Schwerin: a lovely destination for explorers
The state capital of Mecklenburg-Vorpompern offers everything its inhabitants and guests need to feel at one’ s ease: a historically unique old town, plenty of water and nature in the immediate vicinity. A spontaneous meeting with actor Martin Neuhaus.
We had a long weekend ahead of us in Schwerin. Why Schwerin? We were looking for a laid-back mix of city and culture, cosy bars, restaurants and the proximity to the water. That the state capital was exactly the right choice for our city trip, we realized again when we opened the city map: Palace, museum, theatre, old town – one highlight after the other. We probably made an overstrained impression at that moment, so it wasn’t long before a gentleman in a Hawaiian shirt came up to us and remarked in a velvety baritone voice: “You don’t need the city map, the ways are short here”. Martin Neuhaus, actor at the State Theatre, was actually on his way to his boat, which was only a stone’s throw away at the city harbour. “But if you want, I’ll show you the most beautiful corners.” – Of course we wanted to!
A palace with 1000 years of history
Our first destination was the city’s unique landmark – Schwerin Palace. With its stylistic elements from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, Baroque and even Antiquity, it looks like a fairytale castle. You should take enough time to visit palace and museum and after that the presumably most beautiful baroque green area of Northern Germany: the Schlossgarten Schwerin, which has been beautifully renovated for the Bundesgartenschau 2009.
Art treasures from antiquity to the present day
After about 3 hours and full of impressions we left the palace island and headed for the State Museum at the Alter Garten. Only a few minutes later we walked up the big museum stairs to enter the building through a striking entrance portal with 6 pillars. Unique worldwide: the museum boasts the largest collection of Dutch art from the “Golden Age”. The State Museum Schwerin owns more than 100,000 works of art, including Rembrandt etchings, paintings by Jean-Baptiste Oudry and Caspar David Friedrich. Another jewel for our imaginary Schwerin treasure chest!
The star of Jean-Baptiste Oudry’s painting – Rhino Clara – was, by the way, a true exotic in 18th century Europe, far away from its Indian homeland. Rhinos had not been seen here at that time. Embarked by a Dutch captain, tame Clara led the life of a real diva in Europe for 17 years. According to contemporary witnesses, she was not averse to the consumption of beer and tobacco.
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Lakeland dipped in gold
The actual highlight of the day, however, was saved by Martin Neuhaus for the evening. “You have to watch the sunset over the city from the water, join me!”, he whispered to us on a little walk through the old town, as if he would tell us a long kept secret pointing towards the city harbour. And even before the sun set in motion to disappear behind the magical palace to plunge the entire surroundings into a golden light, we were already in the middle of the Schwerin Innensee enjoying the impressive silhouette of Schwerin.
I would say our little quest for the treasures of the city was more than successful, mission accomplished! It is remarkable how modern city life and historical architecture and cultural history come together in a relaxed way in Schwerin. We will be back, because there is still so much to see and discover in Schwerin.