City (pop., 2002 est.: 232,242), capital of Schleswig-Holstein state, northern Germany. A port at the eastern end of the Kiel Canal, it was founded in 1242. It entered the Hanseatic League in 1284; in 1773 Kiel became part of Denmark. Schleswig-Holstein passed to Prussia in 1866, and Kiel became its capital in 1917. An important naval base, it was the target of Allied bombing during World War II. It is the site of St. Nicholas Church (c. 1240), a ducal palace (c. 1280), and the Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel (founded 1665).