You can explore the surroundings of Schwerin beautifully by bike. Our ride took us the nearly 15-kilometer route to Wiligrad Castle on Schwerin Lake.
Our way led us along the Pfaffenteich. Here you can have a beautiful view over the lake at the stairs on the south shore and discover the dragon sculpture Nandolino. The wooden sculpture was created by the artist Nando Kallweit and is associated with the dragon boat races that take place on the Pfaffenteich.
If you drive a little further, you have a beautiful view over the lake to the Schwerin Cathedral St.Marien and St.Johannis.
After that, we rode our bikes along the shore of Lake Ziegelsee. Here you can cycle long distances directly along the shore. Especially nice the view to the Hotel Speicher am Ziegelsee, where I could spend a relaxing night.
For a while we followed the busy main road with the aim of making a short stop at the Medewege farm. Here on the outskirts of Schwerin is an organic farm with farm store and farm café. We walked around the spacious grounds for a bit and enjoyed the peace and relaxed atmosphere.
The bicycle tour continued to Wiligrad Castle on the steep shore of Lake Schwerin.
Wiligrad Castle – very brief historical insight
After a culinary break in the garden café Wiligrad, we were guided through the beautiful castle grounds.
Duke Johann Albrecht zu Mecklenburg had Wiligrad Castle built in 1896 – 1998. It remained in ducal ownership until 1945 and housed many nobles and statesmen in the course of its history. For example, in 1904 the Empress stayed here and Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia announced his engagement to Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in the castle.
In 1920, Duke Johann Albrecht zu Mecklenburg died in Wiligrad. Only a year later, a museum was opened in the lower rooms of the castle, and the ducal family continued to live there. Other building complexes of the castle were later used, for example, by the Peasant College.
From 1947, Wiligrad Castle was the seat of the regional party school of the SED and later the seat of the Schwerin People’s Police.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania took over the administration of the castle in 1991.
Wiligrad Castle is a two-winged castle with a stair tower. The building structure resembles the building principles of English manor houses, with a separation of the manorial and economic wings.
What I found very interesting was that the duke took care when constructing the additional buildings, such as the washhouse and the engine house, that his servants did not have to walk through the garden. He had underground passages built that had to be used.
The buildings of the castle were designed differently at that time. The farm buildings and the economic wing were built in brick style, the ruling wing has a terracotta style.
We were also able to take a look at the first floor of the castle, here exhibitions are held today. In the entrance hall, a large representative staircase leads to the upper floor. I was impressed by the view of Lake Schwerin from one of the rooms.
Stroll in the castle garden
The palace garden, which stretches around the palace, is particularly beautiful. In 1930, it was one of the three most beautiful parks in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and was known far beyond the state’s borders for its rhododendrons.
In 2014, the landscape garden was redesigned and an attempt was made to adhere to old structures. Old structures such as bunkers were removed and the path network was laid out as faithfully as possible to the old specifications. Rhododendrons were also replanted. Today, about 13 different species can be found in the castle park.
The castle garden is beautiful. Here you can stroll past rare trees and beautiful flowers, enjoy the peace and the view of the beautiful castle. In some places the view of Lake Schwerin is just beautiful!
Not to be missed is a visit to the Elisabeth Spring, located on the steep bank below the castle. Here, in 2014, a spring was discovered, which today bubbles from a tap in a brick niche. The water is clear and pure, it is good to drink.
Wiligrader Str. 17,
Opening hours (Castle):
Tuesday – Sunday: 10-18 h
Entrance fees (Castle):
The garden can be visited free of charge.
Disclosure: The visit to the castle and park was part of a blogger trip to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The report is exclusively my own opinion and was written independently of the trip.