Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Holstein was prior to 1866 a duchy in the kingdom of Denmark and also a member of the Germanic Confederation, but since its conquest by Prussia it has, together with Schleswig (q.v.), formed a province of the latter kingdom. It is bounded by Schleswig on the north; the Baltic Sea, Liibeck, and Mecklenburg on the east; Lauenburg on the south-east; the North Sea on the west; and Hamburg and Hanover on the south and southwest. The soil is chiefly sand and clay, and the surface gently undulating; heaths are common in some parts, but elsewhere the land is fertile, especially in the marshy districts. The chief natural products are salt, gypsum, peat, and, on the eastern ooast, amber. Agriculture and cattle-rearing form the chief occupations of the inhabitants.