A UFO-shaped tower rises up from the dunes, and on the beach promenade next to it, white, magnificent buildings in the confectioner's style shine. Beautiful town centers are characterized by magnificent merchant houses and monumental brick churches, on the Baltic coast you can snuggle up under thatch and in Mecklenburg Switzerland you become a temporary lord of the castle. Welcome to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern - to a journey on the traces of architecture between the Baltic Sea and the Lake District.
On an island in the heart of Schwerin stands a veritable fairy-tale castle: built in its present form from 1843, it is the landmark of the state capital with its golden towers and turrets. Thereby Schwerin Castle just one of many stately homes in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Bothmer Castle near Klütz with its flowering parks, Granitz Hunting Lodge at a clear height above the green forests of the Island Rügen, romantic manor houses in the Peenetal, magnificent buildings in Güstrow and Ludwigslust or Mirow Castle in the Mecklenburg Lake Districtare further highlights among the state's 2,000 or so castles and manor houses. Whether in the style of Baroque, Classicism or Renaissance, whether secluded in the countryside or located in the middle of the cities, they are all worth a visit. No fewer than 300 of these facilities also serve as museums, restaurants or event venues. And if you can't tear yourself away, you can also spend the night in some of the estates.
This is how you get to Schwerin by train: Plan arrival.
Their walls are made of baked clay bricks, are usually bright red and can be found at every turn in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Defiant trade offices, elegant town houses, mighty churches, castles and palaces, they are all imposing testimonies to brick Gothic architecture. The medieval buildings once stood for the wealth and power of the church, nobility and Hanseatic League. The town hall, for example, with its magnificent facade and seven helmeted towers, characterizes the historic core of Stralsund, the old town of Wismar represents the heyday of the Hanseatic League in the 14th century - no wonder both old towns are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Hundreds of other such places are connected by various brick Gothic routes - the furthest reaching out to Russia and Denmark.
How to get to Stralsund by train: Plan arrival.
They are located in the beautiful seaside resorts of the Baltic coast, are called Strandhaus Belvedere, Villa Meeresgold or Pension am Klünderberg, usually have snow-white facades full of balconies, oriels and turrets and look like they were made by a confectioner. The houses and hotels in the style of spa architecture were mostly built between 1800 and 1920. On the Islands Rügen and Usedombut also elsewhere in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, they characterize the image of the resorts and beach promenades, the works of courageous architects who left behind magnificent villas for posterity. By the way, the 17 large piers in the state are in no way inferior, often decorated with imaginative superstructures - the longest in Heringsdorf juts 500 meters into the Baltic Sea.
How to get to Heringsdorf by train: Plan arrival.
The Kunstkaten in Ahrenshoop is one of the oldest galleries in northern Germany, painted bright blue and built in the traditional style. You can find them without end in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern: Large and small estates with a thatched roof, which protects the house virtually like a warming cap. The reed roofing is one of the oldest roof constructions in the world, is expensive to produce and maintain, but provides an excellent indoor climate and is also incredibly cozy. Thatched-roof houses on the Darß are often adorned by so-called Darß doors, wooden entrances whose colorful painting, according to legend, protects against fire and sorcery - and is supposed to ensure sailors a happy homecoming.
How to get to Ahrenshoop by train and bus: Plan arrival.
They have sweeping, filigree shapes, sometimes look like a diver's helmet, sometimes like a teapot or like a fin from a whale's tail, depict a piece of GDR architectural history and their builder comes from the Island Rügen. The utopian-looking "hypershells" by Binz country architect Ulrich Müther (1934-2007) are so very different from the spa architecture that dominates there. Around 55 buildings have been erected in this way in Germany and abroad. 19 of them were and are located on Rügen, others can be found in Schwerin, among other places, Rostock and in Warnemünde. Best known is his rescue tower built in 1981 in Binz at the beach access 6 - the UFO-shaped work was recently renovated, and today you can get married there.
This is how you get to Binz by train: Plan arrival.
Cover photo: One of the most striking buildings in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is the classicist Ludwigslust Castle © TMV/Allrich
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