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Kiel (population 233,795; 113,274 male, 120,521 female) is a city in northern Germany, capital of the Schleswig-Holstein Bundesland. Located at the Baltic Sea, the city was the country's longtime main naval base until the installation were dismantled after the Second World War.

Kiel was largely destroyed in the Second World War. It was rebuilt, but the city-planners failed to revive the former townscape. Therefore Kiel is less worth seeing than other Schleswig-Holsteinian towns like Lübeck or Schleswig. Sights in Kiel include the Nikolaikirche (Saint Nikolai, 14th/15th century), the Schloss (Castle, 16th century, but destroyed and rebuilt in the 20th century), and the Rathaus (town hall, 1911). Kiel is the eastern terminus of the Kiel Canal.

Kiel is famous for sailing events. Every year the "Kieler Woche" is held (the first time in 1882), a series of sailing regattas with a cultural framework. In 1936 and 1972, when the Olympic Games were held in Berlin and Munich, respectively, the Olympic yachting competitions were held in Kiel.

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Kiel was originally founded in 1233 as tom Kyle by Count Adolf IV of Schauenburg[?], and granted town rights (Lübisches Stadtrecht) in 1242 by Adolf's eldest son, Johann I[?]. Kiel was a member of the Hanse from 1284 on until it was evicted 1518, and in 1431, the Kieler Umschlag was first held, which became the central market for goods and money in Schleswig-Holstein later on until it began to lose significance from 1850 on, finally being held the last time in 1900. Kiel's University, the Christian-Albrechts-Universität[?], was founded on September 29, 1665 by Christian Albrecht[?], duke of Gottorf[?] at that time.

From 1773 to 1864, the town belonged to Denmark; afterwards, it was governed by Prussia and Austria for three years before being annexed by Prussia in 1867.

Kiel was also appointed Reichskriegshafen (imperial war harbour) in 1871 by Wilhelm I of Germany, and quickly rose in population in the following years, from 18,770 in 1864 to about 200,000 in 1910, a development which brought with it the destruction of parts of the old town center and its surroundings. Later on, during World War II, another 80% of the remaining old town is destroyed by allied bomb attacks, as well as 72% of all residential and 83% of all industrial areas.

In 1946, Kiel was appointed as the seat of the government of Schleswig-Holstein, and it officially became the state's capital in 1972. The Kieler Umschlag has been held again yearly since 1975, now as a festival with music and food stalls, historical costumes, special bread and a wedding, the Umschlagshochzeit, for which every young bride and groom can apply.

Important Personalities

Famous residents

Important historic mayors and lord mayors of Kiel

Lord mayors after World War II

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