Kiel, Germany, the capital of the state of Schleswig-Holstein. It lies 55 miles (89 km) north of Hamburg. Kiel, which has an excellent harbor on a bay of the Baltic Sea, is one of Germany's leading ports on the Baltic. Manufactured or processed here are woolens, leather goods, machinery, sugar, soap, tobacco, and beer.
Kiel was settled in the 10th century but was not chartered until 1242. It joined the Hanseatic League in 1284. From 1773 to 1866 Kiel belonged to Denmark. It was annexed, with the rest of Schleswig-Holstein, to Prussia in 1866. Kiel was an important German naval base in both World Wars.