Schwerin Cathedral/Schweriner Dom, is as old as the city itself, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Saint John, was built following the move of the seat of the Bishopric of the Abodrites, established by Henry the Lion, to Schwerin from Mecklenburg in the late 12th century. At first a timber construction served the city as a place of worship. The foundation stone of the cathedral of the former Prince-Bishopric of Schwerin was laid in 1172. After a construction period of seventy-six years, the cathedral was consecrated in 1248. The proto-cathedral is now a Lutheran church.
In 1222 Count Henry of Schwerin had returned from a crusade with the Reliquary of the Holy Blood, an alleged drop of Christ’s blood contained in a jewel. This was placed in the cathedral, and caused it to become a place of pilgrimage. A number of great churches served as models for Schwerin Cathedral: the Marienkirche in Lübeck, the Nikolaikirche in Stralsund and the cathedral of Ratzeburg. During the 14th century the nave and transept were completed, as well as the chapter buildings. At the end of the 15th century the cloister on the north side was finished. The tower, 117.5 metres high, was constructed between 1889 and 1893.