Monday, August 1, 2011

City in a Day: Schwerin

(So long as your day is only two and a half hours long)

For all of you who check every single day eagerly anticipating a new post (all one of you), I'm sorry. The last week has been so incredibly busy (travel- and school-wise) that I hadn't had the time to type anything.

As the title suggests, I was recently in Schwerin, a city in former East Germany. It has a lovely Altstadt (old town), but what my class was really there to see was the documentation center, a former Stasi prison. The Stasi, if you didn't know, were the state police in communist East Germany, sort of like a German KGB. They spied on you, kept documents on everything you did, and pulled you in here for months of psychological torture if they thought you had information they wanted.
 Cheerful place, right?
The prison part is tri-storied, with the first floor remaining in the style it was when the Nazis used the prison, the second floor styled after the Soviets who used it next, and the third floor after the Stasi. There's an empty cell on each floor showing how it looked, while other rooms have info about the people kept in that room, historical artifacts, or other information. Unfortunately, it's all in German.

As a documentation center, people can go in and apply to see their Stasi records.

We then headed to the Altstadt, and had very little time for sightseeing, so I didn't walk around the very big palace, though I did admire it up-close for a few minutes.
Is it just me, or am I seeing shades of Disney's Tangled around here?

We were informed that a particular cafe on the corner was very famous and very good, and so stopped there for a snack. It was middling--the Eis Schokolade that I ordered was 3-euro-something, and smaller than similarly-priced ones at other cafes in Lueneburg.
Still, though, it was chocolate, and that's what counts.

My last stop of the day before leaving was going to be the church. It's big and for a euro you can climb the stairs to see over the entire city. Unfortunately, it closed fifteen minutes before I arrived.
And the keyhole did not exactly reveal a lot.

I leave you with this, then, the picture of the tower I wanted to climb. There was still more to do in Schwerin, and I'm very sad that time constraints (it was, as earlier hinted, a class field trip) did not allow for a more thorough investigation. The palace, some museums, town tours, and more await the one who can spend more time than I there.

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