This “state between two seas” lies in the far north of Germany, on the North Sea and the Baltic. Schleswig-Holstein is Central and Eastern Europe’s gateway to Scandinavia and other states around the Baltic in more than a merely metaphorical sense.
“Undivided for all eternity”; that’s the slogan of this erstwhile Prussian province, which was created in 1866 from the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, areas formerly long ruled by Denmark. The federal state as we know it today was founded in 1946.
Danes and Frisians live in Schleswig-Holstein with the status of recognised national minorities. Various Low German, Frisian and Danish dialects are still spoken in some regions. Frisian is also an official language in North Friesland and Heligoland.
From farmland to land of the future
The sea and numerous waterways shape Schleswig-Holstein’s character. Particular highlights in this state include the Kiel Canal, the world’s busiest artificial waterway, and Lübeck, a Hanseatic city whose medieval town centre enjoys UNESCO World Heritage status.
Thousands of yachting enthusiasts meet each year during the world-famous Kiel Week and the more low-key Travemünde Week.
Once a purely agricultural state, Schleswig-Holstein has become a modern business location and research hub. At the nine state universities, as well as in research institutions outside the university context, particular attention is paid to disciplines of the future, such as medical technology, biotechnology, marine sciences or information and communication technology. Key branches in this federal state also include renewable energies and environmental technology. Schleswig-Holstein already produces roughly 40 per cent of the electricity it needs from wind power.
Open to the world
The state’s international focus is also apparent in the cultural realm. One particular highlight is the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, which turns the spotlight on a different guest country each year. JazzBaltica, a spin-off from the main festival, cooperates closely with other states around the Baltic Sea.
In the Schleswig-Holstein Museum at Schloss Gottorf, as well as in the museum’s various branches, artefacts from more than 120,000 years of human history are on display – from the Stone Age to modern art.
In summer visitors from all over the world bring their own particular flair to many parts of Schleswig-Holstein. Hundreds of kilometres of coastline on the North Sea and Baltic, the seven islands in the North Sea and the Baltic, as well as around 140 inland lakes make Schleswig-Holstein a real paradise for holidaymakers. A stay here offers a natural boost to health and wellbeing thanks to the agreeable, bracing climate and invigorating sea breezes.
|Surface area||15,799 km2|
|Number of votes in the Bundesrat||4|
|Government party||SPD / B90/DIE GRÜNEN / SSW|
|Minister President||Torsten Albig|