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Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
(German pronunciation: [ˈmeːklənbʊʁk], locally [ˈmeiklɪnbʊɪ̯ç], Low German: Mękel(n)borg [ˈmɛːkəl(n)bɔrx]) is a historical region in northern Germany comprising the western and larger part of the federal-state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The largest cities of the region are Rostock, Schwerin, Neubrandenburg, Wismar
Wismar
and Güstrow. The name Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
derives from a castle named "Mikilenburg" (Old Saxon: "big castle", hence the scientific translation used in New Latin Megalopolis), located between the cities of Schwerin
Schwerin
and Wismar. In Slavic language it was known as Veligrad which also means "big castle". It was the ancestral seat of the House of Mecklenburg
House of Mecklenburg
and for a time divided into Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Mecklenburg-Schwerin
and Mecklenburg-Strelitz among the same dynasty. Linguistically Mecklenburgers retain and use many features of Low German vocabulary or phonology. The adjective for the region is Mecklenburgian (German: mecklenburgisch), inhabitants are called Mecklenburgians (German: Mecklenburger).

Contents

1 Geography

1.1 List of urban centers in Mecklenburg

2 History

2.1 Early history 2.2 History, 1621–1933 2.3 History since 1934

3 Coat of arms of the duchies of Mecklenburg 4 Economy

4.1 Tourism

5 Notable Mecklenburgers 6 See also 7 References 8 Literature 9 External links

Geography[edit] Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
is known for its mostly flat countryside. Much of the terrain forms a morass, with ponds, marshes and fields as common features, with small forests interspersed. The terrain changes as one moves north towards the Baltic Sea. Under the peat of Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
are sometimes found deposits of ancient lava flows. Traditionally, at least in the countryside, the stone from these flows is cut and used in the construction of homes, often in joint use with cement, brick and wood, forming a unique look to the exterior of country houses. Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
has productive farming, but the land is most suitable for grazing purposes. List of urban centers in Mecklenburg[edit] See also: List of cities in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Town/ municipality District Population as of December 31, 2012 Image

Rostock district-free city 206,011 (12-31-2015)

Schwerin district-free city 91,264

Neubrandenburg Mecklenburgische Seenplatte 63,509

Wismar Nordwestmecklenburg 42,433

Güstrow Rostock 28,586

Neustrelitz Mecklenburgische Seenplatte 20,322

Waren (Müritz) Mecklenburgische Seenplatte 21,074

Parchim Ludwigslust-Parchim 17,174

Ludwigslust Ludwigslust-Parchim 11,998

Bad Doberan Rostock 11,427

Hagenow Ludwigslust-Parchim 11,324

Grevesmühlen Nordwestmecklenburg 10,621

Boizenburg/Elbe Ludwigslust-Parchim 10,169

Teterow Rostock 8,733

Malchin Mecklenburgische Seenplatte 7,657

History[edit] See also: Partitions of Mecklenburg Early history[edit] Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
is the site of many prehistoric dolmen tombs. Its earliest organised inhabitants may have had Celtic origins. By no later than 100 BC the area had been populated by pre-Christian Germanic peoples. The traditional symbol of Mecklenburg, the grinning steer's head (Low German: Ossenkopp, lit.: 'oxen's head', with osse being a synonym for steer and bull in Middle Low German), with an attached hide, and a crown above, may have originated from this period.[citation needed] It represents what early peoples would have worn, i.e. a steers's head as a hat, with the hide hanging down the back to protect the neck from the sun, and overall as a way to instill fear in the enemy. From the 7th through the 12th centuries, the area of Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
was taken over by Western Slavic peoples, most notably the Obotrites
Obotrites
and other tribes that Frankish sources referred to as "Wends". The 11th century founder of the Mecklenburgian dynasty of Dukes and later Grand Dukes, which lasted until 1918, was Nyklot
Nyklot
of the Obotrites. In the late 12th century, Henry the Lion, Duke
Duke
of the Saxons, conquered the region, subjugated its local lords, and Christianized its people, in a precursor to the Northern Crusades. From 12th to 14th century, large numbers of Germans and Flemings settled the area (Ostsiedlung), importing German law and improved agricultural techniques. The Wends
Wends
who survived all warfare and devastation of the centuries before, including invasions of and expeditions into Saxony, Denmark
Denmark
and Liutizic
Liutizic
areas as well as internal conflicts, were assimilated in the centuries thereafter. However, elements of certain names and words used in Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
speak to the lingering Slavic influence. An example would be the city of Schwerin, which was originally called Zuarin in Slavic. Another example is the town of Bresegard, the 'gard' portion of the town name deriving from the Slavic word 'grad', meaning city or town. Since the 12th century, the territory remained stable and relatively independent of its neighbours; one of the few German territories for which this is true. During the reformation the Duke
Duke
in Schwerin
Schwerin
would convert to Protestantism and so would follow the Duchy of Mecklenburg.

Historical 7-field coat of arms, symbolizing the 7 lordships of Mecklenburg: The duchy of Mecklenburg, the princedoms (former dioceses) of Schwerin
Schwerin
and Ratzeburg, the county of Schwerin
Schwerin
and the Herrschafts (lordships) of Rostock, Werle
Werle
and Stargard.

History, 1621–1933[edit] Like many German territories, Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
was sometimes partitioned and re-partitioned among different members of the ruling dynasty. In 1621 it was divided into the two duchies of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Mecklenburg-Schwerin
and Mecklenburg-Güstrow. With the extinction of the Güstrow
Güstrow
line in 1701, the Güstrow
Güstrow
lands were redivided, part going to the Duke
Duke
of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and part going to the new line of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. In 1815, the two Mecklenburgian duchies were raised to Grand Duchies, the Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Mecklenburg-Schwerin
and the Grand Duchy
Grand Duchy
of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and subsequently existed separately as such in Germany
Germany
under enlightened but absolute rule (constitutions being granted on the eve of World War I) until the revolution of 1918. Life in Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
could be quite harsh. Practices such as having to ask for permission from the Grand Duke
Duke
to get married, or having to apply for permission to emigrate, would linger late into the history of Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
(i.e. 1918), long after such practices had been abandoned in other German areas. Even as late as the later half of the 19th century the Grand Duke
Duke
personally owned half of the countryside. The last Duke
Duke
abdicated in 1918, as monarchies fell throughout Europe. The Duke's ruling house reigned in Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
uninterrupted (except for two years) from its incorporation into the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
until 1918. From 1918 to 1933, the duchies were free states in the Weimar Republic. Traditionally Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
has always been one of the poorer German areas, and later the poorer of the provinces, or Länder, within a unified Germany. The reasons for this may be varied, but one factor stands out: agriculturally the land is poor and can not produce at the same level as other parts of Germany. The two Mecklenburgs made attempts at being independent states after 1918, but eventually this failed as their dependence on the rest of the German lands became apparent. History since 1934[edit] After three centuries of partition, Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
was united in 1934 by the Nazi government. The Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
assigned Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
and Pomerania to Wehrkreis II under the command of General der Infanterie Werner Kienitz, with the headquarters at Stettin. Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
was assigned to an Area headquartered at Schwerin, which was responsible for military units in Schwerin; Rostock; Parchim; and Neustrelitz. After World War II, the Soviet government occupying eastern Germany merged Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
with the smaller neighbouring region of Western Pomerania
Pomerania
(German Vorpommern) to form the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
contributed about two-thirds of the geographical size of the new state and the majority of its population. Also, the new state became temporary or permanent home for lots of refugees expelled from former German territories seized by the Soviet Union and Poland after the war. The Soviets changed the name from "Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania" to "Mecklenburg" in 1947. In 1952, the East German government ended the independent existence of Mecklenburg, creating 3 districts ("Bezirke") out of its territory: Rostock, Schwerin
Schwerin
and Neubrandenburg. During German reunification
German reunification
in 1990, the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
was revived, and is now one of the 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Coat of arms of the duchies of Mecklenburg[edit]

The arms used by both duchies in the 19th century

The House of Mecklenburg
House of Mecklenburg
was founded by Niklot, prince of the Obotrites, Chizzini and Circipani on the Baltic Sea, who died in 1160. His Christian progeny was recognized as prince of the Holy Roman Empire 1170 and Duke
Duke
of Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
8 July 1348. On 27 February 1658 the ducal house divided in two branches: Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Mecklenburg-Schwerin
and Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The flag of both Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
duchies is traditionally made of the colours blue, yellow and red. The sequence however changed more than once in the past 300 years. In 1813 the duchies used yellow-red-blue. 23 December 1863 for Schwerin
Schwerin
and 4 January 1864 for Strelitz blue-yellow-red was ordered.[1] Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Mecklenburg-Schwerin
however used white instead of yellow for flags on sea by law of 24 March 1855.[2] Siebmachers Wappenbuch gives therefore (?) blue-white-red for Schwerin and blue-yellow-red for Strelitz.[3] According to this source, the grand ducal house of Schwerin
Schwerin
used a flag of 3.75 to 5.625 M with the middle arms on a white quadrant (1.75 M) in the middle. The middle arms show the shield of Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
as arranged in the 17th century. The county of Schwerin
Schwerin
in the middle and in the quartering Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
(bull's head with hide), Rostock
Rostock
(griffin), principality of Schwerin
Schwerin
(griffin surmounting green rectangle), Ratzeburg
Ratzeburg
(cross surmounted by crown), Stargard (arm with hand holding ring) and Wenden (bull's head). The shield is supported by a bull and a griffin and surmounted by a royal crown. The dukes of Strelitz used according to Siebmachers the blue-yellow-red flag with just the (oval) shield of Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
in the yellow band. Ströhl in 1897 and Bulgaria,[4] show another arrangement: The grand-duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Mecklenburg-Schwerin
flows a flag (4:5) with the arms of the figures from the shield of arms. The former Schwerin
Schwerin
standard with the white quadrant is now ascribed to the grand dukes of Strelitz. Ströhl mentions a flag for the grand ducal house by law of 23 December 1863 with the middle arms in the yellow band. And he mentions a special sea flag, the same but with a white middle band. 'Berühmte Fahnen' shows furthermore a standard for grand duchess Alexandra of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, princess of Hannover (1882–1963), showing her shield and that of Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
joined by the order of the Wendic Crown in a white oval. On sea the yellow band in her flag was of course white. The princes (dukes) of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Mecklenburg-Schwerin
had according to this source their own standard, showing the griffin of Rostock. Economy[edit] Tourism[edit] Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
faces a huge increase in tourism since German reunification in 1990, particularly with its beaches and seaside resorts at the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
("German Riviera", Warnemünde, Boltenhagen, Heiligendamm, Kühlungsborn, Rerik
Rerik
and others), the Mecklenburg Lakeland (Mecklenburgische Seenplatte) and the Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
Switzerland (Mecklenburgische Schweiz) with their pristine nature, the old Hanseatic towns of Rostock, Greifswald, Stralsund
Stralsund
and Wismar
Wismar
(the latter two being World Heritage) well known for their medieval Brick Gothic buildings, and the former royal residences of Schwerin, Güstrow, Ludwigslust
Ludwigslust
and Neustrelitz. See also: Tourism in Germany Notable Mecklenburgers[edit]

Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, Prussian army leader Jan Ullrich, cyclist Gottlob Frege, logician Siegfried Marcus, automobile pioneer Heinrich Schliemann, classical archaeologist Johannes Gillhoff, teacher, author of book on Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
emigrants to the US Fritz Reuter, poet and novelist Ludwig Jacoby, (1813–1874), born in Altstrelitz, an author and Methodist
Methodist
clergyman, commissioned as a missionary to St. Louis, Missouri, by the founder of the German Methodist
Methodist
Church in America, William Nast (1807–1899). Jacoby founded the first Methodist
Methodist
Church West of the Mississippi River, originally known as Bethel Church, now known as Memorial United Methodist
Methodist
Church, in St. Louis in 1841. Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, (1744–1818), wife of George III of the United Kingdom and grandmother of Queen Victoria. Charlotte, North Carolina, USA and the county in which it lies were named in her honour, as was Charlottesville, Virginia, US.

See also[edit]

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz List of Dukes and Grand Dukes of Mecklenburg Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
County, North Carolina Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
County, Virginia

References[edit]

^ (Ströhl, Deutsche Wappenrolle, Stuttgart, 1897, p. 89) ^ (Ströhl, 86) ^ Siebmachers Wappenbuch (Nurenberg, 1878) ^ Berühmte Fahnen Deutscher Geschichte (Dresden, 1922)

Literature[edit]

Grewolls, Grete (2011). Wer war wer in Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
und Vorpommern. Das Personenlexikon (in German). Rostock: Hinstorff Verlag. ISBN 978-3-356-01301-6. 

External links[edit] Media related to Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
at Wikimedia Commons

Government portal of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Mecklenburg". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.   Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Mecklenburg". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

v t e

Lower Saxon Circle
Lower Saxon Circle
(1500–1806) of the Holy Roman Empire

Ecclesiastical

Bremen1 Halberstadt1 Hildesheim Lübeck Magdeburg1 Ratzeburg2 Schwerin1

Secular

Bremen3 Brunswick and Lunenburg

Blankenburg4 Calenberg5 Celle5 Grubenhagen6 Hanover7 Wolfenbüttel

Holstein

Glückstadt Gottorp8 Pinneberg9

Mecklenburg

Güstrow10 Schwerin Strelitz11

Rantzau12 Regenstein Saxe-Lauenburg5

Cities

Bremen Goslar Hamburg Lübeck Mühlhausen Nordhausen

1 until 1648.   2 until 1701.   3 from 1648.   4 until 1731.   5 until 1705.   6 until 1596.   7 from 1708.   8 until 1773.   9 until 1640.   10 until 1695.   11 from 1701.   12 until 1734. Circles est. 1500: Bavarian, Swabian, Upper Rhenish, Lower Rhenish–Westphalian, Franconian, (Lower) Saxon Circles est. 1512: Austrian, Burgundian, Upper Saxon, Electoral Rhenish     ·     Unencircled territories

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 163668672 GND: 403819

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