town palace grand
SCHWERIN, the capital and one of the most attractive cities of the grand-duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, is prettily situated at the south-west corner of the Lake of Schwerin (14 miles long and 31- miles broad), 110 miles north-west of Berlin. The town is closely surrounded and hemmed in by a number of lakelets, with high and in some cases well-wooded banks ; and the billy environs are occupied by meadows, woods, and pretty villas. The old and new towns of Schwerin were only united as one city in 1832 ; and since that date the suburb of St Paul and another outer suburb, known as the Vorstadt, have grown up. Though Schwerin is the oldest town in Mecklenburg, its aspect is comparatively modern, - a fact due to destructive fires, which have swept away most of the ancient houses. The most conspicuous of the many fine buildings is the ducal palace, a huge irregularly penta, gonal structure with numerous towers (the highest 236 feet), built in 1844-57 in the French Renaissance style. It stands on a small round island between Castle Lake and the Lake of Schwerin, formerly the site of a Wendish fortress and of a later medival castle, portions of which have been skilfully incorporated with the present building. The older and much simpler palace ; the opera-house, rebuilt after a fire in 1882 ; the Government buildings, erected in 1825-34 and restored in 1865 after a fire ; and the museum, in the Greek style, finished in 1882, all stand in the " old garden," a,n open space at the end of the bridge leading to the new palace. Among the other secular buildings are the palace of the heir-apparent (built in 1779 a.nd restored in 1878), the large arsenal, the ducal stables, the gymnasium, the town-house, the artillery-barracks, the military hospital, Sie. The cathedml was originally consecrated in 1248, though the present building - a brick structure in the Baltic Gothic style, with an unfinished tower - dates for the most part from the 15th century. Since 1837 Schwerin has been once more the residence of the grand-duke, and the se,a,t of government and of various high tribunals, - a fact which has had con-siderable influence on the character of the town and the tone of its society. Neither the manufacturing industry nor the trade of Schwerin is important. In 1885 the popu-lation was 32,031 - including about 700 Roman Catholics and 400 Jews - an increase of 6.4 per cent. since 1880.
Schwerin is mentioned as a Wendish stronghold in 1018, its name (Zwarin or Swarin) being a Slavonic word equivalent to "game-preserve." The Obotrite prince Niclot, whose statue is placed above the portal of the palace as the ancestor of the present reigning family, bad his residence here. The town, founded in 1161 by Henry the Lion in opposition to this pagan fortress, received townrights in 1167. From 1170 to 1624 it gave name to a bishopric ; and it was also the capital of the duchy of Schwerin, which forms the western part of the grand-duchy of Mecklenburg- Schwerin. Destructive fires, the hardships of the Thirty Years' V ar, and the removal 'of the court to Ludwigslust in 1756 seriously depressed the town. It owes its revival and many of its chief buildings to the grand-duke Paul Frederick (1837-42), to whom a statue by Rauch was erected in 1859.