Reopening of Schloss Mirow

The Grand Ducal Family with Prince Heinrich XI Licco and Princess Ulfa Reuss

On Saturday 7 June their Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Mecklenburg and their younger son Duke Michael attended the official reopening of the restored Schloss Mirow. They were joined by Her Highness Duchess Donata from the House of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, her husband Alexander von Solodkoff and their Serene Highnesses Prince Heinrich XI Licco Reuss, grandson of Duchess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and his wife Princess Ulfa Reuss.

The Schloss and the Mirow Castle Island have undergone an extensive multi million Euro restoration over the past twenty years largely funded by the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the European Union. The reopened Schloss is now home to a museum dedicated to history of the Schloss, its former residents and the continued ties of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz to Mirow and the Schloss after 1760 when it was last used as a residence by a member of the family. The restoration work was carried out by BBL-MV who are responsible for state owned buildings and land in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, under the direction of project manager Jana Giesa. The curator of Schloss Mirow is Friederike Drinkuth who gave the Duke, Duchess and the other royal guests a tour of the Schloss.

Following German reunification Duke Georg Alexander, the late head of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, was invited to take up residence in Mirow by the local council who provided him with a temporary residence on the Castle Island until restoration work on the Schloss could be completed enabling him to take up residence in his designated rooms on the third floor. From the start of what turned out to be a two decade long process Duke Georg Alexander was heavily involved in promoting the restoration seeking support and funding from as many different quarters as possible including from the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in North Carolina which are named after Queen Charlotte of Great Britain, consort of King George III, who was born in the Lower Schloss in Mirow as a member of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The residents of Mecklenburg County made a donation of $15,000 in 1996 in support of the restoration. However sadly Duke Georg Alexander did not live to witness what he had dedicated his last years working towards as delays and funding issues held up work on restoring the Schloss. Following his death in Mirow on 26 January 1996 the duke was interned in the family crypt in the Church of St John on the Mirow Castle Island. The grand ducal family paid their respects to the late duke during their visit on Saturday laying flowers by his coffin.

Between its opening hours of 11am and 5.30pm hundreds of guests passed through the restored Schloss and enjoyed the music, storytelling, discussion between local political figures and interviews with the curator, the project manager and the Duke of Mecklenburg which were all held on the stage in the Schloss Garden. The reopening was aimed at the whole family with numerous games and activities for children located around the Castle Island. At 7pm on the stage in the Schloss Garden the Finance Minster of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Mrs Heike Polzin, delivered a speech welcoming guests to the restored Schloss Mirow. The evening concluded with a gala concert by Mecklenburgischen Staatskapelle Schwerin orchestra.

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