One of the northernmost cities in Germany, Schleswig was part of the Duchy of Schleswig that was ruled by the Danish king until the 1864 German-Danish war in which Prussia and Austria defeated Denmark, annexing Schleswig and Holstein. A dispute over the administration of those two territories would trigger the 1866 Prussian-Austrian war and in 1870/71 Prussia would lead the German states (sans Austria) into a war against France leading to the first unified German state under Prussian leadership. The region around the city of Schleswig was a major centre during the Viking Age. The original viking settlement Hedeby and the Dannevirke defensive wall are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- 1 Hedeby (Haithabu). The remains of an ancient Viking settlement, which is now considered the most important archaeological site of Schleswig-Holstein. There is a museum and reconstructed houses where you can learn about the history of Hedeby and the everyday life of the Vikings.
- 2 Danevirke. Literally meaning the Earthworks of the Danes, the first of these walls were constructed already around 500 AD as a protective wall against the south. A few centuries later, it was expanded by the Vikings into a system of trenches and walls. Interestingly, the Danevirke was used in the war against Prussia in 1864 when the Danes lost the area.
- 3 Schleswig Cathedral (St. Peter).
- 4 Gottorf Castle. Houses two museums these days