Willkommen-in-germany: Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the 16 states of Germany, comprisin…

Willkommen-in-germany: Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the 16 states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig. Its capital is Kiel; other larger cities are Lübeck, Flensburg, and Neumünster. Historically, the name can also refer to a larger region, containing both present-day Schleswig-Holstein and the former South Jutland County in Denmark. The Duchy of Schleswig/Southern Jutland was originally an integral part of Denmark, but was in medieval times established as a fief under the Kingdom of Denmark, with the same relation to the Danish Crown as for example Brandenburg or Bavaria vis-à-vis the Holy Roman Emperor. Schleswig and Holstein have at different times belonged in part or completely to either Denmark or Germany, or have been virtually independent of both nations. The region has been strongly Protestant since the time of the Reformation – today its officially 53% Lutheran/Protestant and 6% Catholic, but 41% of the population is non-religious. The state combines Scandinavian and German aspects of culture. The castles and manors in the countryside are the best example for this tradition; some dishes like Rote Grütze/Rødgrød are also shared, as well as surnames such as Hansen, Diederichsen, Jameson, etc. The most important festivals are the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, an annual classic music festival, and the Lübeck Nordic Film Days, an annual film festival for movies from Scandinavian countries, held in Lübeck. The annual Wacken Open Air is considered to be the largest heavy metal rock festival in the world.

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