Lock at the Kiel Canal

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One of the greatest and most important canals in the world is the Kiel Canal or the Nord-Ostsee-Kanal or the canal between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea which is called the eastern sea in Denmark and Germany since it is to the east of the countries.

The canal was built in 1895 by Germany. The canal is 98 kilometers long and using the canal will save a distance of 460 kilometers going through the canal meant the ships no longer had to take this long journey north of the Jutland peninsula. The trip up north would go across the North Sea which could be stormy during the autumn and winter so it would be safer to go through the canal. Further you didn’t have to go through the narrow Danish straights which were of a great interest to the German navy. By securing a passageway inside the German territory the German navy no longer was exposed to the risk of being locked inside the Baltic Sea in case the Danish straights were mined during a war. This way the German North Sea and Baltic Sea navies could easily be combined into one great fleet which was done during the Battle of Jutland on May 31 1916 – this was actually the largest naval battle in history which didn’t use any aircrafts. It was the last real naval battle in history.

To help the ships navigate the canal they need a lock to go in and out of the canal at Kiel. You can go and see the lock just outside Kiel. Hopefully you will actually see a ship passing the lock – unfortunately there was no ships passing when we went to the locks.

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