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.
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