Kiel, Germany: The Wedge Maritime Port

Kiel is a the capital of the Schleswig-Holstein German province, near the northern border with Denmark. Today, this is an important maritime port and cruise ship stopover towards the Baltic region, Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. However, aside from being a booming shopping district as it is today, Kiel has a colorful maritime past that reflected the history and culture of the German nation. Interestingly, the city's name was derived from the word describing the shape of the port of Kiel. These are something hidden by the streets and modern commercial establishments in the city.

Before, Kiel is considered a unique city being ruled by a Danish King, but under the former German confederation. It was during this time that Denmark and Germany have made an cooperative agreement in ruling their dominions. It was until a war broke between the two countries that transferred the power from the Danish king to Germany, with the aid of Austria. Germany completely took over the area during the reign of the Kingdom of Prussia when it won a battle between its former ally Austria. Moreover, during the two World Wars, the city has become an important naval port, which the Allied Powers have seen it is necessary to bomb and destroy the city. It was only after the Second World War that Kiel was reconstructed after almost over three-fourths of the city was completely destroyed.

Now, there are few standing historic structures in the city, and these are the places which is the focus of this blog post. Since a boat from Oslo to Kiel would pass through several places in the journey in Norway, Denmark and Germany, some description of these places are included here.

1.    Oslofjord

The Oslofjord is a long narrow inlet with steep cliffs created through the process of glacial erosion connecting the Norwegian capital Oslo to Skagerrak strait dividing Denmark and Norway. The narrowest point is the Drøbak sound, which was crucial in the German invasion during the Second World War.

2.    Kiel Hbf

The central station of Kiel was built in the late 18th century, as part of the imperial war harbors. This station connects to the other north German cities. This was destroyed in Second World War by Allied forces.

3.    Holstenplatz

This is a square along one of the oldest road in the city. This was formerly connected to the highway to Denmark, being part of the Danish Kingdom before it was transferred to German after a war.

4.    Asmus-Bremer Platz

This square is named after Asmus Bremer, the former city mayor who was well-known to have served among the people. He used to sit with the people to know their concerns in his reign as mayor.

5.    St. Nikolai Kirche

This is the oldest surviving Church in the city. This is a Lutheran church with a Neo Gothic architecture. The city was badly damaged during the Second World War.

6.    Schoßgarten

The Kiel castle gardens was once a magnificent baroque garden. The garden was the place for eventful periods of care and neglect.

7.    Ratsdienergarten

This is a garden located near Kleiner Kiel, which is made for blind people, such that railings and sign posts in Braille. The park was a place of a monument, reminding the sailor’s revolution, which caused the downfall of the Kingdom of Prussia that used to hold the city after Denmark lost the war with Germany.

8.    Kleiner Kiel

The Small Kiel is a shallow inland waters, which is dissected by a bridge in two parts. The Kiel historic quarter is surrounded by the water connecting the inland water to the fjord.

9.    Hiroshimapark

The Hiroshima Park is a green area, which lies between the town hall and the Small Kiel. This is a commemoration of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima.

10. Theater Kiel

The theatre company in Kiel, which is jointly funded by the city and the state. The company produces opera, musicals, ballet, plays and theatre for youth and children.

11. Kiel-Rathaus

The Kiel City Hall is the landmark of the city of Kiel. The tower of the city hall resembles that of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy.

12. Europlatz

Here is a commercial square full of hotels, restaurants and other business establishments. This is in front of the Sparkassen Arena.

13. Sparkassen-Arena Kiel

This is an indoor area in Kiel and home of the THW Kiel, a handball team. This was formerly named Ostseehalle, which was initiated in the fifties.

14. Kaistraße

This is the street along the port of Kiel. Ships docking going to Sweden, Norway and the rest of Europe. This provides a good view of the whole city, when seen from the ship itself.

15. Storebæltsbroen

The Great Belt is a bridge over a strait between the Danish major islands Zealand and Funen. It is the most important of the three Danish straits, where ships could pass under it. Historically, it was said that a glacial river existed before, which has expanded into a strait known today.

Personally, I think the boat from Oslo to Kiel may provide a good alternative for me to explore North Germany or Denmark in the future. I would love to learn more about German cities. In fact, in my travel list, there are more than ten German cities on it. So, this is something I look forward to in the future. Perhaps, it could help me learn the German language and appreciate the German culture.


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