Schleswig is a town at the Schlei firth in the northeastern part of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is the capital of the Kreis (district) Schleswig-Flensburg. Today, it has a population of about 25,000.
Schleswig is a very old town. The Viking settlement of Haithabu, which is today a part of the city, was first time mentioned in 804. It was a powerful city in the Baltic region, dominating the area for more than 200 years. In 1050, following several destructions of Haithabu, the town was moved to the opposite shore of the Schlei, becoming the city of Schleswig. In 1066 Haithabu was finally destroyed, and Schleswig remained as a part of the Danish kingdom.
In 1544 the castle Gottorf became the residence of the local rulers. The dukes of Gottorf were vassals of the Danish kings and ruled over much of present day Schleswig-Holstein. In 1721, when the Great Northern War ended, the dukes of Gottorf lost their power and their land became Danish crown land. In the Second war of Schleswig (1864) Schleswig was seized by Prussia and became German.
Sights in Schleswig:
- Cathedral of St Petri (1134), with the tomb of the Danish king Frederick I
- Gottorf castle (origined 1161), former residence of the dukes
- Holm: old fishing village at the Schlei shore
- Haithabu, Viking settlement
- www.schleswig.de, city website (in German)