Coat of arms
|• Lord mayor||Rico Badenschier (SPD)|
|• Total||130.46 km2 (50.37 sq mi)|
|Elevation||38 m (125 ft)|
|• Density||730/km2 (1,900/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
19053, 19055, 19057, 19059, 19061, 19063
County of Schwerin
Coat of arms
County of Schwerin during the time of the Hohenstaufen Emperors (circa 1250)
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
• Partitioned to Schwerin
• Partitioned to create
• Inherited Tecklenburg
• Schwerin-Schwerin comital line
• Schwerin-Wittenburg-Boizenburg extinct
• Comital line extinct; sold
Bishopric of Schwerin during the time of the Hohenstaufen Emperors (circa 1250)
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
Schwerin (UK: //, US: //, German: [ʃveˈʁiːn] (listen); Mecklenburgian Low German: Swerin; Latin: Suerina, Suerinum) is the capital and second-largest city of the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern as well as of the region of Mecklenburg, after Rostock. It has around 96,000 inhabitants, and is thus the least populous of all German state capitals.
Schwerin is located on the southwestern shore of Lake Schwerin (German:Schweriner See), one of the largest lakes of the Mecklenburg Lake Plateau, and there are eleven other lakes within its city limits. The city is surrounded by the district of Northwestern Mecklenburg to the north, and the district of Ludwigslust-Parchim to the south. Schwerin lies in the east of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. The name of the city is of Slavic origin, deriving from the root zvěŕ (wild animal) or zvěŕin (game reserve, animal garden, stud farm).
Schwerin was first mentioned in 1018 as Zuarina and was granted city rights in 1160 by Henry the Lion, thus it is the oldest city of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. From 1379 to 1815, the city was, as main residence of the House of Mecklenburg, the capital of the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and from 1815, when the duke was elevated to the title of a grand duke, to 1918, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The city is known for the romantic Schwerin Palace with its characteristic golden dome and its Niklot statue, that is situated on an island in Lake Schwerin. The dukes and grand dukes of Mecklenburg-Schwerin ruled from there, and since 1990, the palace is the official seat of the state parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The city also has a largely intact old town, thanks to only minor damage in World War II.
Major industries and employers include high technology, machine building, healthcare, government agencies, railway supply, consumer goods and tourism. Schwerin has three academic colleges, the FHM, HdBA and the Design School.
Schwerin is enclosed by lakes. The largest of these lakes, the Schweriner See, has an area of 60 km2. In the middle part of these lakes there was a settlement of the Slavic Obotrite (dated back to the 11th century). The area was called Zuarin (Polabian Zwierzyn), and the name Schwerin is derived from that designation. In 1160, Henry the Lion defeated the Obotrites and captured Schwerin. The town was later expanded into a powerful regional centre. A castle was built on this site, and expanded to become a ducal palace. It is supposedly haunted by the small, impious ghost, called Petermännchen ("Peterman").
In 1358, Schwerin became a part of the Duchy of Mecklenburg, making it the seat of the duchy from then on. About 1500, the construction of the Schwerin Palace began, as a residence for the dukes. After the division of Mecklenburg (1621), Schwerin became the capital of the Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Between 1765 and 1837, the town of Ludwigslust served as the capital, until Schwerin was reinstated.
In the mid-1800s, many residents from Schwerin moved to the United States, many to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Today Milwaukee and Schwerin are sister cities. After 1918, and during the German Revolution, resulting in the fall of all the German monarchies, the Grand Duke abdicated. Schwerin became capital of the Free State of Mecklenburg-Schwerin thereafter.
At the end of World War II, on 2 May 1945, Schwerin was taken by United States troops. It was turned over to the British on 1 June 1945, and one month later, on 1 July 1945, it was handed over to the Soviet forces, as the British and American forces pulled back from the line of contact to the predesignated occupation zones.
Schwerin was then in the Soviet Occupation Zone which was to become the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Initially, it was the capital of the State of Mecklenburg which at that time included the western part of Pomerania (Vorpommern). After the states were dissolved in the GDR, in 1952, Schwerin served as the capital of the Schwerin district (Bezirk Schwerin).
After reunification in 1990, the former state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was recreated as one of the Bundesländer. Rostock was a serious contender for state capital but the decision went in favour of Schwerin.
The urban area of Schwerin is divided into 18 local districts, each with a local council. The districts consist of one or more districts. The local councilors have between 5 and 15 members depending on the number of inhabitants.
They are determined by the city council for the duration of the election period of the city council after each municipal election. The local councilors are to hear important matters concerning the district and have a right of initiative. However, the final decisions are made by the city council of the city as a whole.
The eighteen current districts are the following:
City buses and trams are run by NVS (Nahverkehr Schwerin).
Schwerin Hauptbahnhof (central station) is connected by rail to Berlin, Hamburg and Rostock.
According to the official 2007 Crime Report for Germany, Schwerin was the only German city with a crime rate over 17,000 total offenses committed per 100,000 inhabitants; thus being 1st in the list of Germany's most dangerous cities. The larger cities, such as Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, or Bremen, all have crime rates ranging from 14,000 to 16,000 total offenses committed per 100,000 people. However, Schwerin is the only city where riding a bus (or tram) without a ticket and social security fraud is counted towards the crime rate, significantly boosting the numbers.
Schwerin is twinned with: