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Schwerin
Schweriner Schloss (parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
Schweriner Schloss (parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
Coat of arms of Schwerin
Coordinates 53°38′0″N 11°25′0″E / 53.633333°N 11.416667°E / 53.633333; 11.416667
Administration
Country Germany
State Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
District Urban district
Town subdivisions 18 boroughs
Lord Mayor Angelika Gramkow (Die Linke)
Basic statistics
Area 130.46 km2 (50.37 sq mi)
Elevation 38 m  (125 ft)
Population 96,280  (31 December 2006)
 - Density 738 /km2 (1,911 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate SN
Postal codes 19053, 19055, 19057, 19059, 19061, 19063
Area code 0385
Website schwerin.de

Schwerin is the capital and second-largest city of the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It has a population of about 100,000.

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 the 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.

History

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-Vorpommern 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.

Geography

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:

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

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