Schleswig’s history is deeply connected to the history of the Vikings. In 804, the village of Sliasthorp an der Schlei was already mentioned in the Royal Frankish Annals. However, strategically more favourable at the time, the Vikings first built their trading centre on Haddeby Noor. In its heyday it was inhabited by more than 1,000 people.
After the Viking metropolis was destroyed in 1066 and the Northman’s power weakened, the small settlement about three kilometres away on the northern bank of the Schlei started to become increasingly important.
As Christianity spread the Vikings’ influence more and more dwindled. Around 1200 the town on the Schlei received its town charter and developed into an important seat of a bishop in the Middle Ages.
In 1544 the Dukes of Gottorf decided to install their permanent residence in Schleswig. In 1864, during the period of the German-Danish conflict, Prussia defeated the Danes with the help of the Austrians and Schleswig was declared capital of the Prussian province of Schleswig-Holstein.
After the Second World War Kiel was turned into the state’s capital city, however in compensation Schleswig received the highest courts of the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, became the main seat of the Schleswig-Holstein’s State Museums and State Archives.
If you like to learn more: The Stadtmuseum Schleswig provides a comprehensive insight into Schleswig’s eventful history, and the Society for the History of Schleswig, as well as the City of Schleswig itself, are also dealing with various facets of our history: .