Friday 17 February 2006

Official goodwill visit to Schleswig-Holstein

Frederik and Mary are on a two day visit to Schleswig- Holstein in northern Germany near the border with Denmark today (Hamburg) and tomorrow (Kiel).

Today Frederik and Mary have arrived in Hamburg and will take part in the Matthiae-Mahl feast in the evening. They are invited as guests of honour at the traditional Matthiae-Mahl of the Hamburger Senate, which is reputedly the oldest celebrated feast in the world. The feast dates from 1356, and is a traditional annual social highlight in Hamburg. Matthiae comes from the name Matthias and a foreign guest/s and a German are invited as guests of honour along with 400 others each year. It is celebrated in the Hamburg City Hall.

With little Prince Christian safely settled at the guesthouse of the Hamburg Senate, Frederik and Mary have visited the kindergarten of the Danish Seaman's Church (that is a habit of theirs wherever they go) and the Hamburger Kunstalle (museum). The day will also include visits to the Centre for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (Frederik) and the Convent School Ganztags-Gymnasium (Mary) with the feast to follow in the evening.

Dust off your Danish: B.T., TV2
Put you Danish away now and polish your German: this article in the Hamburger Abendblatt explains the purpose of the visit is to develop closer ties between the countries around the Baltic Sea. The object is to enrich relationships through science, research, the economy, tourism and its management, and also improve transport movements between the states of Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Russia. Denmark is an important link to Sweden, Finland and Russia via the bridge between Copenhagen and Malmö (Sweden).
Video clip (1.55): ZDFmediathek 'Frederik and Mary in Hamburg' (thanks to Riki)
Where is Schleswig-Holstein? map 1, Encarta map 2, geography
About Schleswig-Holstein
About Hamburg
About the Matthiae-Mahl Feast (this page is in German, but there are photos of past feasts and the Golden Book which Frederik and Mary will sign)
Current and historical photos and webcam links for Hamburg

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