Ludwigslust is a very young town, although there was a small hamlet called Klenow at the place as early as 1399. In 1724 Prince Ludwig, the son of the duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, decided to build a hunting lodge near Klenow. Later, when he was duke himself, he stayed most time at this residence and called it "Ludwigslust". In 1765 Ludwigslust became the capital of the duchy instead of Schwerin. It was enlarged by a castle and a church. This episode lasted until 1837, when Schwerin became the capital again.