Schwerin's unique landmark, the neo-Gothic Castle, is situated on an island in Lake Schwerin and was built around the chapel of a 16th-century ducal palace. The castle is guarded by a statue of Niklot, an early Slavic prince, who was defeated by Henry the Lion in 1160. The huge, graphic picture of his death is a highlight of the castle interior, whilst the Palace Chapel is an architectural gem. It was built between 1560-1563 as the first specifically constructed protestant church in the area. A neo-Gothic chapel, with imposing stained glass windows, was added in the 19th century.
The Castle Garden was laid out in English style with the Orangerie as its centrepiece. Today, the castle is the seat of the government and houses the Parliament of the federal state of Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania as well as the impressive Castle Museum. Visitors to Schwerin will hardly be able to resist the attraction of the castle with its multiplicity of towers and turrets and its many diverse façades. With the surrounding parks and gardens, it presents itself as the largest and most important modern palace site in this part of Germany.