Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is home to a particularly large number of magnificent castles and stately homes - the Residenzstädte circular route allows you to explore some of them. A bike tour lasting several days that follows in the footsteps of the dukes and takes you to truly magnificent places.
Many years were fought over the regency of Mecklenburg - without agreement. And so the land was divided up several times, various dukes had magnificent residences, summer residences and pleasure and hunting lodges built. Even today, the stately buildings are reminiscent of that time. You can experience some particularly impressive ones on the Residenzstädte circular route, which invites you on a 285-kilometer journey through time.
The route is divided into five stages, so that your physical condition is challenged, but not overstrained. This also leaves enough time to experience the stations of the circular route at your leisure. The first destination: Schwerin Castle, probably the most beautiful heritage of sovereign splendor. The turrets and roofs sparkle in the sun and are reflected picturesquely in the castle lake. And the adjacent garden is also impressively designed.
But that was just the beginning. The circular route leads to Schwerin Lake, on whose wooded western shore the youngest castle awaits you: Wiligrad Castle, whose interplay of imposing architecture and romantic nature exerts a special charm. A few kilometers later, the next stop is dedicated to the country's roots. The former Michelenburg, of which only an earthen wall remains today, gave the country its name.
After city, forest and meadows, the countryside becomes increasingly hilly. Again and again there are interesting views - for example of Bützow, a small town on the Warnow River, which was already a bishop's seat in the 13th century. The route continues along the Bützow-Güstrow Canal. Unexpectedly, the impressive Güstrow Castle appears in front of you. It is one of the most important castles of the Renaissance and has an almost southern charm.
The path then leads through the Nossentiner/Schwinzer Heide Nature Park, past several lakes, the Dobbertin Monastery and on through the forest until the castle of the picturesque town of Neustadt-Glewe can be seen from afar. One of the most famous destinations of the Residenzstädte circular route follows on its heels: the baroque palace of Ludwigslust. It is one of the largest baroque castles in northern Germany. You'll also be impressed by the 130-hectare palace park with its fabulous water features and stately gardens. A good place to gather strength for the way back.
So: saddle up the bike, it goes back to Schwerin - through the Lewitz nature reserve with the Friedrichsmoor hunting lodge, along the Störkanal canal, until ancient oaks in the Raben-Steinfeld castle park announce the end of the circular route. A charming circular route, which with its enthralling buildings provides insights into the long history of the country.
By train comfortably and without traffic jams to Schwerin: Plan arrival.
Ludwigslust Castle developed over the years from a small hunting lodge into one of the most spectacular architectural ensembles in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern © TMV/Tiemann
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