Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania was created following the Second World War by the joining of two historic regions, Mecklenburg and Western Pomerania. Situated in north east Germany, the state has some 1,900 km of coastline on the Baltic Sea. The interior is low-lying and flat, with many picturesque small towns and villages, lakes and rivers. There are said to be over 2,000 stately homes, castles and palaces. The splendid Schwerin Castle is often said to be the Neuschwanstein of the north. The region’s sea resorts and large white sandy beaches became popular destinations for many Germans since at least the 19th century. In 1793 Grand Duke Ferdinand Franz I went to Heiligendamm for health reasons, said to mark the birth of the first seaside resort in Germany. Here too the National Socialists created their holiday resort in the late 1930s. The incomplete ruins of the Colossus of Prora are slowly being turned into holiday apartments.

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Historic Towns & Cities in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Hanseatic City of Wismar

With Slavic origins and founded in the early 13th century, Wismar went on to become an important town during the era of the Hanseatic League, and again later when this part of northern Germany was under Swedish rule. Much of the Old Town’s character was influenced greatly during these two periods. A Medieval charm that has survived to this day with little damage; from extraordinary Brick Gothic cathedrals and patrician gable-fronted houses of the Hansa port, to the remains of the defensive system and other administrative buildings erected during the Swedish period.

Archaeology & History Sites in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Prora KdF Seaside Resort

Adjacent to a large stretch of white sandy beach on Rügen Island in the Baltic Sea, in the second half of the 1930s the National Socialists built what was called the ‘Colossus of Rügen’. This 4.7 km complex was to be the seaside resort for the Nazi organisation, housing around 20,000 people at the same time. It was the largest  architectural projects carried out by the Nazis. The 500m long blocks of bedrooms are being converted into modern apartments. But many of the other features of this vast complex remain.

Schwerin Castle

Set on a small island in Lake Schwerin, Schwerin residential palace is one of the most important examples of Romantic architecture in Germany. The spectacular neoclassical castle was built in the mid 19th century on the foundations of Slavic fortress dating back to the 10th century, and later buildings from the 16th and 17th century. This was the residence for the Dukes of Mecklenburg, and the beautifully restored stately rooms (including the sumptuous Throne Room) are open to the public. Today Schloss Schwerin houses a museum as well as the State Parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Villa Oechsler

One of a small collection of notable neo-Classical buildings in the Baltic seaside resort of Heringsdorf on the island of Usedom. Originally called Haus Berthold, it was built by Hermann Berthold – who standardised font sizes for typesetting and so revolutionising letterpress printing. Each façade has a portico with a triangular gable. The portico facing the sea has two columns made of Swedish porphyry with Ionic capitals. The gable bears a highly celebrated mosaic depicting the Bathing Graces by the Italian Antonio Salviati.

Museums & Art Galleries in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

Gross Raden Archaeological Open-Air Museum

Located near Sternberg in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Gross Raden Archaeological Open-Air Museum seeks to recreate a 9th and 10th century settlement that archaeologists excavated nearby during the 1970s. It is believed that its original inhabitants were linguistically Slavic, as opposed to Germanic, speakers. Among the reconstructed structures are a temple, tower, and palisade, created on the basis of archaeological discoveries both here and elsewhere. Various re-enactor events take place at the site throughout the year.

Prora Documentation Centre

In what was one of the reception buildings of the Prora Seaside Resort for the Nazi organisation, is the recently founded museum that tells the story of this site. A permanent exhibition, MACHTUrlaub, using a wide variety of documents, photographs, historical film footage, contemporary artefacts and modern models, sets out the construction history of this the largest architectural project undertaken by the Nazis, as well as its social and political background. The centre also hosts temporary exhibitions from other such centres around Germany.

Slavic Village Passentin

Found near Neubrandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Slavic Village Passentin seeks to recreate an Early Medieval settlement from this area of north-western Germany. At that time, the area was home to linguistically Slavic communities. Established in the 1990s using excavated sites as a basis, the village includes various domestic dwellings, a longhouse, a pottery, forge, a bathhouse, a building for spinning and weaving, and a gatehouse at the entrance. The village is open on select open days and special events.