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Schleswig-Holstein Travel Guide

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Beach Westerland, Sylt Island, North Frisia (© blende40 - Fotolia.com)
Beach Westerland, Sylt Island, North Frisia.

Introduction

Almost entirely flat, Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost German state and was part of Denmark until 1864 (after the Danish defeat in the Second Schleswig War). For most of its history, the region was therefore Danish, and bilingual place names are frequent. With a land area of 15,763 km² and a population of 2,835,000, Schleswig-Holstein is slightly larger than Montenegro or the U.S. state of Connecticut, and as populous as Albania or the U.S. states of Utah or Kansas.

Schleswig-Holstein is mostly a maritime region, with ports on both the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Its largest port, Lübeck is the historical capital of the Hanseatic League which controlled trade over most of northern Europe between the 13th and 17th centuries.

Between the 9th and the 13th centuries, Schleswig-Holstein was part of the Duchy of Saxony and was known as Nordalbingia.

Famous people from Schleswig-Holstein include (chronologically): Nobel Prize writer and classical scholar Theodor Mommsen, Nobel Prize physiologist Emil Adolf von Behring, Nobel Prize physicist Max Planck, novelist Heinrich Mann, Nobel Prize novelist Thomas Mann, and Nobel Peace Prize Chancellor Willy Brandt.

Attractions

Schleswig

Schloss Glücksburg
Schloss Glücksburg (© Hans Sehringer - Fotolia.com)
very good Glücksburg Palace is the ancestral home of of the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, and has been used occasionally by the Danish Kings. Known as the Wasserschloss owing to its position in the middle of a lake, it is ...Read more
Flensburg
Flensburg (© Inga Nielsen - Fotolia.com)
good Third largest town in Schleswig-Holstein, Flensburg has a long history as a merchant port. In the 16th century it already traded as far as the Mediterranean, Greenland and the Caribbean. In the 18th century, cane sugar was imported ...Read more
Schleswig
Prinzenpalais, Schleswig (© sulupress - Fotolia.com)
very good Located at the end of the Schlei Förde (Slien Fjord), Schleswig grew out of the Viking settlement of Haithabu (Hedeby), which flourished as one of northern Europe's biggest trading town between the 9th and 10th centuries. From the 12th century ...Read more


Husum
Husum (© Kristina Ubaviciute - Fotolia.com)
good The port of Husum makes a convenient base to explore the North Frisian islands. The town was the birthplace of the novelist Theodor Storm, who coined the epithet "the grey town by the sea". In late March, the grounds of Schloss Husum ...Read more

Other attractions

outstanding Wadden Sea National Park
very good North Frisian Islands

Holstein

Kiel
Kiel (© motorradcbr - Fotolia.com)
good Kiel is the capital and largest city in Schleswig-Holstein. Almost completely destroyed in WWII, Kiel is of limited interest to tourists. Attractions include the Maritime Museum, where three historic ships are moored, and the Aquarium, ...Read more
Schloss Eutin
Schloss Eutin (© Oliver Raupach - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license)
very good Eutin originally belonged to the Prince-Bishops of Lübeck, and later became the summer residence of the Dukes of Oldenburg. The four-winged medieval castle was expanded and refurbished luxuriously over the last ...Read more
Lübeck
Lübeck (© Lambert (Bart) Parren - iStockphoto.com)
outstanding The capital of the Hanseatic League, this pristine medieval city of brick merchant houses and copper-spired churches enclosed on an island by the Trave has been listed by UNESCO since 1987. Lübeck is still the largest German port on the ...Read more
Schloss Ahrensburg
Schloss Ahrensburg (photo by Clemensfranz - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)
very good Ahrensburg Castle is one of the Renaissance gems of northern Germany. It was built in 1585 by Daniel Rantzau, a general of the King of Denmark. Acquired in 1759 by Heinrich Carl von Schimmelmann, the castle was remodelled in the baroque ...Read more

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