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Culture develops at the nexus of free space, play and sources of inspiration. The cultural environment in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is rich in many facets: world-class museums, fascinating stage productions, young art projects, historical brick Gothic, well-kept parks and gardens, painstakingly restored manors and chateaus, but also many ruins, witnesses of the living past, create an exciting interplay between the traditional and the modern.
Be it music, dance, theatre or film – Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has unique venues, especially in the summer. During the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festspiele – one of Germany's three biggest musical events in terms of size – German and international artists offer the finest in classical music enjoyment throughout the entire state. The venues include stately estates, magnificent castle parks, brick cathedrals, farm barns, but also "unheard-of places" such as industrial halls, factories or science facilities. 50,000 visitors gather at the the Fusion Festival each year for alternative directions in art and music. And anyone who likes to really get down attends the indie rock Immergut Festival in Neustrelitz.
The most successful open-air theatre can be found in the unique backdrop of the natural stage in Ralswiek on Rügen. In addition to hundreds of actors, 30 horses and four historical ships turn the Störtebecker Festspiele into an extraordinary festival experience. In the midst of the impressive scenery of the Schwerin Residence Ensemble, the Schwerin Castle Festival stages famous opera classics every summer. The individually designed stage set, which offers a view of the fairytale castle, is simply sensational.
The film festival "filmkunstfest MV" presents cinematic highlights in the state capital and beyond, and offers more than cinema at the most beautiful sites in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Famous well beyond the borders of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is the large collection of Dutch Masters of the State Museum in Schwerin, among them Brueghel, Rubens and Rembrandt. A special highlight is the largest collection of works by Marcel Duchamp in Germany. In the new building opened in 2016, art has found a permanent place after 1945. Especially spectacular is the collection of the Mecklenburg-born artist Günther Uecker.
The Pommersches Landesmuseum in Greifswald attracts visitors with its works by the city's most famous son, Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich, as well as world-famous paintings by Phillipp Otto Runge, Franz Hals and others. The collection at the Ahrenshoops Art Museum includes works by the founding generation of the Ahrenshoop artists' colony as well as works from the classical modern period. Lovers of contemporary art should visit the Kunsthalle Rostock. Opened in 1969, it is the first and only new building of an art museum in the former GDR.
The nature of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has not only always been a place of refuge and inspiration for painters, but for writers as well. Turned into museums, the houses of authors Uwe Johnson in Klützer Winkel, of Hans Fallada in Carwitz or of Gerhard Hauptmann on Hiddensee provide a unique glimpse into these artists's lives.
The region between the Baltic Sea and Lake District features impressive museums, not only of art and culture, but also of nature, history and technology. The two experience museums Ozeaneum in Stralsund and Müritzeum in Waren/Müritz offer a more profound look into the world of indigenous animals. At the Ozeaneum, visitors get to see life size whale models, while the Müritzeum attracts young and old as Germany's largest aquarium for indigenous freshwater fish.
Since the phanTECHNIKUM in Wismar and the Darwineum in Rostock opened to the public, there are two more exciting exhibitions to visit. The phanTECHNIKUM is located in former barracks built in the 1930s, and demonstrates the evolution of technology with different models and exhibits. At the Darwineum in the Rostock zoo, visitors can embark on a spectacular journey through time, spanning 500 million years of evolutionary history and 20,000 square metres of exhibition space.
There are more than 2,000 castles and mansions in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern with picturesque gardens and parks that are perfect for anyone seeking some rest and relaxation. Visitors will be enchanted by the variety and unique charms of the numerous parish, kitchen and cottage gardens and castle grounds.
The histories of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s many castles and manor houses are as interesting as their melodious names. Schloss Mirow is the birthplace of Sophie Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who later became the queen of England and Ireland. At a short distance lies Schloss Hohenzieritz, which had the first English landscape park in Germany. It is here that Queen Louise of Prussia was born and where she also spent her last days.
Stroll, marvel, relax: These three activities can be combined in the region's extensive gardens and parks. The largest park in terms of surface area surrounds the baroque Ludwigslust palace. With its water features, garden architecture and dendrological features, it is considered one of the most beautiful parks in northern Germany. The intersecting canal acts as the symmetry axis for the palace garden in Schwerin. Lake Schwerin and the palace, with which the park forms a unique ensemble, are spotlighted to great effect. Neustrelitz palace gardens are an impressive example of baroque garden architecture.
There are numerous regional networks in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern actively involved in the development and preservation of these parks and gardens, and in advancing sustainable development in the region.
(Image: NDR/Antje Dittmann)
Many places in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern exude a special fascination: In the sleepy villages of the countryside, sometimes time seems to stand still. Other places such as the futuristic Ozeaneum in the Hanseatic city of Stralsund have a modern face. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern offers filmmakers, writers, producers, directors and actors a great amount of fascinating backdrops. But the region also has its "rough edges" - a derelict remnant of the past in the eyes of some will be just the right place to tell an exciting story in the eyes of production designers. More and more major national and international productions are bringing the region between the Baltic Sea and Lake District onto the silver screen in Germany and abroad. MV is also especially popular with crime thriller producers.