88km (55 miles) SE of the Danish border at Flensburg, 97km (60 miles) N of Hamburg, 92km (57 miles) NW of L├╝beck

A natural harbor at the end of a 15km (10-mile) extension of the Baltic Sea made Kiel a center for commerce with northern European countries. The opening of the Kiel Canal in 1895 connected the Baltic with the North Sea and western trade.

It celebrated its 750th anniversary in 1992, but streets and buildings do little to suggest that Kiel was ever anything other than a modern city. Almost all its buildings were destroyed during World War II, and the town was rebuilt with broad streets, spacious squares, and green parks. Nearby resorts make this a vacation spot as well.