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  • as the result of a wrong order, the elite British T-Force moved in to Kiel just prior to VE Day while a strong German force was still present in the city?

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Aerial view of the city
Aerial view of the city
Coat of arms of Kiel
Kiel is located in Germany
Coordinates 54°19′31″N 10°8′26″E / 54.32528°N 10.14056°E / 54.32528; 10.14056
Country Germany
State Schleswig-Holstein
District Urban district
City subdivisions 18 districts
Lord Mayor Torsten Albig (SPD)
Governing parties SPDGreens
Basic statistics
Area 118.6 km2 (45.8 sq mi)
Elevation 5 m  (16 ft)
Population 237,579  (31 December 2008)
 - Density 2,003 /km2 (5,188 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate KI
Postal codes 24103–24159
Area code 0431

Kiel (German pronunciation: [ˈkiːl]  ( listen)) is the capital and most populous city of the northern German state Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of over 236,000 (2007).

Kiel is approximately 90 kilometres (56 mi) north of Hamburg. Due to its geographic location in the north of Germany, the southeast of the Jutland peninsula, and the southwestern shore of the Baltic Sea, Kiel has become one of the main maritime centres of Germany. For instance, the city is known for a variety of international sailing events, including the annual Kiel Week, which is the biggest sailing event in the world. The Olympic sailing competitions of the 1936 and the 1972 Summer Olympics were held in Kiel.[1]

Kiel has also been one of the traditional homes of the German Navy's Baltic fleet, and continues to be a major high-tech shipbuilding centre. Kiel is an important sea transport hub, due to its location at the Kiel Fjord and the busiest artificial waterway in the world, Kiel Canal. A number of passenger ferries to Sweden, Norway and other countries operate from here. Moreover, today Kiel harbour is an important port of call for cruise ships touring the Baltic Sea.

Kiel's 2005 GDP per capita was 35,618, well above the national average of Germany, and equaled 159% of the European Union average.[2]

Within Germany and parts of Europe, the city is known for its leading handball team, THW Kiel. The city is home to the University of Kiel (established in 1665).



Middle Ages

St. Niclas' Church was built in the 13th century and is the oldest building in Kiel.

The Kiel Fjord was first settled by Normans or Vikings who would colonize the land along their raids, for many years staying in German villages. This is recorded by the geography and architecture of the fjord. Kiel was originally founded in 1233 as Holstenstadt tom Kyle by Count Adolf IV, and granted Lübeck city rights in 1242 by Adolf's eldest son, John I of Schauenburg.[3]

Kiel, the capital of Holstein, was a member of the Hanseatic League from 1284 until it was expelled in 1518 for harbouring pirates. In 1431, the Kieler Umschlag (trade fair) was first held, which became the central market for goods and money in Schleswig-Holstein, until it began to lose significance from 1850 on, being held for the last time in 1900.

Modern Times

The port and Kiel Fjord.
The Botanical Garden during winter.
Kiel's Opera House

The University of Kiel was founded on 29 September 1665, by Christian Albert, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp. A number of important scholars, including Theodor Mommsen and Max Planck, studied or taught there.

From 1773 to 1864, the town belonged to the King of Denmark. However, because the king ruled Holstein as a fief of the Holy Roman Empire only through a personal union, the town was not incorporated as part of Denmark proper. Thus Kiel belonged to Germany, but it was ruled by the Danish king. Even though the Empire was abolished in 1806, the Danish king continued to rule Kiel, only through his position as Duke of Holstein. When Schleswig and Holstein rebelled against Denmark in 1848 (the First Schleswig War), Kiel became the capital of Schleswig-Holstein until the Danish victory in 1852.

During the Second Schleswig War in 1864, Kiel and the rest of Schleswig and Holstein were conquered by a German Confederation alliance of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. After the war, Kiel was briefly administered by both the Austrians and the Prussians, but the Austro-Prussian War in 1866 led to the annexation of Kiel by Prussia in 1867. On 24 March 1865 King William I based Prussia's Baltic Sea fleet out of Kiel instead of Danzig (Gdańsk).

When William I of Prussia became Emperor William I of the German Empire in 1871, he designated Kiel and Wilhelmshaven as Reichskrieghäfen, or "Imperial War Harbour". The prestigious Yacht Club of Kiel was established in 1887 with Prince Heinrich of Prussia as its patron. Emperor Wilhelm II became its commodore in 1891.

Because of its new role as Germany's main naval base, Kiel quickly increased in size in the following years, from 18,770 in 1864 to about 200,000 in 1910. Much of the old town centre and other surroundings were levelled and redeveloped to provide for the growing city. Kiel was the site of the sailors' mutiny which sparked the German Revolution in late 1918. Just before the end of World War I, the German fleet stationed at Kiel was ordered to be sent out on a last great battle with the Royal Navy. The sailors, who thought of this as a suicide mission which would have no effect on the outcome of the war, decided they had nothing to lose and refused to leave the safety of the port. The sailors' actions and the lack of response of the government to them, fuelled by an increasingly critical view of the Kaiser, sparked a revolution which caused the abolition of the monarchy and the creation of the Weimar Republic.

During World War II, Kiel remained one of the major naval bases and shipbuilding centres of the German Reich. There was also slave labour for the local industry.[4] Because of its status as a naval port and as production site for submarines, Kiel was heavily bombed by the Allies during World War II. The bombing destroyed 80% of the remaining old town, 72% of the central residential areas, and 83% of the industrial areas.[5] During the RAF bombing of 23/24 July 1944, Luftwaffe fighters tried to intercept the spoof (i.e. decoy) force instead of the main force attacking Kiel,[6] and there was no water for 3 days; trains and buses did not run for 8 days and there was no gas available for cooking for 3 weeks.[7] The town, its port, the canal and its scientists were seized by the British T-Force under Tony Hibbert just after the German surrender to the western Allies to stop them and access to Denmark falling into Russian hands, despite it being beyond the stop-line set by the surrender.

Just like other heavily bombed German cities, the city was rebuilt after the war. In 1946, Kiel was named the seat of government for Schleswig-Holstein, and it officially became the state's capital in 1972. Kiel is once again an important maritime centre of Germany, with high-tech shipbuilding, U-boat construction, ferries to Scandinavia and Russia, as well as the largest sailing event in the world called the Kiel Week in German and The Kiel Regatta in English. The Kieler Umschlag is another festival, which has been taking place since 1975. Kiel is also home to a large service sector and a number of research institutions including the University of Kiel, which is the oldest, largest, and most prestigious university in the state.

Main sights

The Opera House (Opernhaus) and the City Hall (Kieler Rathaus).
Historic ships are part of the annual Kiel Week, which is the largest sailing event in the world.
Möltenort is one of the seaside areas of Kiel.

The oldest building in the city is the 13th century Nikolaikirche (St Nicholas' Church), which has a sculpture of Ernst Barlach in front of it called Der Geistkämpfer.

Kiel is Schleswig-Holstein's largest city, and therefore Kiel's shopping district is a major attraction, and will see further improvement and renovation efforts in the upcoming years. Kiel's Holstenstrasse (Holsten Street) is one of the longest shopping miles in Germany. The Rathaus (town hall), which was built in 1911, has an operating paternoster and its tower was designed after a model from Venice, Italy. The square in front of it is bordered by a lake and the Opera House. There are also a number of lakes and parks in the city centre, e.g. Schrevenpark (Schreven Park). There are two botanical gardens, the Alter Botanischer Garten and Neuer Botanischer Garten.

As Kiel is situated near the sea, the beaches to the north of Kiel such as Kiel-Strande, Kiel-Schilksee, Möltenort and Laboe are also popular places to visit in spring and summer.

Kiel Week, more properly known in English as the Kiel Regatta, is the largest sailing event in the world and takes place in the last week in every June. Many thousands of boats and ships of all kinds and eras take part in the parade. Kiel Week is also a festival, Volksfest and fair at the same time as it is a maritime event.

There are a number of sports venues in Kiel, most notably the Sparkassen-Arena (formerly known as Ostseehalle), which is the home ground of one of the most successful team handball clubs in the world and multiple German champion, THW Kiel. There is currently no top Bundesliga football club in Kiel, but Holstein Kiel plays at Holstein-Stadion. There are a number of yachting and sailing clubs in picturesque settings.

Kiel also features a number of museums, including zoological, geological, historical, fine art, industrial, and military museums. Notable is the Stadtmuseum (City Museum) in Warleberger Hof, which in addition to preserving architecture from the 16th Century and historic rooms with painted stucco ceilings, displays urban and cultural exhibits of the 19th and 20th Century.[8] Particularly intriguing is the history of the carnival in Kiel.[8] Laboe is home to the Laboe Naval Memorial, as well as the World War II submarine Unterseeboot 995, which are popular tourist sites.


The Holstenstraße is one of the longest shopping streets in Germany — Kiel is the largest city in the state of Schleswig-Holstein.

Kiel's economy is dominated by the service sector, transportation, and maritime industry. Kiel is also one of the major ports of the German Navy, and a leading center of German high-tech military and civil shipbuilding. Kiel is the home of HDW Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft GmbH, a shipyard founded in 1838 famed for its construction of submarines. HDW built the first German submarine Brandtaucher in 1850, and is today a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, the leading German group of shipyards.

In 2005, the GDP per person was €35,618, which is well above the national average of Germany and 159% of the European Union average.[2]

2005 EUROSTAT[9] Nominal GDP per capita
Wappen Kiel.svg Kiel 35,618 ~$49,866
 Schleswig-Holstein €24,250 ~$33,950
 Germany €27,219 ~$38,107
 EU27 €22,400 ~$31,360


The Schreventeich (Schreven Lake), which is surrounded by a park and close to the inner city, gave Kiel's neighbourhood Schreventeich its name.

The city districts of Düsternbrook, Schreventeich, Ravensberg, and Blücherplatz are popular places to live with many 19th century buildings, villas, and tree-lined streets. The government offices, ministries and parliament of the state of Schleswig-Holstein are also mainly based in these neighbourhoods, particularly Düsternbrook. In contrast to the heavy bombing destruction of the central parts of the city during World War II, most of the residential areas have not been severely damaged. Hence, Kiel's more modern-style inner city and Kiel's more historic/elaborate residential areas stand in architectural contrast to one another.

There are plans for large-scale improvement and building efforts for the inner city, providing better pavements, better access to and view of the waterfront and a generally more attractive feel. However, these plans have yet to be implemented in coming years.


Kiel Central Station
Panorama of Kiel Central Station (inside)
The Kiel—Gothenburg ferry.

Kiel is situated near an important cross-European motorway called Bundesautobahn 7, which connects northern Europe with central and southern Europe.

Kiel has a train station with trains to Hamburg, Lübeck, Flensburg and to locations in Denmark such as Copenhagen.

Kiel is a significant port for passenger and cargo shipping from Germany to Scandinavia, the Baltic States, and Russia. Passenger ferries operate from and to Gothenburg in Sweden (Stena Line, 13½ hours, daily), Oslo in Norway (Color Line, 19½ hours, daily), and Klaipėda in Lithuania (DFDS LISCO, 21 hours, 6 times per week). Cargo ferries operate from and to Saint Petersburg in Russia (DFDS LISCO, twice a week), and Kaliningrad in Russia (NSA, once a week).

The nearest international airport is Hamburg Airport, which is situated approximately 90 kilometres (56 mi) to the south of Kiel. A special way for transportation in Kiel for students of the university is given at this link[1] under transportation.

Notable people

Peter III of Russia (1728–1762)
Max Planck (1858–1947), physicist
Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker (1912–2007), physicist and philosopher

Sister towns

Kiel is twinned with[10]:

See also


  1. ^ "General Information". Kieler Woche. Retrieved 2006-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b GDP per person 2005 in Euro
  3. ^ "A brief history of Kiel". Kiel - a portrait of the city. City of Kiel. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  4. ^ Victor, Edward. "Alphabetical List of Camps, Subcamps and Other Camps". Retrieved July 25, 2008. 
  5. ^ "The Navy changed the face of Kiel". Kiel — a portrait of the city. City of Kiel. Retrieved July 25, 2008. 
  6. ^ Jones, R. V. (1978). Most Secret War: British Scientific Intelligence 1939-1945. London: Hamish Hamilton. p. 466. ISBN 0 241 89746 7. 
  7. ^ Campaign Diary: July 44, Royal Air Force Bomber Command 60th Anniversary site. Accessed 4 May 2007
  8. ^ a b "Kieler Stadtmuseum Warleberger Hof", City of Kiel webpage, in German
  9. ^ "Regional GDP per inhabitant in the EU 27" (PDF). Eurostat. Retrieved 2008-08-19. 
  10. ^ Twin cities of Kiel (in German)

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Kiel[1] is the capital city of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein and has a population of roughly 240,000. It is located at the Baltic Sea at the end of the "Kieler Förde".

Kiel Port taken August 4th 2006
Kiel Port taken August 4th 2006


During the Second World War, Kiel was severely bombed, because of its submarine-producing shipyard. Both civil and military ships are being built in Kiel nowadays and the tall cranes dominate the eastern shore of the Förde (fjord).

The bombing destroyed almost all historic buildings in Kiel and even the older looking buildings were built after WW2. So, if you come to the "Kieler Schloss" (Kieler Castle) don't be disappointed. There isn't much left of the original building. During the rebuilding after WW2, mostly modern architecture was used.

Kiel, May 2007
Kiel, May 2007

Kiel serves as the German ferry terminus for the ferries to Oslo, Norway with Color Lines and Gothenburg, Sweden with Stena Lines.

By train

Kiel Hauptbahnhof is located directly adjacent to the main bus terminal and across the road from the central shopping district. Kiel is connected to the DB rail system with regular RE and IC services to Hamburg and beyond. Transfers can be made in Flensburg or Lübeck to Danish Rail.

By bus

A number of bus lines run services to - or through - Kiel. A weekly bus leaves Kiel and travels via Poland and the Baltic states to Tallinn, Estonia. A comfortable bus operates daily from Germany's capital, Berlin, to Kiel via Lübeck and vice versa (6 hours, 41 Euros one-way).

By plane

Kiel has its own airport (IATA: KEL) (ICAO: EDHK) in "Holtenau" (north-west). Planes of the size of a BAe 146 can start and land. Charter flights leave for other Scandinavian destinations. At the moment, there are no regular services.

The nearest major airport is Hamburg, about 100km/one hour by car away. Another possibility is the airport Lübeck, about 80 km/1h 20 min away, where Ryanair operates some low cost flights each day.

Get around

Kiel has a relatively good public transport system based on buses and ferries, both operated by VRK [2]. The taxi service is good, but expensive.

Kiel is very flat, and bicycles can be hired at various places. It is quite an easy day to ride from Kiel to Laboe, catch a ferry to Strande, and cycle back to Kiel.

Kiel, City Hall, taken 2005
Kiel, City Hall, taken 2005
  • The main tourist attraction is the Kieler Woche [3] ("Kiel Week") at the end of June. See below for more information.
  • Also famous is in Laboe (part of Kiel on the east-side of the fjord) the only surviving Type VII-C U-boat from World War 2 at the shore and the "Marine-Ehrenmal" [4] (Navy Memorial) with a high tower.
  • Kiel is famous for the Nord-Ostsee Kanal (Kiel Canal), the world's busiest canal. It is possible to walk or cycle for almost the entire length (99km) directly along the canal from Kiel to Brunsbüttel (estuary of the Elbe, on the North Sea Coast), staying overnight in the town of Rendsburg.
  • Kiel is the home of the German Baltic fleet, and it is common to see all types of German warships and submarines in the "Förde", including the training sailing vessel Gorch Fock [5].

Kieler Woche

Besides being world's largest sailing event the Kieler Woche is one of Germany's largest festivals. Apart from the sailing, the entire center of the town is transformed into an international food and craft fair, with regular big name performers appearing nightly. Due to Kiel's high latitude nights in the summer are short. If you intend to visit Kiel during this time book your hotel well ahead and bear in mind that the waterfront and major parts of downtown will be inaccessible for cars.

Information on events isposted all over town and through a free magazine which will be distributed about a month before the event. Events include entertainment for kids during daytime throughout the entire week and lots of open air concerts. Most concerts end around 11PM and nightlife moves to indoor venues as well as the Eggerstedtstrasse.

Aside from an abundance of food and drink outlets along the streets the International Market on the Rathausmarkt is the place to go for food and drink. A few dozen countries operate booths on the open-air market offering food and drinks from the particular countries. The Kieler Nachrichten newspaper runs a special about food on the market in its Saturday edition. If you cannot decide from the endless choices head over to the Scandinavian area or to wherever crowds are gathering.


There are two free monthly magazines listing activities and events. Paper copies of both Station [6] and Ultimo [7] can be found in most cafes. Online information is available via Kiel Magazin [8] and Fördeflüsterer [9].


A variety of shops are located in the pedestrian zone Holstenstraße and the mall Sophienhof. Another relatively big mall is the Citti-Park from where you can also access the huge Ikea shop. Numerous cafes are located in the old town center at the northern tip of the Holstenstraße near the "Nikolaikirche" (Nikolai church). An outdoor shopping area is the busy Holtenauer Straße with lots of cafes and more upscale stores towards the south end near the Dreiecksplatz.


The best ever German/Turkish Döner kebabs can be found at Garips Imbiss, located on the corner of the Metzstrasse and Wörthstrasse(off of the Westring). There are convenient food courts in Kieler Hauptbahnhof (train station) and the shopping mall across from the train station (Sophienhof). For something different, try the "Kartoffel Keller" (Potato cellar), where everything has potato as the theme - the potato pizza is very good. Other good cafes and pubs can be found in the old city centre. Nice breakfast buffet in the weekend in Cafe Louf next to the water near the "Reventloubrücke".

  • Subrosa is Kiel's alternative pub and bistro, situated in Kiel-Gaarden. Elisabethstr. 25.
  • Unrat is the place for Kiel's students to talk philosophy, drink a cheap beer or listen to some live band. Spichernstr. 2, to enter from Metzstr..
  • Prinz Willy is a "creative" Café that offers live-music, arts, poetry and much more at Lutherstrasse 9.
  • Exlex is the number one meeting point for students and young folks downtown. Right in the middle of Kiel at Ziegelteich 14.
  • Blauer Engel at the quai by the central station. A convenient café / bar / nightclub with a nice view and outdoor serving.
  • Cafe Medusa is situated in a backyard in Medusastr. 16 in Kiel's multicultural district Gaarden on the east coast of the Kiel Fjord. It hosts live-music and readings.
Cafe Medusa in Gaarden, July 2007
Cafe Medusa in Gaarden, July 2007
  • Chaplin's in Waisenhofstraße. Piano player and cocktails.


Kiel's clubs are spread out all across the city. Although some locals prefer doing the one-hour drive to Hamburg to go out, Kiel has some clubs that are worth being checked out. Make sure you have had a look at the Fördeflüsterer site [10] before going out to get the most accurate information on all night live events. Most clubs have a 5 € cover fee.

  • Pumpe [11] A community-run cultural center showing independent movies, providing room for community projects, concerts, bars and parties. On Thursday night students dance soul, reggae and funk at the FunkPump party.
  • Luna [12] Located in the Bergstraße this club hosts parties ranging from electronic tunes to Soul/Funk and Ragga. Cover charge might be higher if nationally-recognized DJs operate the turntables.
  • Max [13] Standard R'n'B, techno club.
  • Schaubude [14]
  • Traumgmbh [15] Incorporating a restaurant, an independent movie theater, and a club, the Traumgmbh is likely to offer something that is just right for you. If you're over the age of 30, the Ü30 party is THE party to go to. Watch out! They'll check your ID!
  • Tucholsky[16]Being by far the most famous club in Kiel, this somewhat battered and shady place is located in a former parking garage. A formerly very popular club among students now hosts a fairly young crowd that dances to pop, rock, r'n'b, techno, punk, and indie on four dance-floors (on the weekends). You can still get a feeling for the old days on Tuesdays at the Tequila-Party. The Tucholksy has the most diverse crowd, the cheapest drinks and the poorest air-conditioning - especially in the summer. Not a clean and neat place but the only option if you feel like partying on Sundays through Wednesdays. No cover on weeknights.
  • Osho [17]
  • Weltruf [18] The interior of the Weltruf is dominated by a ship which has been built inside and cannot be removed.


Not exactly in the category of clubs are the various parties that take places in different parts of the city. Traditionally on Thursdays between October and April all the big university departments organize Studentenparties on and off campus. Expect somewhat cheap drinks and hundreds of university students dancing to a mix of pop, rock and r'n'b. Sometimes there are even live bands or second dance floors. On the weekends several fancier parties are hosted in unusual locations throughout Kiel. You'll be dancing to house music in a show room of a car dealer or in the terminal of the ferry to Scandinavia. Tickets for these parties can bought in advance which will save you money and time. Check the Kiel4Kiel site to find out where tickets are sold or ask a local student.

Live Music

When it comes down to live music, Kiel is not the city where you'll be able to see big headliners. If you into that you have to go to Hamburg. Still, you might be able to listen to some decent live music while staying in Kiel. The Halle400, the MAX and the community-operated Pumpe host local and international acts. Surprisingly good German or Scandinavian acts can sometimes be spotted in the Schaubude or the Nachtcafé for very little money. On occasion, some clubs like the Luna host national-recognized DJs. The best place to find out who's playing and to get a ticket is Konzertkasse Streiber close to the Ostseehalle.


The Youth Hostel is close to the Hauptbahnhof. There are a number of moderately priced hotels in the city centre. For some Olympic history, stay at Olympiazentrum in Schilksee, the sailing athletes village for the 1976 Munich Games. Top end is the Strande Hotel in Strande, or the Kieler-Kauffman just north of the city centre.

  • Peanuts Hostel [19]. Harriesstraße 2, 24114 Kiel
  • Nordic Hotel Astor [20]. In the city center, close to main train station and ferry connections. Singles from 60E, doubles 80E. Rooms have 70ties charm but are clean. Bar on highest floor has a great view of the city.
  • Twilightblue hotels in Kiel [21].
  • Steigenberger Hotel Conti-Hansa [22]. Located between the historic parts of Kiel and the F&oouml;rde. Rates around 115E.
  • Birke - Ringhotel Kiel [23]. A few minutes away from city center by car. Good service and amenities. Parking spaces available.
  • Hotel Kieler Yacht Club [24]. Right on the waterfront, north of the city center. Ask for a room with a view of the fjord.
  • Youth Experiences [25].
  • The local Internet Service Provider TNG [26] operates free wireless access points in the downtown area. Access will be blocked after-hours. A list of locations is available on the TNG Spot website [27] (German).
  • Commercial WiFi based access can be found throughout most parts of Kiel provided by various operators. Most will not allow you to use your international roaming plan like iPass, though.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:


German Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia de

See also kiel, and kieł




Middle Low German


Kiel m. (genitive Kiels, plural Kiele)

  1. keel

Proper noun


  1. Kiel (city in northern Germany)

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