Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Enlarge Staatliches Museum Schwerin
Schwerin Schweriner Schloss Kasteel van Schwerin Palace Castle Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Duitsland Germany.jpg
14-09-10-Schwerin-RalfR-N3S 3052-17.jpg
1406-04-076 Ostdeutschland Schwerin Dom.JPG
Flag of Schwerin
Coat of arms of Schwerin
Coat of arms
Location of Schwerin
Schwerin is located in Germany
Schwerin is located in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Coordinates: 53°38′0″N 11°25′0″E / 53.63333°N 11.41667°E / 53.63333; 11.41667Coordinates: 53°38′0″N 11°25′0″E / 53.63333°N 11.41667°E / 53.63333; 11.41667
DistrictUrban district
Subdivisions18 boroughs
 • Lord MayorRico Badenschier (SPD)
 • Total130.46 km2 (50.37 sq mi)
38 m (125 ft)
 • Total95,653
 • Density730/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
19053, 19055, 19057, 19059, 19061, 19063
Dialling codes0385
Vehicle registrationSN
County of Schwerin

Grafschaft Schwerin
Coat of arms of Schwerin
Coat of arms
County of Schwerin during the time of the Hohenstaufen Emperors (circa 1250)
County of Schwerin during the time of the Hohenstaufen Emperors (circa 1250)
Historical eraMiddle Ages
• Established
• Partitioned to Schwerin
    and Schwerin-Wittenburg
• Partitioned to create
• Inherited Tecklenburg
• Schwerin-Schwerin comital line
1349 1358
• Comital line extinct; sold
    to Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Saxony Duchy of Saxony
Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Bistum Schwerin
Bishopric of Schwerin during the time of the Hohenstaufen Emperors (circa 1250)
Bishopric of Schwerin during the time of the Hohenstaufen Emperors (circa 1250)
Historical eraMiddle Ages
• Established
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Saxony Duchy of Saxony
Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin

Schwerin ([ʃveˈʁiːn]; Mecklenburgian: Swerin) is the capital and second-largest city of the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It has a population of about 100,000.[3]

Schwerin was first mentioned in 1018 as Wendenburg and was granted city rights in 1160 by Henry the Lion, thus it is the oldest city of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It is globally known for its romantic Schwerin Palace, situated on an island in Lake Schwerin. The palace was one of the main residences of the dukes and grand dukes of Mecklenburg until 1918 and is the official seat of the state parliament since 1990. The city also has a largely intact old town, thanks to only minor damage in World War II.

Schwerin is located within the Hamburg Metropolitan Region and close to Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, and to nearby regiopolises of Rostock and Lübeck. 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.


Early years

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.

Recent times

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,[4] 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,[5] 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:

District 1: Schelfstadt, Werdervorstadt, Schelfwerder

District 2: Altstadt (Old Town), Feldstadt, Paulsstadt, Lewenberg

District 3: Grosser Dreesch (former Dreesch I)

District 4: Neu Zippendorf (former Dreesch II)

District 5: Mueßer Holz (former Dreesch III)

District 6: Gartenstadt, Ostorf (formerly Haselholz, Ostorf)

District 7: Lankow

District 8: Weststadt

District 9: Krebsförden

District 10: Wüstmark, Göhrener Tannen

District 11: Görries

District 12: Friedrichsthal

District 13: Neumühle, Sacktannen

District 14: Warnitz

District 15: Wickendorf

Locality 16: Medewege

Locality 17: Zippendorf

Locality 18: Mueß

Twin towns - sister cities

Schwerin is twinned with:[6]


City buses and trams are run by NVS (Nahverkehr Schwerin).[7]

Schwerin Hauptbahnhof (central station) is connected by rail to Berlin, Hamburg and Rostock.

Main sights


Crime rate

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;[8] 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.[9]

Notable people

18th century

Friedrich Ludwig Schröder

19th century

Franziska Ellmenreich
Bernhard Schwentner

20th century

Katrin Sass


Panoramic view of Schwerin's historic city centre


  1. ^ "Statistisches Amt M-V – Bevölkerungsstand der Kreise, Ämter und Gemeinden 2019". Statistisches Amt Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (in German). July 2020.
  2. ^ Population data Archived 2007-03-11 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^
  4. ^ Some evidence[citation needed] calls into doubt the date on which the British withdrew to the predesignated occupation zone. Local residents claim that the British forces did not relinquish control of Schwerin until later in the year, probably November, following a brief artillery exchange across lake Schwerin between the British and the Soviets. Allegedly there were no deaths.
  5. ^ "Stadtteile". (in German). Retrieved 2017-07-26.
  6. ^ "Städtepartnerschaften". (in German). Schwerin. Retrieved 2019-11-28.
  7. ^ NVS (Nahverkehr Schwerin)
  8. ^ Official Police Report for Germany, cf. p. 17.
  9. ^