Paul Friedrich, Grand Duke of Mecklenburg, has significantly influenced the city of Schwerin. Under his reign, the residence of Ludwigslust was transferred back to Schwerin in 1837. He was popular among the people of Mecklenburg as a warm-hearted and friendly ruler.
With the relocation of the residence of the royal family to Schwerin the city experienced a huge boom during the times of the Grand Duke Paul Friedrich. He made Georg Adolf Demmler his master builder, thus initiating a unique building activity, which resulted in many of the magnificent buildings still existing today.
Even though he did not live to see the accomplishment of many of his projects, the Grand Duke has pushed and encouraged them. In addition, Paul Friedrich improved the legal system and infrastructure in the Grand Duchy. On his initiative one of Germany's first railway lines was built in Mecklenburg.
For this, but also for his friendly nature, his subjects thanked him, in whom he enjoyed great prestige. He died in 1842 at the age of only 42 years because of pneumonia. It is said he fell ill after he helped to extinguish a fire in the city. His monument is one of the few cases, where the people collected money for a monument at their own free will.
The bronze figure created by the Berlin sculptor Christian Daniel Rauch stands on a 3.5-meter-high natural stone base was erected in 1849 at Paul Friedrichs favorite place, the "Alter Garten". After the National Socialists transformed the Old Garden into a marshalling area in 1935, the Paul Friedrich Monument stood on the castle island for more than six decades. In July 2011, it was returned to its original place in front of the stairs of the State Gallery Museum.