royal residence.
During the 16th century, the fortress shed most of its defensive capabilities in order to make room for comfort and architectural embellishments. The next century brought a few Dutch Renaissance elements in a renovation process that was abruptly stopped by the Thirty Years War. Then the 19th century came with Georg Adolph Demmler’s vision of a French Renaissance-inspired palace.
December 1913 was a terrible month for the historic palace, as approximately one third of the building was wrecked by a huge fire. Years later the fully restored castle became a museum, after the abdication of the Grand Duke in 1918. Towards the end of the 20th century, the Schwerin Palace became a seat of government, and the renovation and restoration processes almost became a tradition.