This church is very close to us at the Festspiele, and we mean that literally: For the past three years, our offices have been located just a stone’s throw away, and its bells pace us through our workdays.
Today, the Schelfkirche is the only entirely baroque church in Westmecklenburg. It was built according to plans by architect Jakob Reutz from 1708 to 1713 on the site of its predecessor, the Kirche St. Nikolai (St. Nicholas’s Church). This original, Gothic-style church was built in 1238 and torn down in 1705, after having apparently fallen into serious disrepair: Its tower had collapsed in a storm two years earlier. Furthermore, it seems the original structure was simply neither large nor stately enough for the new Schelfstadt neighborhood that was being planned at the time.
The Schelfkirche was built in the shape of a cross, with a very low plinth and an external tower on the west side. Members of the Grand-Ducal family of Mecklenburg-Schwerin are buried in the crypt, including Sophie Luise, queen of Prussia, who died in 1735.
Schwerin can be reached via the A14. Follow the signs to the castle (“Schloss”) until you are on Werderstraße. Turn into Amtsstraße, and follow it until it becomes Kirchenstraße. This street will lead you directly to the Schelfmarkt square.