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"America has Florida and Austria the Alps. Germany has Mecklenburg-Vorpommern". This is how the Welt am Sonntag newspaper looked at MV some time ago. With its unique natural riches, its cultural diversity and its history, this region between the Elbe, the Müritz and the Baltic Sea is perfectly suited for both living and holidaying.
A view of Schwerin Castle from far away. (Image: Jörn Lehmann)
The region of West Mecklenburg, which presents itself with corresponding diversity, stretches from the edge of the Baltic up to the Elbe valley meadows. The reason that the names of so many places end with "-ow" is because of the former settlers in this land, the Slavs. The best-known and largest archaeological excavation site in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the partly re-erected Slavic village in Gross Raden near Sternberg, shows how they lived. The regional capital of Schwerin also lies in West Mecklenburg. The most famous mythical figure lives there – the "Petermännchen". Allegedly it comes and goes in Schwerin Castle, where the regional parliament also sits …
The Mecklenburg Lake District is Europe‘s largest cohesive lake district. The region invites you to cruise with a boat from one lake to the next and to be at one with Nature. With the Müritz National Park crane ticket it is possible to observe the largest of European birds going to bed. You can experience the Birds of Happiness at first hand on a guided hike. Alongside this, the Mecklenburg Lake District Ice Age Route offers not only a unique experience of nature along a total distance of 666 kilometres and recuperation by bike or on foot. At the same time, you take a trip into the past long before our time.
How about a boat trip on the Mecklenburg Lake District? (Image: Jens Büttner)
Mecklenburg Switzerland – that sounds like mountains, forests and breathtaking panoramic views. Except the highest mountain is just 123 metres high. For all that, this area offers architecture which is unequalled. Numerous castles and manor houses tell of the prosperity of former times. The most important architectural representative of German neo-classicism, Peter Joseph Lenné (1789-1866), created one of the most beautiful park ensembles of his life around Basedow Castle.
On the Baltic and Bodden coasts it not only smells of the big wide world after the G8 summit was held here in Heiligendamm in 2007. In cities such as Wismar, Rostock or Greifswald you can stumble over traces which the time-honoured Hanseatic League left behind at every step. With their splendid buildings, Wismar and Stralsund belong to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.
Vorpommern incomparably unites maritime flair and authenticity. Before the mouth of the Haff at Anklam the Peene river, which is up to 80 metres wide in places, crosses the largest continuous low moor area in Europe. The gradient of the Amazon of the North is so slight that it flows uphill during Baltic flooding or a sustained east wind.
The breadth of the Elbe valley flood plain in West Mecklenburg region. (Image: Jens Büttner)
25 Islands and peninsulas are spread out along the MV’s Baltic coast. The largest of them, Rügen, is famous for its chalk cliffs which fascinated the Romantic Caspar David Friedrich. Sometimes it’s Rügen, then Usedom – at any rate, the sun shines more frequently in the extreme north-east of MV than in any other area of Germany. The Fischland-Darss-Zingst peninsula has shaped the sea and thus created landscapes of unique beauty. On the island of Poel, before the gates of Wismar, the pace of life is rather contemplative. Broad meadows and fields are typical for this landscape and long beaches of fine sand tempt you to bathe.