Choral Holidays - Singing in wonderful locations

Posted under: "General Blog Post"

Feb 4, 12:45 PM

So, where is Schwerin, and why would I want to go there?

I know, you’re thinking “wherin?”. Most people in this country have never even heard of Schwerin, much less considered visiting it. So why would Choral Holidays choose to go there?

I felt exactly the same as I boarded a flight to Hamburg and a train to Schwerin in 1999. I had never heard of it until my agent had suggested try out for the job as the house lyric tenor in Schwerin.

As I began to walk from the station to my lodgings, I found the most beautiful town; the kind of place I had never expected to find in old East Germany.

For some reason, I always expected East Germany to be grey and concrete and, sure, on my first visit, the town was in serious need of some TLC but, 10 years after the fall of the Berlin wall, improvements were beginning to show.

By the time I left the job in 2002, the town was almost fully restored and I had completely fallen for the place.

In 1106, Henry the Lion captured the city and turned it into a powerful regional centre. He built the magnificent castle on the edge of the Schweriner See ( a lake stretching some 60km). The castle has been expanded over the centuries and is said to be haunted by the impious ghost, Petermänchen.

In 1358 Schwerin became the part of the Duchy of Mecklenburg, becoming the capital in 1621.

Much of the old architecture is still intact and, since the renovations looks more splendid than ever. Of course there is the castle, but there’s so much more besides. Directly in front of the castle is a square where each summer, a month long outdoor Opera festival takes place with over 3000 visitors each night. The square is enclosed by the lake and castle on one side, a park on another, the neo-classical museum and the City Theatre which was built in 1886.

A short walk away we find the central stop for the trams as well as a fabulous modern shopping centre. There’s also a whole host of restaurants and wonderful coffee houses where we will go for Cafe und Kuchen. We will also take a walk through the gardens and around the lake towards Zippendorf. There will, naturallu be time to visit the castle and museum.

Back up in the town centre the streets are cobbled and lead lead to the main town square. Here we find the old town hall, the towering brick-gothic cathedral, dating from the 13th century where we will give a short concert, and, of course, your accommodation; the Alte Schweriner Schankstuben.

This square is where the bulk of the Christmas market takes place, although it spreads out through the town as well. The Christmas market has everything a traditional Christmas market should have, aside from the hoards of foreign visitors that one would find at the more famous markets such as Munich.

This is a truly lovely place. Join us to drink a Ghühwein and soak up the atmosphere in the country that celebrates Christmas better than any other.

 

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