Ibrahim Ibn Jakub, a merchant from Arab Andalusia, described in 973 a Slavic island castle on the shore of a large lake, probably the Obotrite border castle on the castle island.
Archaeologists were able to confirm this assertion during excavations in the castle courtyard in 2014. Around the years 962-974 a Slavic rampart must have been built on the area.
Heinrich the Lion conquered the Slavic settlement in the "Wendenkreuzzug" and founded the town of Schwerin in 1160. He had a new fortress built in the same year.
In the late Gothic period, princely residences became more and more representative and were rebuilt and extended. The Schwerin Castle, the residence of Duke Albrecht II, was also greatly altered. Only the bishop's house remains of the former building.
From around 1500 onwards, the alterations were comprehensively documented by a wealth of written and pictorial evidence.
Today's castle was designed by four famous architects between 1845 and 1857: Georg Adolf Demmler, Gottfried Semper, Friedrich August Stüler and Ernst Friedrich Zwirner. The architectural styles of the French Renaissance castles, such as Chambord Castle on the Loire, had a decisive influence on the neo-Renaissance architecture. But also the Johann- Albrecht style, characterized by round arched windows and semicircular gable ends, strong portals and the rich use of terracotta as window frames, played an important role.
Since 1990 the castle has been the seat of the state parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The former Golden Hall, which burnt down in 1913, now houses the New Plenary Hall. However, the public only has access to part of the palace, which is operated by the Schwerin State Museum.