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Typically Kiel

Sail training ship Gorch Fock

Windjammerparade Kieler Woche

The sail training ship Gorch Fock was put into service in 1985 for the newly formed German Navy and serves in this function until today.
It was built at Blohm & Voss. While the ship is subordinate to the naval academy in Mürwik, its home port is Kiel: its berth is at the Tirpitz mole.

Kieler Sprotten (smoked sprat)


Did you know that the Kieler Sprotten were not named in that way because they come from Kiel, but because they only were loaded there? From here, they were then transported by train to customers all over Europe. The sprats actually come from Eckernförde, a town nearby. Kieler Sprotten are a genuine specialty from Holstein. Sprats belong to the type genus clupeidae and are related to herring, sardine and anchovy. The fish the sprat is made of is called brisling (Clupea sprattus L.). Sometimes, even small herring are used for the production of Kieler Sprotten. The sprats are being packed and dealt with in flat wooden boxes of different sizes. The fish can be eaten completely including head and bones (in low German: “mit Kopp un Steert”). It is common, however, not to eat the head. Beside the real Kieler Sprotte, a chocolate version imitating the fish specialty’s form and packing is also very popular. The “chocolate sprats” can be purchased at the Kiel Tourist Information. Figuratively speaking, the term “Kieler Sprotte” denotes a “Kieler Jung” (boy from Kiel), that is a long-established inhabitant of Kiel or someone who is born there.

Kiel uniform

Kieler Woche auf der Kiellinie

The sailor suit has been introduced in recent times as clothing for sailors with the purpose of being a uniform. It consists of a shirt, trousers and a cap. In the 19th century, the sailor suit became a popular piece of clothing for boys and later also for girls, for whom the trousers were replaced by a skirt. In some countries, the sailor suit also developed into a school uniform. Today, the sailor suit is a common piece of clothing at the navy, and it is worn by ratings at the German Navy. The sailors’ clothing in the German Reich was produced centrally in Kiel, which is why it received the name “Kieler Anzug”. In the USA, the sailors’ clothing was standardized for the first time in 1817, in Great Britain this did not happen until 1857.

The crest of Kiel

The crest of the city of Kiel is the so called nettle leaf of Holstein in silver and red with a black boat. The silver nettle leaf on a red ground is the crest of the noble family of Schauenburg, who ruled over Holstein from 1111 on. The brick-laid boat serves as a heraldic symbol as well as a representation of the town charter, bearing a likeness to the city walls. Additionally, it symbolizes the importance of the port for the city of Kiel.

Kiel Canal

Schleusengruppe Nord-Ostsee-Kanal

The Kiel Canal (in German: Nord-Ostsee-Kanal or NOK) is the worlds most frequented artificial waterway and links the North Sea with the Baltic Sea. It is thus possible for ships to avoid the longer route past the northern tip of Denmark. The canal, which is almost 99 kilometres long, is passing through Schleswig-Holstein from the mouth of the Elbe at the North Sea to the Kiel Fjord at the Baltic Sea. The waterway was opened in 1895 as Kaiser Wilhelm Canal and beared this name until 1948. The canal belongs to the symmetrical sea canals and is closed with locks against the changing water levels (caused by the tides or by wind) of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. The locks are situated at Brunsbüttel at the Elbe and Kiel-Holtenau at the Kiel Fjord. Eight roads and four railway tracks are crossing the Kiel Canal on altogether ten bridges. Thirteen car ferries and one foot ferry transport passengers to the other side. At Rendsburg, there is a tunnel for cars and for pedestrians. A special sight is the railroad viaduct at Rendsburg with the transporter bridge underneath it. The average height of the bridges altogether is about 40 metres.

THW Kiel

THW Kiel Handball

THW Kiel, Germany’s record champion at handball represents the city’s sports figurehead. The “zebras”, as the team is called, have won ten of their thirteen championships in the last fifteen years. Their opponents are especially dreading the tense atmosphere at the home stadium of THW Kiel, the Sparkassen Arena, which houses more than 10.000 and is almost always sold out. In 2007, the team finally crowned itself hero of Kiel: winning two thrilling finals against the arch rival from Flensburg they ascended the European throne and won the Champions League for the first time. As they were able to win the German handball cup and the German championship during this very season, Kiel was declared “kingdom of handball” after this triple triumph.