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Conference City Kiel

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Kiel – the lively city by the sea
The heart of Schleswig-Holstein beats here

The sea reaches right into the heart of the city. The largest work of nature is the fjord, with its long banks and its beaches. The maritime view of the city, with the port installations, the giant passenger ferries and cruise ships, and the huge shipyard cranes – all of this is typical of Kiel.

Kiel has more than 240,000 inhabitants. The heart of Schleswig-Holstein as an economic, scientific and cultural region beats here. Kiel is the seat of the Schleswig-Holstein federal state (Land) government and an important centre for services and education. Almost three quarters of all the people employed work in these sectors. Federal authorities, organisations and service sector companies are based here. Expanding ports, cruise terminals, internationally recognised climate and marine research, a highly specialised navy and world-class water sports: Kiel lives with and from the sea.

Culture for everyone

The people of Kiel and their visitors from all over the world enjoy and value a wide and varied range of cultural events in Kiel, and an intellectual climate characterised by openness, curiosity and productivity. Kiel has lots to offer here: Theatre and opera, cinema and concerts, musicals and choirs, galleries, museums, botanical gardens or cultural associations.

Festivals and events are a firm part of Kiel city life. In summer major performances take place at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. One of the major events venues in Northern Germany for concerts, spectacular guest performances and sports events is the Sparkassen-Arena. This is where THW Kiel plays its home games. The handball series champion has won the German national cup several times and triumphed in the Champions League, making it the most successful handball team in Germany.

Making the impossible possible:  the Kieler Woche:

Kieler Woche: The highlight in the events calendar for visitors from all over the world and the people of Kiel alike, and always in the last full week of June, is Kieler Woche, the largest summer festival in Northern Europe. It began with a naval regatta in 1882. Today Kieler Woche is the largest sailing event in the world, which attracts more than 5,000 sailors annually from 50 countries on 2,000 yachts, dinghies and surfboards. Every year more than three million visitors from all over the world enjoy the maritime atmosphere of KIEL.SAILING CITY, when around 100 windjammers and traditional sailing ships set sail to celebrate a summer festival on the sea.

A harbour with a city centre

Kiel is easy to reach: by motorway, by rail and of course by water. Every day huge passenger ferries from Norway and Sweden, such as the “Color Fantasy” and her sister ship “Color Magic” or the “Stena Line” moor up in the heart of the city and transform ferry trips into cruises. The “harbour with a city centre” is the starting point for well over 100 cruise ships a year. The conversion of the Ostseekai into a cruise terminal continuously attracts more luxury liners to the city. For this reason the Schwedenkai is being comprehensively extended and modernised. The locks of the North Sea–Baltic Sea canal – known internationally as the “Kiel Canal” – which flows into the Baltic Sea in Kiel, are the gateway to the most-travelled man-made waterway in the world.

High-tech and research from Kiel

Kiel is an educational location with prospects. The higher education establishments build on the wide-ranging educational offering in Kiel. Around 32.000 people study at the Kiel University (Christian-Albrechts-Universität), the University of Applied Sciences, the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design or the Wirtschaftsakademie. While undergoing structural change, Kiel consistently prioritises future technologies, such as medical technology, biotechnologies, marine and environmental technologies, and is pushing ahead with the intermeshing of the economy and science in the science park attached to the University. New and innovative products are constantly being developed in Kiel. The players in the scientific sector want to develop Kiel’s profile as a science and research location of international significance. 

Shipbuilding too has achieved the changeover from mass production to leading edge technology.
High capacity shipyards such as ThyssenKrupp with Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft AG (HDW) are constructing modern types of ship, such as environmentally friendly double-hulled tankers, fuel cell-powered submarines or elegant cruise vessels.

A brief history of Kiel

In around 1233, Adolf IV, Count of Schauenburg, had his “Holstenstadt tom Kyle” constructed on the peninsula of one arm of the fjord, the present-day “Kleiner Kiel”. 1242 Kiel received its Town Charter. The storm-resistant, natural deep water harbour was to become a base for trade throughout the Baltic Sea. Kiel in fact was a member of the Hanseatic League for more than 200 years from the end of the 13th Century.
An important impetus was brought about by the University named after Duke Christian Albrecht, which Kiel received in 1665 and which sustainably influenced the intellectual climate of the city. The Russian Tsar Peter III was born in Kiel Castle. The city was under German and Danish rule. In 1848 Kiel was the scene of the so-called Schleswig-Holstein Revolt: the attempt to remove both dukedoms from the overall control of the Danish state. It was only in 1865 that this aim was achieved. For a short time, Kiel was under an Austrian governor, and then was annexed by Prussia.
In the last decades, Kiel subsequently concluded eight official partnerships with European cities: Coventry (Great Britain), Gdynia (Poland), Kaliningrad/Königsberg (Russian Federation), Sovetsk/Tilsit (Russian Federation), Stralsund (Germany), Tallinn (Estonia), Vaasa (Finland), Brest (France).Today these city partnerships are Kiel’s springboard to Europe. As part of the string of pearls formed by the major cities around the Baltic, Kiel wants to make use of the opportunities presented by this upwardly mobile region of Europe. The chances of this succeeding are good.