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 city is Kiel; other notable cities are Lübeck and Flensburg. The former English name was Sleswick-Holsatia, the Danish name is Slesvig-Holsten. Historically, the name can also refer to a larger region, containing both present-day Schleswig-Holstein and the former South Jutland County (Northern Schleswig) in Denmark.
Around 1100, the Duke of Saxony gave Holstein, as it was his own country, to Count Adolf I of Schauenburg. 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 exception is that Schleswig had never been part of Germany until the Second Schleswig War in 1864. For many centuries, the King of Denmark was both a Danish Duke of Schleswig and a German Duke of Holstein. Essentially, Schleswig was either integrated into Denmark or was a Danish fief, and Holstein was a German fief and once a sovereign state long ago.