Schwerin is surrounded by lakes. The largest of these lakes, the Schweriner See, has an area of 60 km˛. In the midst of the lakes there has been an Obotritic settlement as early as in the 11th century. This place was called Zuarin, and the name Schwerin is obviously derived from that designation. In 1160 Henry the Lion defeated the Obotrites and captured Schwerin. The town was subsequently expanded to a powerful regional centre.
In 1358 Schwerin became a part of the duchy of Mecklenburg. It was from now on the seat of the dukes. About 1500 the construction of the Schwerin castle began; it was here, where the dukes resided. After the division of Mecklenburg (1621) Schwerin became the capital of the duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Between 1765 and 1837 the town of Ludwigslust was the capital, before the status of Schwerin was reestablished at last.
Sights in Schwerin: