Schwerin castle Germany – ghosts, dungeons, and excellence

Schwerin is the capital of the german state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and is located around 100 kilometers east of Hamburg. For centuries the town’s castle was home of the line of Mecklenburg and today it serves the purpose of state parliament. It sits upon an island that is connected to the continental part of Germany via two bridges. The castle is considered as one of the most prominent examples of romantic historicism in Europe.

Schwerin castle front look

History

The first reports about a building inside Schwerin date back in the 10th century and mention a fort that has later been destroyed. It was not before the 16th century however, when the construction of a representative castle finally took place. Later on it has been strengthened with additional fortifications and bastions still standing today. Additional transformations happened in the following centuries and apart from some restoration works after the thirty year war and some repairs after a fire in 1913 no major damage happened and the castle still stays in its glory today.

 

The orangery

orangery schwerin castle

… has been built in three wings in the middle of the castle gardens combining the ideas of three prominent architects. Apart from the magnificent flora you can enjoy one of the highlights of this particular area – the cave that has been artificially built with huge stones and is connected via underground passageways to the main castle. Sadly the only purpose those passages serve today is sheltering bat hawks during winter and summer. The orangery is used nowadays as a cafeteria and restaurant as well, where many weddings take place.

 

Pettermännchen – the weird host

Pettermännchen is the castle’s housekeeper. However he is not quite ordinary housekeeper because of the fact that he is a gnome. Even more interesting is the fact that he is also a ghost. More exactly – a friendly ghost towards everyone good intended. He has the habit of unlocking doors on his way across hallways and the underlying dungeon tunnels. Running around with his big keychain he has been reportedly aiding guards by not letting them sleep on their shifts and thus not getting punished. The legend states that once upon a time the pagan God, that was worshipped before Christianity came to be, left with all his spirit servants except for Petermänchen, who refused to leave his duties.

Conclusion

I personally think that the Schwerin castle is too underrated and should get more attention throughout the world. Maybe the reason is the location, which is a bit far from the castle road and the Rhine river. Even Berlin and Hamburg are far from Schwerin. This should not be a bummer though. Rostock is a good starting point if you happen to be on a cruise trip and hell, even the 100 something kilometers from Hamburg or Berlin are worth it.

As always, if you have anything to add or would like to share your experiences with Schwerin castle, please leave a comment below.

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