Kiel (Keel), chief town of the Prussian province of Sleswick-Holstein, stands 66 miles N. by E. of Hamburg by rail, at the head of a deep inlet (11 miles long) of the Baltic, which admits large ships to anchor close to the town. It is the Baltic headquarters of the German navy, and has imperial shipbuilding-yards, slips, dry and wet docks, etc, naval marine stores, a naval academy, and an observatory. It is also an important commercial port, some 1,100,000 tons of merchandise passing in and out annually. The chief imports are corn, coal, timber, and cattle, whilst coal, flour, beer, butter, cheese, and fish are exported. There are iron-foundries, shipbuilding-yards, corn-mills, breweries, and cabinetmakers' works. Kiel is the seat of a university, founded in 1665, with new buildings completed in 1876, 85 professors and teachers, and nearly 500 students. The 13th-century castle shelters the university library of 200,000 volumes and a museum with sculptures by Thorwaldsen. The bay is defended by forts. For the Baltic Canal connecting the Elbe and the Bay of Kiel, see Baltic Sea. Kiel affords good bathing facilities. Pop. (1875) 37,270 ; (1890) 69,172; (1900) 121,790.