Bavaria

Bavaria

Overview
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

 of Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of 70548 square kilometres (27,238.7 sq mi), it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany. Bavaria is Germany's second most populous state (after North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with four of the country's ten largest cities. The state was formed in 1946 as a merger of the northern Rhineland and Westphalia, both formerly part of Prussia. Its capital is Düsseldorf. The state is currently run by a coalition of the...

) with almost 12.5 million inhabitants, more than any of the three sovereign states on its borders.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Bavaria'
Start a new discussion about 'Bavaria'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Timeline

1647   Thirty Years' War: Bavaria, Cologne, France and Sweden sign the Truce of Ulm.

1740   Maria Theresa takes the throne of Austria. France, Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony refuse to honour the Pragmatic Sanction and the War of the Austrian Succession begins.

1810   First Oktoberfest: The Bavarian royalty invites the citizens of Munich to join the celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.

1923   In Munich, Germany, police and government troops crush the Beer Hall Putsch in Bavaria. The failed coup is the work of the Nazis.

 
Encyclopedia
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

 of Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of 70548 square kilometres (27,238.7 sq mi), it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany. Bavaria is Germany's second most populous state (after North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with four of the country's ten largest cities. The state was formed in 1946 as a merger of the northern Rhineland and Westphalia, both formerly part of Prussia. Its capital is Düsseldorf. The state is currently run by a coalition of the...

) with almost 12.5 million inhabitants, more than any of the three sovereign states on its borders. Bavaria's capital is Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

.

One of the oldest states of Europe, it was established as a duchy
Duchy
A duchy is a territory, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess.Some duchies were sovereign in areas that would become unified realms only during the Modern era . In contrast, others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that unified either partially or completely during the Medieval era...

 in the mid first millennium
1st millennium
File:1st millennium montage.png|From left, clockwise: Depiction of Jesus, the central figure in Christianity; The Colosseum, a landmark of the once Roman Empire; Gunpowder is invented during the latter part of the millennium, in China; Chess, a new board game, takes on popularity across the globe;...

. In the 17th century, the Duke of Bavaria became a Prince-elector
Prince-elector
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Roman king or, from the middle of the 16th century onwards, directly the Holy Roman Emperor.The heir-apparent to a prince-elector was known as an...

 of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

. The Kingdom of Bavaria
Kingdom of Bavaria
The Kingdom of Bavaria was a German state that existed from 1806 to 1918. The Bavarian Elector Maximilian IV Joseph of the House of Wittelsbach became the first King of Bavaria in 1806 as Maximilian I Joseph. The monarchy would remain held by the Wittelsbachs until the kingdom's dissolution in 1918...

 existed from 1806 to 1918, and Bavaria has since been a free state (republic). Modern Bavaria also includes parts of the historical regions of Franconia
Franconia
Franconia is a region of Germany comprising the northern parts of the modern state of Bavaria, a small part of southern Thuringia, and a region in northeastern Baden-Württemberg called Tauberfranken...

 and Swabia
Swabia
Swabia is a cultural, historic and linguistic region in southwestern Germany.-Geography:Like many cultural regions of Europe, Swabia's borders are not clearly defined...

.

History


The Bavarians emerged in a region north of the Alps
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

, originally inhabited by the Gauls
Gauls
The Gauls were a Celtic people living in Gaul, the region roughly corresponding to what is now France, Belgium, Switzerland and Northern Italy, from the Iron Age through the Roman period. They mostly spoke the Continental Celtic language called Gaulish....

, which had been part of the Roman provinces of Raetia
Raetia
Raetia was a province of the Roman Empire, named after the Rhaetian people. It was bounded on the west by the country of the Helvetii, on the east by Noricum, on the north by Vindelicia, on the west by Cisalpine Gaul and on south by Venetia et Histria...

 and Noricum
Noricum
Noricum, in ancient geography, was a Celtic kingdom stretching over the area of today's Austria and a part of Slovenia. It became a province of the Roman Empire...

. The Bavarians spoke Old High German
Old High German
The term Old High German refers to the earliest stage of the German language and it conventionally covers the period from around 500 to 1050. Coherent written texts do not appear until the second half of the 8th century, and some treat the period before 750 as 'prehistoric' and date the start of...

 but, unlike other Germanic groups, did not migrate from elsewhere. Rather, they seem to have coalesced out of other groups left behind by Roman withdrawal late in the 5th century. These peoples may have included the Celtic Boii
Boii
The Boii were one of the most prominent ancient Celtic tribes of the later Iron Age, attested at various times in Cisalpine Gaul , Pannonia , in and around Bohemia, and Transalpine Gaul...

, some remaining Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

, Marcomanni
Marcomanni
The Marcomanni were a Germanic tribe, probably related to the Buri, Suebi or Suevi.-Origin:Scholars believe their name derives possibly from Proto-Germanic forms of "march" and "men"....

, Allemanni, Quadi
Quadi
The Quadi were a smaller Germanic tribe, about which little is definitively known. We only know the Germanic tribe the Romans called the 'Quadi' through reports of the Romans themselves...

, Thuringians, Goths
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

, Scirians, Rugians
Rugians
"Rugi" redirects here. For the Romanian villages by this name, see Păltiniş, Caraş-Severin and Turcineşti.The Rugii, also Rugians, Rygir, Ulmerugi, or Holmrygir were an East Germanic tribe migrated from southwest Norway to Pomerania around 100 AD, and from there to the Danube River valley...

, Heruli
Heruli
The Heruli were an East Germanic tribe who are famous for their naval exploits. Migrating from Northern Europe to the Black Sea in the third century They were part of the...

. The name "Bavarian" ("Baiuvarii") means "Men of Baia" which may indicate Bohemia
Bohemia
Bohemia is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague...

, the homeland of the Celtic Boii and later of the Marcomanni. They first appear in written sources c. 520. Saint Boniface
Saint Boniface
Saint Boniface , the Apostle of the Germans, born Winfrid, Wynfrith, or Wynfryth in the kingdom of Wessex, probably at Crediton , was a missionary who propagated Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 8th century. He is the patron saint of Germany and the first archbishop of Mainz...

 completed the people's conversion to Christianity in the early-8th century. Bavaria was, for the most part, unaffected by the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

.

From about 554 to 788, the house of Agilolfing ruled the Duchy of Bavaria
Duchy of Bavaria
The Duchy of Bavaria was the only one of the stem duchies from the earliest days of East Francia and the Kingdom of Germany to preserve both its name and most of its territorial extent....

, ending with Tassilo III who was deposed by Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

.

Three early dukes are named in Frankish
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 sources: Garibald I may have been appointed to the office by the Merovingian kings and married the Lombard
Lombardy
Lombardy is one of the 20 regions of Italy. The capital is Milan. One-sixth of Italy's population lives in Lombardy and about one fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in this region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest in the whole of Europe...

 princess Walderada when the church forbade her to King Chlothar I in 555. Their daughter, Theodelinde, became Queen of the Lombards in northern Italy and Garibald was forced to flee to her when he fell out with his Frankish overlords. Garibald's successor, Tassilo I, tried unsuccessfully to hold the eastern frontier against the expansion of Slavs
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 and Avars around 600. Tassilo's son Garibald II
Garibald II of Bavaria
Garibald II was Duke of Bavaria from 610 until his death. He was the son of Tassilo I.He married Geila, daughter of Gisulf II of Friuli and Romilda....

 seems to have achieved a balance of power between 610 and 616.

After Garibald II little is known of the Bavarians until Duke Theodo I, whose reign may have begun as early as 680. From 696 onwards he invited churchmen from the west to organize churches and strengthen Christianity in his duchy (it is unclear what Bavarian religious life consisted of before this time). His son, Theudebert
Theodbert of Bavaria
Theodbert was the duke of Bavaria in some capacity or other from 702 to his death. He was the eldest son of Duke Theodo of Bavaria and Folchaid. He was first associated with his father as duke in 702, ruling from Salzburg...

, led a decisive Bavarian campaign to intervene in a succession dispute in the Lombard Kingdom
Lombards
The Lombards , also referred to as Longobards, were a Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin, who from 568 to 774 ruled a Kingdom in Italy...

 in 714, and married his sister Guntrud to the Lombard King Liutprand. At Theodo's death the duchy was divided among his sons, but reunited under his grandson Hucbert.

At Hucbert's death (735) the duchy passed to a distant relative named Odilo
Odilo of Bavaria
Odilo was an Alamannic nobleman, a son of Gotfrid of the house of the Agilolfings.He ruled Thurgau until 736, when with the death of Hugbert of Bavaria the older line of the Agilofing became extinct and he inherited the rulership of Bavaria, which he held until his death in 748.Odilo presided...

, from neighbouring Alemannia (modern southwest Germany and northern Switzerland). Odilo issued a law code for Bavaria, completed the process of church organisation in partnership with St. Boniface (739), and tried to intervene in Frankish succession disputes by fighting for the claims of the Carolingian Grifo
Grifo
Grifo was the son of the Frankish major domo Charles Martel and his second wife Swanahild.After the death of Charles Martel power may well have been intended to be divided among Grifo and his half-brothers Pepin the Younger and Carloman...

. He was defeated near Augsburg
Augsburg
Augsburg is a city in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. It is a university town and home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and the Bezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is, as of 2008, the third-largest city in Bavaria with a...

 in 743 but continued to rule until his death in 748.

Middle Ages




Tassilo III
Tassilo III of Bavaria
Tassilo III was duke of Bavaria from 748 to 788, the last of the house of the Agilolfings.Tassilo, then still an infant, began his rule as a Frankish ward under the tutelage of the Merovingian Mayor of the Palace Pepin the Short after Tassilo's father, Duke Odilo of Bavaria, had died in 747 and...

 (b. 741 - d. after 794) succeeded his father at the age of eight after an unsuccessful attempt by Grifo to rule Bavaria. He initially ruled under Frankish oversight but began to function independently from 763 onwards. He was particularly noted for founding new monasteries and for expanding eastwards, fighting Slavs in the eastern Alps and along the River Danube and colonising these lands. After 781, however, his cousin Charlemagne began to pressure Tassilo to submit and finally deposed him in 788. The deposition was not entirely legitimate. Dissenters attempted a coup against Charlemagne at Tassilo's old capital of Regensburg
Regensburg
Regensburg is a city in Bavaria, Germany, located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, at the northernmost bend in the Danube. To the east lies the Bavarian Forest. Regensburg is the capital of the Bavarian administrative region Upper Palatinate...

 in 792, led by his own son Pépin the Hunchback
Pepin the Hunchback
Pepin , the Hunchback was the eldest son of Charlemagne by Himiltrude. He is known in French as Pépin le Bossu.Accounts describe Pepin as normally proportioned with attractive features...

 (Pronounced Pippin), and the king had to drag Tassilo out of imprisonment to formally renounce his rights and titles at the Assembly of Frankfurt in 794. This is the last appearance of Tassilo in the sources and he probably died a monk. As all of his family were also forced into monasteries, this was the end of the Agilolfing dynasty.
For the next 400 years numerous families held the duchy, rarely for more than three generations. With the revolt of duke Henry the Quarrelsome
Henry II, Duke of Bavaria
Henry II , called the Wrangler or the Quarrelsome, in German Heinrich der Zänker, was the son of Henry I and Judith of Bavaria.- Biography :...

 in 976, Bavaria lost large territories in the south and south east. Among them a mark called "Ostarrichi" which was elevated to a duchy out of own right and given to the Babenberger family. This event marks the birth of Austria. The last, and one of the most important, of these dukes was Henry the Lion
Henry the Lion
Henry the Lion was a member of the Welf dynasty and Duke of Saxony, as Henry III, from 1142, and Duke of Bavaria, as Henry XII, from 1156, which duchies he held until 1180....

 of the house of Welf, founder of Munich, de facto the second most powerful man in the empire as the ruler of two duchies. When in 1180, Henry the Lion was deposed as Duke of Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

 and Bavaria by his cousin, Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick I Barbarossa was a German Holy Roman Emperor. He was elected King of Germany at Frankfurt on 4 March 1152 and crowned in Aachen on 9 March, crowned King of Italy in Pavia in 1155, and finally crowned Roman Emperor by Pope Adrian IV, on 18 June 1155, and two years later in 1157 the term...

 (aka "Barbarossa" for his red beard), Bavaria was awarded as fief to the Wittelsbach
Wittelsbach
The Wittelsbach family is a European royal family and a German dynasty from Bavaria.Members of the family served as Dukes, Electors and Kings of Bavaria , Counts Palatine of the Rhine , Margraves of Brandenburg , Counts of Holland, Hainaut and Zeeland , Elector-Archbishops of Cologne , Dukes of...

family, counts palatinate of Schyren ("Scheyern" in modern German), which ruled from 1180 to 1918. The Electoral Palatinate by Rhine ("Kurpfalz" in German) was also acquired by the House of Wittelsbach in 1214.

The first of several divisions of the duchy of Bavaria occurred in 1255. With the extinction of the Hohenstaufen in 1268 also Swabia
Swabia
Swabia is a cultural, historic and linguistic region in southwestern Germany.-Geography:Like many cultural regions of Europe, Swabia's borders are not clearly defined...

n territories were acquired by the Wittelsbach dukes. Emperor Louis the Bavarian
Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Louis IV , called the Bavarian, of the house of Wittelsbach, was the King of Germany from 1314, the King of Italy from 1327 and the Holy Roman Emperor from 1328....

 acquired Brandenburg
Margraviate of Brandenburg
The Margraviate of Brandenburg was a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire from 1157 to 1806. Also known as the March of Brandenburg , it played a pivotal role in the history of Germany and Central Europe....

, Tirol
German Tyrol
German Tyrol is a historical region in the Alps now divided between Austria and Italy. It includes largely ethnic German areas of historical County of Tyrol: the Austrian state of Tyrol and the province of South Tyrol but not the largely Italian-speaking province of Trentino .-History:German...

, Holland and Hainaut
County of Hainaut
The County of Hainaut was a historical region in the Low Countries with its capital at Mons . In English sources it is often given the archaic spelling Hainault....

 for his House but released the Upper Palatinate
Upper Palatinate
The Upper Palatinate is one of the seven administrative regions of Bavaria, Germany, located in the east of Bavaria.- History :The region took its name first in the early 16th century, because it was by the Treaty of Pavia one of the main portions of the territory of the Wittelsbach Elector...

 for the Palatinate branch of the Wittelsbach in 1329. In 1506 with the Landshut War of Succession
Landshut War of Succession
The Landshut War of Succession resulted from an agreement between the duchies of Bavaria-Munich and Bavaria-Landshut . The agreement concerned the law of succession when one of the two Dukes should die without a male heir...

 the other parts of Bavaria were reunited and Munich became the sole capital.

17th and 18th centuries



In 1623 the Bavarian duke replaced his relative, the Count Palatine of the Rhine in the early days of the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

 and acquired the powerful prince-elector
Prince-elector
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire were the members of the electoral college of the Holy Roman Empire, having the function of electing the Roman king or, from the middle of the 16th century onwards, directly the Holy Roman Emperor.The heir-apparent to a prince-elector was known as an...

al dignity in the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

, determining its Emperor thence forward, as well as special legal status under the empire's laws. The country became one of the Jesuit supported counter-reformation centers. During the early and mid-18th century the ambitions of the Bavarian prince electors led to several wars with Austria as well as occupations by Austria (Spanish succession, election of a Wittelsbach emperor instead of a Habsburger). From 1777 onwards and after the old Bavarian branch of the family had died out with elector Max III Joseph, Bavaria and the Electoral Palatinate were governed once again in personal union, now by the Palatinian lines.

Kingdom of Bavaria




When Napoleon abolished the Holy Roman Empire, Bavaria became a kingdom
Kingdom of Bavaria
The Kingdom of Bavaria was a German state that existed from 1806 to 1918. The Bavarian Elector Maximilian IV Joseph of the House of Wittelsbach became the first King of Bavaria in 1806 as Maximilian I Joseph. The monarchy would remain held by the Wittelsbachs until the kingdom's dissolution in 1918...

 in 1806, and its area doubled. Tirol
Tyrol (state)
Tyrol is a state or Bundesland, located in the west of Austria. It comprises the Austrian part of the historical region of Tyrol.The state is split into two parts–called North Tyrol and East Tyrol–by a -wide strip of land where the state of Salzburg borders directly on the Italian province of...

was temporarily united, Salzburg
Salzburg (state)
Salzburg is a state or Land of Austria with an area of 7,156 km2, located adjacent to the German border. It is also known as Salzburgerland, to distinguish it from its capital city, also named Salzburg...

temporarily reunited with Bavaria but finally ceded to Austria. In return the Rhenish Palatinate and Franconia
Franconia
Franconia is a region of Germany comprising the northern parts of the modern state of Bavaria, a small part of southern Thuringia, and a region in northeastern Baden-Württemberg called Tauberfranken...

 were annexed to Bavaria in 1815. Between 1799 and 1817 the leading minister count Montgelas followed a strict policy of modernisation and laid the foundations of administrative structures that survived even the monarchy and are (in their core) valid until today. In 1808 a first and in 1818 a more modern constitution (by the standards of the time) was passed, that established a bicameral Parliament with a House of Lords (Kammer der Reichsräte) and a House of Commons (Kammer der Abgeordneten). The constitution would last until the collapse of the monarchy at the end of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.

Bavaria as a part of the German Empire



After the rise of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

 to prominence Bavaria managed to preserve its independence by playing off the rivalries of Prussia and Austria
Austrian Empire
The Austrian Empire was a modern era successor empire, which was centered on what is today's Austria and which officially lasted from 1804 to 1867. It was followed by the Empire of Austria-Hungary, whose proclamation was a diplomatic move that elevated Hungary's status within the Austrian Empire...

. Allied to Austria, it was defeated in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War
Austro-Prussian War
The Austro-Prussian War was a war fought in 1866 between the German Confederation under the leadership of the Austrian Empire and its German allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia with its German allies and Italy on the...

 and did not belong to the North German Federation of 1867, but the question of German unity was still alive. When France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 attacked Prussia in 1870, the south German states Baden, Württemberg and Bavaria joined the Prussian forces and ultimately joined the Federation, which was renamed Deutsches Reich (German Empire)
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 in 1871. Bavaria continued as a monarchy, and it even had some special rights within the federation (such as an army, railways and a postal service of its own).

In the early-20th century Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was an influential Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting the first purely-abstract works. Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa. He enrolled at the University of Moscow, studying law and economics...

, Paul Klee
Paul Klee
Paul Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland, and is considered both a German and a Swiss painter. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. He was, as well, a student of orientalism...

, Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of prose drama" and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre...

, and other notable artists were drawn to Bavaria, notably to the Schwabing
Schwabing
Schwabing is a borough in the northern part of Munich, the capital of the German state of Bavaria. It is divided into the city borough 4 and the city borough 12...

 district of Munich, later devastated by World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

20th century


On November 12, 1918, Ludwig III
Ludwig III of Bavaria
Ludwig III , was the last King of Bavaria, reigning from 1913 to 1918.-Early life:...

 signed a document, the Anif declaration
Anif declaration
The Anif declaration , issued by the Bavarian king Ludwig III on 12 November 1918 at Anif Palace, Austria, ended the 738-year rule of the House of Wittelsbach in Bavaria.-Historical background:...

, releasing both civil and military officers from their oaths; the newly-formed republican government of Socialist premier Kurt Eisner
Kurt Eisner
Kurt Eisner was a Bavarian politician and journalist. As a German socialist journalist and statesman, he organized the Socialist Revolution that overthrew the Wittelsbach monarchy in Bavaria in November 1918....

 interpreted this as an abdication. To date, however, no member of the house of Wittelsbach has ever formally declared renunciation of the throne. On the other hand, none has ever since officially called upon their Bavarian or Stewart claims. Family members are active in cultural and social life, including the head of the house, HRH Duke Franz in Bavaria. They step back from any announcements on public affairs, showing approval or disapproval solely by HRH's presence or absence.

Eisner was assassinated in February 1919 ultimately leading to a Communist revolt and the short lived Bavarian Socialist Republic being proclaimed 6 April 1919. After violent suppression by elements of the German Army and notably the Freikorps
Freikorps
Freikorps are German volunteer military or paramilitary units. The term was originally applied to voluntary armies formed in German lands from the middle of the 18th century onwards. Between World War I and World War II the term was also used for the paramilitary organizations that arose during...

, the Bavarian Socialist Republic fell in May 1919. The Bamberg Constitution () was enacted on 12 or 14 August 1919 and came into force on 15 September 1919 creating the Free State of Bavaria within the Weimar Republic. Extremist activity further increased, notably the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch
Beer Hall Putsch
The Beer Hall Putsch was a failed attempt at revolution that occurred between the evening of 8 November and the early afternoon of 9 November 1923, when Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler, Generalquartiermeister Erich Ludendorff, and other heads of the Kampfbund unsuccessfully tried to seize power...

 led by the National Socialists, and Munich and Nuremberg became Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 strongholds under the Third Reich. As a manufacturing center, Munich was heavily bombed during World War II and occupied by U.S. troops. The Rhenish Palatinate was detached from Bavaria in 1946 and made part of the new state Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has an area of and about four million inhabitants. The capital is Mainz. English speakers also commonly refer to the state by its German name, Rheinland-Pfalz ....

.

Since World War II, Bavaria has been rehabilitated from a poor agrarian province into a prosperous industrial hub. A massive reconstruction effort restored much of Munich's and other places historic cores. The state capital hosted the 1972 Summer Olympics
1972 Summer Olympics
The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Munich, West Germany, from August 26 to September 11, 1972....

 and matches of the Football World Cups of 1974 and 2006 as well as European Track & Field championships. More recently, former state minister-president Edmund Stoiber
Edmund Stoiber
Edmund Rüdiger Stoiber is a German politician, former minister-president of the state of Bavaria and former chairman of the Christian Social Union...

 was the CDU/CSU candidate for chancellor in the 2002 federal election
German federal election, 2002
The 15th German federal election, 2002 was conducted on 22 September 2002, to elect members to the Bundestag of Germany.-Issues and campaign:...

 which he lost, and native son Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

 in 2005.

Coat of arms




The modern coat of arms of Bavaria was designed by Eduard Ege in 1946, following heraldic traditions.
  • The Golden Lion: At the dexter chief, sable, a lion
    Lion (heraldry)
    The lion is a common charge in heraldry. It traditionally symbolises bravery, valour, strength, and royalty, since traditionally, it is regarded as the king of beasts.-Attitudes:...

     rampant Or, armed and langued gules. This represents the administrative region of Upper Palatinate.
  • The "Franconian Rake": At the sinister chief, per fess
    Fess
    In heraldry, a fess or fesse is a charge on a coat of arms that takes the form of a band running horizontally across the centre of the shield. Writers disagree in how much of the shield's surface is to be covered by a fess or other ordinary, ranging from one-fifth to one-third...

     dancetty, gules and argent. This represents the administrative regions of Upper, Middle and Lower Franconia.
  • The Blue Panther: At the dexter base, argent, a panther rampant azure, armed Or and langued gules. This represents the regions of Lower and Upper Bavaria.
  • The Three Lions: At the sinister base, Or, three lions passant guardant sable, armed and langued gules. This represents Swabia.
  • The White-And-Blue inescutcheon: The inescutcheon of white and blue fusils askance was originally the coat of arms of the Counts of Bogen, adopted in 1247 by the Wittelsbachs House. The white-and-blue fusils are indisputably the emblem of Bavaria and these arms today symbolize Bavaria as a whole. Along with the People's Crown, it is officially used as the Minor Coat of Arms.
  • The People's Crown: The coat of arms is surmounted by a crown
    Crown (heraldry)
    A Crown is often an emblem of the monarchy, a monarch's government, or items endorsed by it; see The Crown. A specific type of crown is employed in heraldry under strict rules....

     with a golden band inset with precious stones and decorated with five ornamental leaves. This crown first appeared in the coat of arms to symbolize sovereignty of the people
    Common People
    "Common People" is a song by English alternative rock band Pulp. It was released as a single in 1995, reaching number two on the UK singles chart. It also appears on the band's 1995 album Different Class. The song is about those who were perceived by the songwriter as wanting to be "like common...

     after the royal crown was eschewed in 1923.

Geography



Bavaria shares international borders with Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 and the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

 as well as with Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 (across Lake Constance
Lake Constance
Lake Constance is a lake on the Rhine at the northern foot of the Alps, and consists of three bodies of water: the Obersee , the Untersee , and a connecting stretch of the Rhine, called the Seerhein.The lake is situated in Germany, Switzerland and Austria near the Alps...

). Neighbouring states within Germany are Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg is one of the 16 states of Germany. Baden-Württemberg is in the southwestern part of the country to the east of the Upper Rhine, and is the third largest in both area and population of Germany's sixteen states, with an area of and 10.7 million inhabitants...

, Hesse
Hesse
Hesse or Hessia is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.* The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state...

, Thuringia
Thuringia
The Free State of Thuringia is a state of Germany, located in the central part of the country.It has an area of and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany's sixteen states....

 and Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

. Two major rivers flow through the state, the Danube
Danube
The Danube is a river in the Central Europe and the Europe's second longest river after the Volga. It is classified as an international waterway....

 (Donau) and the Main. The Bavarian Alps define the border with Austria, (including the Austrian federal-states of Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Salzburg) and within the range is the highest peak in Germany, the Zugspitze
Zugspitze
The Zugspitze, at 2,962 metres above sea level, is the highest peak of the Wetterstein Mountains as well as the highest mountain in Germany. It lies south of the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and the border between Germany and Austria runs over its western summit. South of the mountain is...

. The Bavarian Forest
Bavarian Forest
thumb|The village of Zell in the Bavarian ForestThe Bavarian Forest is a wooded low-mountain region in Bavaria, Germany. It extends along the Czech border and is continued on the Czech side by the Šumava . Geographically the Bavarian Forest and Bohemian Forest are sections of the same mountain range...

 and the Bohemian Forest
Bohemian Forest
The Bohemian Forest, also known in Czech as Šumava , is a low mountain range in Central Europe. Geographically, the mountains extend from South Bohemia in the Czech Republic to Austria and Bavaria in Germany...

 form the vast majority of the frontier with the Czech Republic and Bohemia.

The major cities in Bavaria are Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

 (München), Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

 (Nürnberg), Augsburg
Augsburg
Augsburg is a city in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. It is a university town and home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and the Bezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is, as of 2008, the third-largest city in Bavaria with a...

, Regensburg
Regensburg
Regensburg is a city in Bavaria, Germany, located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, at the northernmost bend in the Danube. To the east lies the Bavarian Forest. Regensburg is the capital of the Bavarian administrative region Upper Palatinate...

, Würzburg
Würzburg
Würzburg is a city in the region of Franconia which lies in the northern tip of Bavaria, Germany. Located at the Main River, it is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk Lower Franconia. The regional dialect is Franconian....

, Ingolstadt
Ingolstadt
Ingolstadt is a city in the Free State of Bavaria, in the Federal Republic of Germany. It is located along the banks of the Danube River, in the center of Bavaria. As at 31 March 2011, Ingolstadt had 125.407 residents...

, Fürth
Fürth
The city of Fürth is located in northern Bavaria, Germany in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. It is now contiguous with the larger city of Nuremberg, the centres of the two cities being only 7 km apart....

and Erlangen
Erlangen
Erlangen is a Middle Franconian city in Bavaria, Germany. It is located at the confluence of the river Regnitz and its large tributary, the Untere Schwabach.Erlangen has more than 100,000 inhabitants....

.

Population and area

Administrative region Population (2010) Area (km2) No. municipalities
Lower Bavaria
Lower Bavaria
Lower Bavaria is one of the seven administrative regions of Bavaria, Germany, located in the east of the state.- Geography :Lower Bavaria is subdivided into two regions - Landshut and Donau-Wald. Recent election results mark it as the most conservative part of Germany, generally giving huge...

1,189,701 9.49% 10,330 14.6% 258 12.5%
Lower Franconia
Lower Franconia
Lower Franconia is one of the three administrative regions of Franconia in Bavaria , Germany ....

1,318,695 10.52% 8,531 12.1% 308 15.0%
Upper Franconia
Upper Franconia
Upper Franconia is a Regierungsbezirk of the state of Bavaria, southern Germany. It forms part of the historically significant region of Franconia , all now part of the German Federal State of Bayern .With more than 200 independent breweries which brew...

1,071,984 8.55% 7,231 10.2% 214 10.4%
Middle Franconia
Middle Franconia
Middle Franconia is one of the three administrative regions of Franconia in Bavaria, Germany. It is in the west of Bavaria and adjoins the state of Baden-Württemberg...

1,710,876 13.65% 7,245 10.3% 210 10.2%
Upper Palatinate
Upper Palatinate
The Upper Palatinate is one of the seven administrative regions of Bavaria, Germany, located in the east of Bavaria.- History :The region took its name first in the early 16th century, because it was by the Treaty of Pavia one of the main portions of the territory of the Wittelsbach Elector...

1,081,206 8.63% 9,691 13.7% 226 11.0%
Swabia
Swabia (administrative region)
Swabia is one of the seven administrative regions of Bavaria, Germany.- Geography :Swabia is located in southwest Bavaria. It was formed out of the part of the historic region of Swabia which was annexed by Bavaria in 1803. It was once formally ruled by dukes of the Hohenstaufen dynasty. During...

1,785,875 14.25% 9,992 14.2% 340 16.5%
Upper Bavaria
Upper Bavaria
Upper Bavaria is one of the seven administrative regions of Bavaria, Germany.- Geography :Upper Bavaria is located in the southern portion of Bavaria, and is centered around the city of Munich. It is subdivided into four regions : Ingolstadt, Munich, Bayerisches Oberland , and Südostoberbayern...

4,373,588 34.90% 17,530 24.8% 500 24.3%
Total 12,531,925 100.0% 70,549 100.0% 2,056 100.0%

Major cities

City Inhabitants
31 December 2000
Inhabitants
31 December 2005
Inhabitants
31 December 2008
Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

1,210,223 1,259,677 1,326,807
Nuremberg
Nuremberg
Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

488,400 499,237 503,638
Augsburg
Augsburg
Augsburg is a city in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. It is a university town and home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and the Bezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is, as of 2008, the third-largest city in Bavaria with a...

254,982 262,676 263,313
Regensburg
Regensburg
Regensburg is a city in Bavaria, Germany, located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, at the northernmost bend in the Danube. To the east lies the Bavarian Forest. Regensburg is the capital of the Bavarian administrative region Upper Palatinate...

125,676 129,859 133,525
Würzburg
Würzburg
Würzburg is a city in the region of Franconia which lies in the northern tip of Bavaria, Germany. Located at the Main River, it is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk Lower Franconia. The regional dialect is Franconian....

127,966 133,906 133,501
Ingolstadt
Ingolstadt
Ingolstadt is a city in the Free State of Bavaria, in the Federal Republic of Germany. It is located along the banks of the Danube River, in the center of Bavaria. As at 31 March 2011, Ingolstadt had 125.407 residents...

115,722 121,314 123,925
Fürth
Fürth
The city of Fürth is located in northern Bavaria, Germany in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. It is now contiguous with the larger city of Nuremberg, the centres of the two cities being only 7 km apart....

110,477 113,422 114,071
Erlangen
Erlangen
Erlangen is a Middle Franconian city in Bavaria, Germany. It is located at the confluence of the river Regnitz and its large tributary, the Untere Schwabach.Erlangen has more than 100,000 inhabitants....

100,778 103,197 104,980
Bayreuth 74,153 73,997 72,935
Bamberg
Bamberg
Bamberg is a city in Bavaria, Germany. It is located in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz, close to its confluence with the river Main. Bamberg is one of the few cities in Germany that was not destroyed by World War II bombings because of a nearby Artillery Factory that prevented planes from...

69,036 70,081 69,989
Aschaffenburg
Aschaffenburg
Aschaffenburg is a city in northwest Bavaria, Germany. The town of Aschaffenburg is not considered part of the district of Aschaffenburg, but is the administrative seat.Aschaffenburg is known as the Tor zum Spessart or "gate to the Spessart"...

67,592 68,642 68,747
Landshut
Landshut
Landshut is a city in Bavaria in the south-east of Germany, belonging to both Eastern and Southern Bavaria. Situated on the banks of the River Isar, Landshut is the capital of Lower Bavaria, one of the seven administrative regions of the Free State of Bavaria. It is also the seat of the...

58,746 61,368 62,606
Kempten (Allgäu) 61,389 61,360 62,135
Rosenheim
Rosenheim
Rosenheim is a town in Bavaria at the confluence of the rivers Inn and Mangfall. It is seat of administration of the district of Rosenheim, but is not a part of it.-Geography:...

58,908 60,226 60,711
Neu-Ulm
Neu-Ulm
Neu-Ulm is a town in Bavaria, capital of the Neu-Ulm district. Neighbouring towns include Ulm, Senden, Pfaffenhofen an der Roth, Holzheim, Nersingen and Elchingen. The population is 51,110 .-History:...

50,188 51,410 53,866
Schweinfurt
Schweinfurt
Schweinfurt is a city in the Lower Franconia region of Bavaria in Germany on the right bank of the canalized Main, which is here spanned by several bridges, 27 km northeast of Würzburg.- History :...

54,325 54,273 53,588
Passau
Passau
Passau is a town in Lower Bavaria, Germany. It is also known as the Dreiflüssestadt or "City of Three Rivers," because the Danube is joined at Passau by the Inn from the south and the Ilz from the north....

50,536 50,651 50,717
Hof 50,741 48,723 47,275
Freising
Freising
Freising is a town in Bavaria, Germany, and capital of the district Freising. Total population 48,500.The city is located north of Munich at the Isar river, near the Munich International Airport...

44,167 45,827 45,654
Straubing
Straubing
Straubing is an independent city in Lower Bavaria, southern Germany. It is seat of the district of Straubing-Bogen. Annually in August the Gäubodenvolksfest, the second largest fair in Bavaria, is held....

44,014 44,633 44,496

Regierungsbezirke (administrative districts)


Bavaria is divided into 7 administrative districts called Regierungsbezirke (singular Regierungsbezirk).
  1. Upper Franconia
    Upper Franconia
    Upper Franconia is a Regierungsbezirk of the state of Bavaria, southern Germany. It forms part of the historically significant region of Franconia , all now part of the German Federal State of Bayern .With more than 200 independent breweries which brew...

     
  2. Middle Franconia
    Middle Franconia
    Middle Franconia is one of the three administrative regions of Franconia in Bavaria, Germany. It is in the west of Bavaria and adjoins the state of Baden-Württemberg...

     
  3. Lower Franconia
    Lower Franconia
    Lower Franconia is one of the three administrative regions of Franconia in Bavaria , Germany ....

     
  4. Swabia
    Swabia (administrative region)
    Swabia is one of the seven administrative regions of Bavaria, Germany.- Geography :Swabia is located in southwest Bavaria. It was formed out of the part of the historic region of Swabia which was annexed by Bavaria in 1803. It was once formally ruled by dukes of the Hohenstaufen dynasty. During...

     
  5. Upper Palatinate
    Upper Palatinate
    The Upper Palatinate is one of the seven administrative regions of Bavaria, Germany, located in the east of Bavaria.- History :The region took its name first in the early 16th century, because it was by the Treaty of Pavia one of the main portions of the territory of the Wittelsbach Elector...

     
  6. Upper Bavaria
    Upper Bavaria
    Upper Bavaria is one of the seven administrative regions of Bavaria, Germany.- Geography :Upper Bavaria is located in the southern portion of Bavaria, and is centered around the city of Munich. It is subdivided into four regions : Ingolstadt, Munich, Bayerisches Oberland , and Südostoberbayern...

     
  7. Lower Bavaria
    Lower Bavaria
    Lower Bavaria is one of the seven administrative regions of Bavaria, Germany, located in the east of the state.- Geography :Lower Bavaria is subdivided into two regions - Landshut and Donau-Wald. Recent election results mark it as the most conservative part of Germany, generally giving huge...

     





These administrative regions consist of 71 administrative districts (called Landkreise, singular Landkreis) and 25 independent cities (kreisfreie Städte, singular kreisfreie Stadt)

Bezirke


Bezirke (districts) are the third communal layer in Bavaria; the others are the Landkreise and the Gemeinden or Städte.
In the larger states of Germany (including Bavaria) there are Regierungsbezirke which are only administrative divisions and not self-governing entities as the Bezirke in Bavaria.
The Bezirke in Bavaria are territorially identical with the Regierungsbezirke (e.g. Regierung von Oberbayern), but are a different form of administration (having their own parliaments etc.).

Landkreise/kreisfreie cities


Landkreise:
  1. Aichach-Friedberg
    Aichach-Friedberg
    Aichach-Friedberg is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Augsburg, Donau-Ries, Neuburg-Schrobenhausen, Pfaffenhofen, Dachau, Fürstenfeldbruck and Landsberg, as well as by the city of Augsburg....

  2. Altötting
    Altötting (district)
    Altötting is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by Austria and the Bavarian districts of Traunstein, Mühldorf and Rottal-Inn.- History :...

  3. Amberg-Sulzbach
    Amberg-Sulzbach
    Amberg-Sulzbach is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It surrounds but does not include the city of Amberg. It is bounded by the districts of Neustadt , Schwandorf, Neumarkt, Nürnberger Land and Bayreuth.- History :...

  4. Ansbach
    Ansbach (district)
    Ansbach is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is surrounding, but not including the city of Ansbach; nonetheless the administrative seat of the district is Ansbach. It is the district with the biggest area in Bavaria...

  5. Aschaffenburg
    Aschaffenburg (district)
    Aschaffenburg is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Darmstadt-Dieburg, Offenbach, Main-Kinzig , the districts Main-Spessart and Miltenberg, and the town of Aschaffenburg....

  6. Augsburg
    Augsburg (district)
    Augsburg is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the city of Augsburg and the districts of Aichach-Friedberg, Landsberg, Ostallgäu, Unterallgäu, Günzburg, Dillingen and Donau-Ries...

  7. Bad Kissingen
    Bad Kissingen (district)
    Bad Kissingen is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the district Main-Kinzig and Fulda in Hesse, and the districts of Rhön-Grabfeld, Schweinfurt and Main-Spessart.- History :...

  8. Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen
    Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen
    Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by Austria and the districts of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Weilheim-Schongau, Starnberg, Munich and Miesbach.- History :...

  9. Bamberg
    Bamberg (district)
    Bamberg Land is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It surrounds but does not include the town of Bamberg. The district is bounded by the districts of Lichtenfels, Bayreuth, Forchheim, Erlangen-Höchstadt, Neustadt -Bad Windsheim, Kitzingen, Schweinfurt and Haßberge.- History :The history of the...

  10. Bayreuth
    Bayreuth (district)
    Bayreuth is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It surrounds, but does not include the city of Bayreuth. The district is bounded by the districts of Kulmbach, Hof, Wunsiedel, Tirschenreuth, Neustadt/Waldnaab, Amberg-Sulzbach, Nürnberger Land, Forchheim and Bamberg.-History:The district was established...

  11. Berchtesgadener Land
    Berchtesgadener Land
    Berchtesgadener Land is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the district of Traunstein and by the state of Austria.- History :The alpine regions of the south were Bavarian territory from the early Middle Ages. The 11th and 12th centuries saw the founding of numerous mountain villages...

  12. Cham
    Cham (district)
    Cham is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Regen, Straubing-Bogen, Regensburg and Schwandorf and by the Czech Plzeň Region.- History :...

  13. Coburg
    Coburg (district)
    Coburg is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Kronach, Lichtenfels, Bamberg and Haßberge, and by the state of Thuringia . The district is surrounding, but not including the city of Coburg.- History :The history of the district is largely influenced by the city of Coburg...

  14. Dachau
    Dachau (district)
    Dachau is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Fürstenfeldbruck, Aichach-Friedberg, Pfaffenhofen, Freising and Munich, and by the city of Munich.- History :The district was established in 1952...

  15. Deggendorf
    Deggendorf (district)
    Deggendorf is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bordered by the districts of Regen, Freyung-Grafenau, Passau, Rottal-Inn, Dingolfing-Landau and Straubing-Bogen.-History:The district was established in 1936...

  16. Dillingen
    Dillingen (district)
    Dillingen is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Donau-Ries, Augsburg and Günzburg, and by the state of Baden-Württemberg .-History:...

  17. Dingolfing-Landau
    Dingolfing-Landau
    Dingolfing-Landau is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Straubing-Bogen, Deggendorf, Rottal-Inn and Landshut.-History:...

  18. Donau-Ries
    Donau-Ries
    Donau-Ries is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Ansbach, Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen, Eichstätt, Neuburg-Schrobenhausen, Aichach-Friedberg, Augsburg and Dillingen, and by the state of Baden-Württemberg .-History:From Palaeolithic times on the Nördlinger Ries was a very...

  19. Ebersberg
    Ebersberg (district)
    Ebersberg is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Erding, Mühldorf, Rosenheim and Munich.-History:...

  20. Eichstätt
    Eichstätt (district)
    Eichstätt is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Neuburg-Schrobenhausen, Donau-Ries, Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen, Roth, Neumarkt, Kelheim and Pfaffenhofen, and by the city of Ingolstadt.-History:...

  21. Erding
    Erding (district)
    Erding is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Landshut, Mühldorf, Ebersberg, Munich and Freising.-History:...

  22. Erlangen-Höchstadt
    Erlangen-Höchstadt
    Erlangen-Höchstadt is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Fürth, Neustadt -Bad Windsheim, Bamberg, Forchheim and Nürnberger Land, and by the cities of Nuremberg and Erlangen...

  23. Forchheim
    Forchheim (district)
    Forchheim is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Bamberg, Bayreuth, Nürnberger Land and Erlangen-Höchstadt.-History:...

  24. Freising
    Freising (district)
    Freising is a district in Bavaria, Germany. Following a recent ranking of the German magazine FOCUS MONEY comparing all German districts it is number one concerning economic growth abilities. It is bounded by the districts of Kelheim, Landshut, Erding, Munich, Dachau and Pfaffenhofen.The district...

  25. Freyung-Grafenau
    Freyung-Grafenau
    Freyung-Grafenau is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Passau, Deggendorf, Regen, the Czech Republic and by Austria.-History:...

  26. Fürstenfeldbruck
    Fürstenfeldbruck (district)
    Fürstenfeldbruck is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the city of Munich and the districts of Munich, Starnberg, Landsberg, Aichach-Friedberg and Dachau.-History:...

  27. Fürth
    Fürth (district)
    Fürth is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the cities of Fürth and Nuremberg, and by the districts of Roth, Ansbach, Neustadt -Bad Windsheim and Erlangen-Höchstadt.-History:...

  28. Garmisch-Partenkirchen
    Garmisch-Partenkirchen (district)
    Garmisch-Partenkirchen is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Ostallgäu, Weilheim-Schongau and Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen, and by the Austrian state of Tyrol.-History:...

  29. Günzburg
    Günzburg (district)
    Günzburg is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Dillingen, Augsburg, Unterallgäu and Neu-Ulm, and by the state of Baden-Württemberg ....

  30. Hassberge
  31. Hof
    Hof (district)
    Hof is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Wunsiedel, Bayreuth, Kulmbach and Kronach, the states of Thuringia and Saxony , and the Czech Republic...

  32. Kelheim
    Kelheim (district)
    Kelheim is a district in Bavaria, Germany, bound by the regions Regensburg, Landshut, Freising, Pfaffenhofen, Eichstätt and Neumarkt.-Geography:...

  33. Kitzingen
    Kitzingen (district)
    Kitzingen is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Schweinfurt, Bamberg, Neustadt -Bad Windsheim and Würzburg.-History:...

  34. Kronach
    Kronach (district)
    Kronach is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Hof, Kulmbach, Lichtenfels and Coburg, and the state of Thuringia .-History:...

  35. Kulmbach
    Kulmbach (district)
    Kulmbach is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Kronach, Hof, Bayreuth and Lichtenfels.-History:...



  1. Landsberg
    Landsberg (district)
    Landsberg is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Aichach-Friedberg, Fürstenfeldbruck, Starnberg, Weilheim-Schongau, Ostallgäu and Augsburg.- History :...


  2. Landshut
    Landshut (district)
    Landshut is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Kelheim, Straubing-Bogen, Dingolfing-Landau, Rottal-Inn, Mühldorf, Erding and Freising. The city of Landshut is enclosed by, but does not belong to the district...


  3. Lichtenfels
    Lichtenfels (district)
    Lichtenfels is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Coburg, Kronach, Kulmbach, Bayreuth and Bamberg.-History:...


  4. Lindau
    Lindau (district)
    Lindau is a Landkreis or rural district in Bavaria, Germany; its capital is the city of Lindau. It is bounded by the district of Oberallgäu, Austria , Lake Constance and the state of Baden-Württemberg .-History:The city of Lindau became a Free Imperial City in the 13th century; it was...


  5. Main-Spessart
    Main-Spessart
    Main-Spessart is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Bad Kissingen, Schweinfurt and Würzburg, the state of Baden-Württemberg , the districts of Miltenberg and Aschaffenburg, and the state of Hesse .-History:The district was established in 1972 by merging the former...


  6. Miesbach
    Miesbach (district)
    Miesbach is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen, Munich and Rosenheim, and by the Austrian state of Tyrol.-History:...


  7. Miltenberg
    Miltenberg (district)
    Miltenberg is an administrative district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the city of Aschaffenburg, the districts of Aschaffenburg and Main-Spessart, and the states of Baden-Württemberg and Hesse .-History:During the Middle Ages there was continuous...


  8. Mühldorf
    Mühldorf (district)
    Mühldorf is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Landshut, Rottal-Inn, Altötting, Traunstein, Rosenheim, Ebersberg and Erding.-History:...


  9. München
    Munich (district)
    Munich is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It borders the districts of Dachau, Freising, Erding, Ebersberg, Rosenheim, Miesbach, Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen, Starnberg, Fürstenfeldbruck, and surrounds district-free city Munich itself, which is the district seat.-History:The history of the region is...

     (Landkreis München)
  10. Neuburg-Schrobenhausen
    Neuburg-Schrobenhausen
    Neuburg-Schrobenhausen is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Pfaffenhofen, Aichach-Friedberg, Donau-Ries and Eichstätt, and by the city of Ingolstadt.-History:...


  11. Neumarkt
    Neumarkt (district)
    Neumarkt is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Nürnberger Land, Amberg-Sulzbach, Schwandorf, Regensburg, Kelheim, Eichstätt and Roth.-History:...


  12. Neustadt (Aisch)-Bad Windsheim
    Neustadt (Aisch)-Bad Windsheim
    Neustadt -Bad Windsheim is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Würzburg, Kitzingen, Bamberg, Erlangen-Höchstadt, Fürth and Ansbach, and by the state of Baden-Württemberg ....


  13. Neustadt (Waldnaab)
    Neustadt (Waldnaab) (district)
    Neustadt is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Schwandorf, Amberg-Sulzbach, Bayreuth and Tirschenreuth, and by the Czech Republic...


  14. Neu-Ulm
    Neu-Ulm (district)
    Neu-Ulm is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Günzburg and Unterallgäu and the state of Baden-Württemberg ....


  15. Nürnberger Land
    Nürnberger Land
    Nürnberger Land is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Forchheim, Bayreuth, Amberg-Sulzbach, Neumarkt, Roth and Erlangen-Höchstadt, and by the city of Nuremberg.-History:...


  16. Oberallgäu
    Oberallgäu
    Oberallgäu is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Unterallgäu and Ostallgäu, the Austrian states Tyrol and Vorarlberg, the district of Lindau, and the state of Baden-Württemberg...


  17. Ostallgäu
    Ostallgäu
    Ostallgäu is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Oberallgäu, Unterallgäu, Augsburg, Landsberg, Weilheim-Schongau and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and by the Austrian state of Tyrol...


  18. Passau
    Passau (district)
    Passau is a district in the southeast of Bavaria. It encloses the city of Passau geographically from two sides. Neighboring districts are Rottal-Inn, Deggendorf, Freyung-Grafenau. To the south it borders Austria.-History:...


  19. Pfaffenhofen
    Pfaffenhofen (district)
    Pfaffenhofen is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Eichstätt, Kelheim, Freising, Dachau and Neuburg-Schrobenhausen, and the city of Ingolstadt.-History:...


  20. Regen
    Regen (district)
    Regen is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Freyung-Grafenau, Deggendorf, Straubing-Bogen and Cham, and by the Czech Republic .-History:...


  21. Regensburg
    Regensburg (district)
    Regensburg is an administrative district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Schwandorf, Cham, Straubing-Bogen, Kelheim and Neumarkt...


  22. Rhön-Grabfeld
    Rhön-Grabfeld
    Rhön-Grabfeld is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Hassberge, Schweinfurt and Bad Kissingen, and the states of Hesse and Thuringia .-History:In medieval times the region was a part of the Bishopric of Würzburg...


  23. Rosenheim
    Rosenheim (district)
    Rosenheim is a Kreis in the south of Bavaria, Germany.Neighboring districts are, clockwise from the west, Miesbach, Munich, Ebersberg, Mühldorf, and Traunstein, with the Austrian province Tirol across the southern border....


  24. Roth
    Roth (district)
    Roth is a district in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Nürnberger Land, Neumarkt, Eichstätt, Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen, Ansbach and Fürth, and the cities of Schwabach and Nuremberg....


  25. Rottal-Inn
    Rottal-Inn
    Rottal-Inn is a Kreis in the southeastern part of Bavaria, Germany. Neighboring districts are Altötting, Mühldorf, Landshut, Dingolfing-Landau and Passau...


  26. Schwandorf
    Schwandorf (district)
    Schwandorf is a Kreis in the east part of Bavaria, Germany. Neighboring districts are Cham, Regensburg, Neumarkt, Amberg-Sulzbach, Neustadt , and the Czech Plzeň Region.-History:...


  27. Schweinfurt
    Schweinfurt (district)
    Schweinfurt is a Kreis in the northwestern part of Bavaria, Germany. Neighboring districts are Bad Kissingen, Rhön-Grabfeld, Haßberge, Bamberg, Kitzingen, Würzburg and Main-Spessart. The district-free city Schweinfurt is completely surrounded by the district.-Geography:Primary rivers in the...


  28. Starnberg
    Starnberg (district)
    Starnberg is a Kreis in the southern part of Bavaria, Germany. Neighboring districts are Fürstenfeldbruck, Munich, Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen, Weilheim-Schongau and Landsberg....


  29. Straubing-Bogen
    Straubing-Bogen
    Straubing-Bogen is a Kreis in the eastern part of Bavaria, Germany. Neighboring districts are Cham, Regen, Deggendorf, Dingolfing-Landau, Landshut and Regensburg. The district-free city Straubing is completely surrounded by the district...


  30. Tirschenreuth
    Tirschenreuth (district)
    Tirschenreuth is a Kreis in the northeastern part of Bavaria, Germany. Neighboring districts are Neustadt , Bayreuth and Wunsiedel. To the east are the Czech districts of Plzeň and Karlovy Vary.-Geography:...


  31. Traunstein
    Traunstein (district)
    Traunstein is a Kreis in the southeastern part of Bavaria, Germany. Neighboring districts are Mühldorf, Altötting, the Austrian states Upper Austria and Salzburg, the district Berchtesgadener Land, the Austrian states of Salzburg and Tyrol, and the district Rosenheim.-Geography:The district is...


  32. Unterallgäu
    Unterallgäu
    Unterallgäu is a Kreis in the southwestern part of Bavaria, Germany. Neighboring districts are Neu-Ulm, Günzburg, Augsburg, Ostallgäu, Oberallgäu, and the districts Ravensburg und Biberach in Baden-Württemberg. The district-free city Memmingen in the west of the district is nearly surrounded by...


  33. Weilheim-Schongau
    Weilheim-Schongau
    Weilheim-Schongau is a Kreis in the south of Bavaria, Germany. Neighboring districts are Landsberg, Starnberg, Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen, Garmisch-Partenkirchen and Ostallgäu.-Geography:...


  34. Weissenburg-Gunzenhausen
  35. Wunsiedel
    Wunsiedel (district)
    Wunsiedel is a Kreis in the northeastern part of Bavaria, Germany. Neighbouring districts are Tirschenreuth, Bayreuth, Hof, and to the west the Czech Karlovy Vary Region.-Geography:...


  36. Würzburg
    Würzburg (district)
    Würzburg is a Kreis in the northwestern part of Bavaria, Germany.Neighboring districts are Main-Spessart, Schweinfurt, Kitzingen, Neustadt -Bad Windsheim, and the district Main-Tauber in Baden-Württemberg...




Kreis-free Cities:
  1. Amberg
    Amberg
    Amberg is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is located in the Upper Palatinate, roughly halfway between Regensburg and Bayreuth. Population: 44,756 .- History :...

  2. Ansbach
    Ansbach
    Ansbach, originally Onolzbach, is a town in Bavaria, Germany. It is the capital of the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Ansbach is situated southwest of Nuremberg and north of Munich, on the Fränkische Rezat, a tributary of the Main river. As of 2004, its population was 40,723.Ansbach...

  3. Aschaffenburg
    Aschaffenburg
    Aschaffenburg is a city in northwest Bavaria, Germany. The town of Aschaffenburg is not considered part of the district of Aschaffenburg, but is the administrative seat.Aschaffenburg is known as the Tor zum Spessart or "gate to the Spessart"...

  4. Augsburg
    Augsburg
    Augsburg is a city in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. It is a university town and home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and the Bezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is, as of 2008, the third-largest city in Bavaria with a...

  5. Bamberg
    Bamberg
    Bamberg is a city in Bavaria, Germany. It is located in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz, close to its confluence with the river Main. Bamberg is one of the few cities in Germany that was not destroyed by World War II bombings because of a nearby Artillery Factory that prevented planes from...

  6. Bayreuth
  7. Coburg
  8. Erlangen
    Erlangen
    Erlangen is a Middle Franconian city in Bavaria, Germany. It is located at the confluence of the river Regnitz and its large tributary, the Untere Schwabach.Erlangen has more than 100,000 inhabitants....

  9. Fürth
    Fürth
    The city of Fürth is located in northern Bavaria, Germany in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. It is now contiguous with the larger city of Nuremberg, the centres of the two cities being only 7 km apart....

  10. Hof
    Hof, Germany
    Hof is a city located on the banks of the Saale in the northeastern corner of the German state of Bavaria, in the Franconia region, at the Czech border and the forested Fichtelgebirge and Frankenwald upland regions....

  11. Ingolstadt
    Ingolstadt
    Ingolstadt is a city in the Free State of Bavaria, in the Federal Republic of Germany. It is located along the banks of the Danube River, in the center of Bavaria. As at 31 March 2011, Ingolstadt had 125.407 residents...

  12. Kaufbeuren
    Kaufbeuren
    Kaufbeuren is an independent city in the Regierungsbezirk of Schwaben, southern Bavaria. The city is completely enclaved within the district of Ostallgäu.- Culture and Objects of Interest :* Townhall * Crescentiakloster...

  13. Kempten
    Kempten im Allgäu
    Kempten is the largest town in Allgäu, a region in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. The population was ca 61,000 in 2006. The area was possibly settled originally by Celts, but was later overtaken by the Romans, who called the town Cambodunum...



  1. Landshut
    Landshut
    Landshut is a city in Bavaria in the south-east of Germany, belonging to both Eastern and Southern Bavaria. Situated on the banks of the River Isar, Landshut is the capital of Lower Bavaria, one of the seven administrative regions of the Free State of Bavaria. It is also the seat of the...


  2. Memmingen
    Memmingen
    Memmingen is a town in the Bavarian administrative region of Swabia in Germany. It is the central economic, educational and administrative centre in the Danube-Iller region. To the west the town is flanked by the Iller, the river that marks the Baden-Württemberg border...


  3. Munich
    Munich
    Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

     (München)
  4. Nuremberg
    Nuremberg
    Nuremberg[p] is a city in the German state of Bavaria, in the administrative region of Middle Franconia. Situated on the Pegnitz river and the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, it is located about north of Munich and is Franconia's largest city. The population is 505,664...

     (Nürnberg)
  5. Passau
    Passau
    Passau is a town in Lower Bavaria, Germany. It is also known as the Dreiflüssestadt or "City of Three Rivers," because the Danube is joined at Passau by the Inn from the south and the Ilz from the north....


  6. Regensburg
    Regensburg
    Regensburg is a city in Bavaria, Germany, located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, at the northernmost bend in the Danube. To the east lies the Bavarian Forest. Regensburg is the capital of the Bavarian administrative region Upper Palatinate...


  7. Rosenheim
    Rosenheim
    Rosenheim is a town in Bavaria at the confluence of the rivers Inn and Mangfall. It is seat of administration of the district of Rosenheim, but is not a part of it.-Geography:...


  8. Schwabach
    Schwabach
    Schwabach is a German town of about 40,000 inhabitants near Nuremberg, in the center of the region of Franconia in the North of Bavaria. The city is an autonomous administrative district . Schwabach is also the name of a river which runs through the city prior joining the Rednitz.Schwabach is...


  9. Schweinfurt
    Schweinfurt
    Schweinfurt is a city in the Lower Franconia region of Bavaria in Germany on the right bank of the canalized Main, which is here spanned by several bridges, 27 km northeast of Würzburg.- History :...


  10. Straubing
    Straubing
    Straubing is an independent city in Lower Bavaria, southern Germany. It is seat of the district of Straubing-Bogen. Annually in August the Gäubodenvolksfest, the second largest fair in Bavaria, is held....


  11. Weiden
    Weiden in der Oberpfalz
    Weiden in der Oberpfalz is a district-free city in Bavaria, Germany. It is located 100 km east of Nuremberg and 35 km west of the Czech border. A branch of the German Army's NCO Academy is located here...


  12. Würzburg
    Würzburg
    Würzburg is a city in the region of Franconia which lies in the northern tip of Bavaria, Germany. Located at the Main River, it is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk Lower Franconia. The regional dialect is Franconian....



Gemeinden (municipalities)


The 71 administrative districts are on the lowest level divided into 2031 municipalities
Municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

 (called Gemeinden, singular Gemeinde). Together with the 25 independent cities (which are in effect municipalities independent of Landkreis administrations), there are a total of 2056 municipalities in Bavaria.

In 44 of the 71 administrative districts, there are a total of 215 unincorporated area
Unincorporated area
In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not a part of any municipality.To "incorporate" in this context means to form a municipal corporation, a city, town, or village with its own government. An unincorporated community is usually not subject to or taxed by a municipal government...

s (as of January 1, 2005, called gemeindefreie Gebiete, singular gemeindefreies Gebiet), not belonging to any municipality, all uninhabited, mostly forested areas, but also four lakes (Chiemsee
Chiemsee
Chiemsee is a freshwater lake in Bavaria, Germany, between Rosenheim, Germany, and Salzburg, Austria. It is often called the Bavarian Sea. The rivers Tiroler Achen and Prien flow into the lake; the river Alz, out of it...

-without islands, Starnberger See-without island Roseninsel, Ammersee
Ammersee
Ammersee is a lake in Upper Bavaria, Germany located southwest of Munich between the towns of Herrsching and Dießen am Ammersee. With a surface area of approximately , it is the sixth largest lake in Germany. The lake is located at an elevation of , and has a maximum depth of . Like other Bavarian...

, which are the three largest lakes of Bavaria, and Waginger See
Waginger See
Waginger See is a lake in Alpenvorland, Bavaria, Germany. At an elevation of 441 m, its surface area is 9 km².- External links :...

).

Politics


Bavaria has a multi-party system where the biggest parties are the conservative Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU)
Christian Social Union of Bavaria
The Christian Social Union in Bavaria is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It operates only in the state of Bavaria, while its sister party, the Christian Democratic Union , operates in the other 15 states of Germany...

, which has dominated politics since 1945 and won every election since then, and the center-left Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany...

. The German green party, Alliance '90/The Greens
Alliance '90/The Greens
Alliance '90/The Greens is a green political party in Germany, formed from the merger of the German Green Party and Alliance 90 in 1993. Its leaders are Claudia Roth and Cem Özdemir...

 is represented in the parliament as well. Since 2008 Germany's liberal party, the Free Democratic Party (FDP)
Free Democratic Party (Germany)
The Free Democratic Party , abbreviated to FDP, is a centre-right classical liberal political party in Germany. It is led by Philipp Rösler and currently serves as the junior coalition partner to the Union in the German federal government...

 and the Free Voters
Free Voters
Free Voters is a German concept in which an association of persons participates in an election without having the status of a registered political party. Usually it is a locally organized group of voters in the form of a registered association . In most cases, Free Voters are active only at the...

 are represented in Bavaria's parliament as well. CSU and FDP agreed in October 2008 to form a coalition, while SPD, Free Voters and the Greens form the opposition.

Bavaria has a unicameral Landtag
Landtag of Bavaria
The Landtag of Bavaria is the unicameral legislature of the state of Bavaria in Germany. Between 1946 and 1999 there was an upper house, the Senate of Bavaria. The parliament meets in the Maximilianeum....

, or state parliament, elected by universal suffrage. Until December 1999, there was also a Senat, or Senate
Senate
A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature or parliament. There have been many such bodies in history, since senate means the assembly of the eldest and wiser members of the society and ruling class...

, whose members were chosen by social and economic groups in Bavaria, but following a referendum in 1998, this institution was abolished. The head of government is the Minister-President
Minister-President
A minister-president is the head of government in a number of European countries or subnational governments, in which a parliamentary or semi-presidential system of government prevails, who presides over the council of ministers...

.

In 1995 Bavaria introduced direct democracy
Direct democracy
Direct democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly, as opposed to a representative democracy in which people vote for representatives who then vote on policy initiatives. Direct democracy is classically termed "pure democracy"...

 on the local level in a referendum
Referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...

. This was initiated bottom-up by an association called Mehr Demokratie (More Democracy). This is a grass-roots organization which campaigns for the right to citizen-initiated referendums. In 1997 the Bavarian Supreme Court aggravated the regulations considerably (e.g. by introducing a turn-out quorum). Nevertheless, Bavaria has the most advanced regulations on local direct democracy in Germany. This has led to a spirited citizens' participation in communal and municipal affairs—835 referenda took place from 1995 through 2005.

In the 2003 elections
Bavaria state election, 2003
The Bavaria state election, 2003, was conducted on September 21, 2003, to elect members to the Landtag of Bavaria.-Results:-Post-election:...

 the CSU won more than two thirds of the seats in Landtag
Landtag
A Landtag is a representative assembly or parliament in German-speaking countries with some legislative authority.- Name :...

—something no party had ever achieved in post-war German history. In the following 2008 elections
Bavaria state election, 2008
The 2008 Bavarian state election was held on September 28, 2008. Voters of the German state of Bavaria elected members to the Bavarian Landtag .-Outcome:...

 the CSU lost its absolute majority in the Landtag for the first time in 46 years.

This loss is probably attributed to its push for an anti-smoking law, the most stringent in Germany, which became one of the most controversial laws ever enacted in Bavaria. As result, the CSU changed its stance and weakened the anti-smoking law to allow some more loopholes. However, the citizens held a successful petition drive in November–December 2009 to call for a total smoking ban. The CSU dismissed the petition and demands as unnecessary and frivilous, but the referendum proceeded and the voters voted for the smoking ban.

Minister-presidents of Bavaria since 1945

> > > > > > > > > > > >
Minister-presidents of Bavaria
No. Name Born-Died Party affiliation Begin of Tenure End of Tenure
1
Fritz Schäffer
Fritz Schäffer
Fritz Schäffer was a German politician for the Bavarian People's Party and the Christian Social Union . In 1945 he became the first Bavarian Minister-President after World War II...

1888–1967 CSU
Christian Social Union of Bavaria
The Christian Social Union in Bavaria is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It operates only in the state of Bavaria, while its sister party, the Christian Democratic Union , operates in the other 15 states of Germany...

1945 1945
2
Wilhelm Hoegner
Wilhelm Hoegner
Wilhelm Hoegner was the second Bavarian prime minister after World War II and father of the Bavarian constitution. He has been the only Social Democrat to hold this office....

1887–1980 SPD 1945 1946
3
Hans Ehard
Hans Ehard
Hans Ehard was a German lawyer and politician, a member of the Christian Social Union party.-Life:...

1887–1980 CSU 1946 1954
4
Wilhelm Hoegner
Wilhelm Hoegner
Wilhelm Hoegner was the second Bavarian prime minister after World War II and father of the Bavarian constitution. He has been the only Social Democrat to hold this office....

1887–1980 SPD 1954 1957
5
Hanns Seidel
Hanns Seidel
Hanns Seidel was a German politician and Bavarian prime minister from 1957 to 1960. He belonged to the conservative Christian Social Union of Bavaria party.-Life:...

1901–1961 CSU 1957 1960
6
Hans Ehard
Hans Ehard
Hans Ehard was a German lawyer and politician, a member of the Christian Social Union party.-Life:...

1887–1980 CSU 1960 1962
7
Alfons Goppel
Alfons Goppel
Alfons Goppel was a German politician of the CSU party and Prime Minister of Bavaria .-Life:...

1905–1991 CSU 1962 1978
8
Franz Josef Strauß
Franz Josef Strauß
Franz Josef Strauss was a German politician. He was the leader of the Christian Social Union, member of the federal cabinet in different positions and long-time minister-president of the state of Bavaria....

1915–1988 CSU 1978 1988
9
Max Streibl
Max Streibl
Max Streibl was a German politician of the CSU party and former Minister President of Bavaria.-Life:Max Streibel was born in Oberammergau in 1932, where his parents owned a hotel business...

1932–1998 CSU 1988 1993
10
Edmund Stoiber
Edmund Stoiber
Edmund Rüdiger Stoiber is a German politician, former minister-president of the state of Bavaria and former chairman of the Christian Social Union...

*1941 CSU 1993 2007
11
Günther Beckstein
Günther Beckstein
Günther Beckstein is a Bavarian CSU politician and was Minister-President of Bavaria from 9 October 2007 to 27 October 2008...

*1943 CSU 2007 2008
12
Horst Seehofer
Horst Seehofer
Horst Lorenz Seehofer is a German politician . He was Federal Minister for Health and Social Security from 1992 to 1998 and served as Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection in the cabinet of Angela Merkel from 2005 to 2008...

*1949 CSU 2008 incumbent

German-Bavarian relations


The Bayernpartei
Bavaria Party
The Bavaria Party is a separatist political party in the state of Bavaria in southern Germany. It was founded in 1946 and describes itself as patriotic Bavarian, advocating Bavarian independence within the European Union...

(Bavaria Party) advocates Bavarian independence from Germany. Bavaria was the only state to reject the West German constitution in 1949, but this did not prevent its implementation. One of Germany's principal political parties, the Christian Democratic Union
Christian Democratic Union (Germany)
The Christian Democratic Union of Germany is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It is regarded as on the centre-right of the German political spectrum...

 (CDU), is replaced in Bavaria by the Christian Social Union of Bavaria
Christian Social Union of Bavaria
The Christian Social Union in Bavaria is a Christian democratic and conservative political party in Germany. It operates only in the state of Bavaria, while its sister party, the Christian Democratic Union , operates in the other 15 states of Germany...

 (CSU), but in practice the two parties cooperate fully in the Bundestag
Bundestag
The Bundestag is a federal legislative body in Germany. In practice Germany is governed by a bicameral legislature, of which the Bundestag serves as the lower house and the Bundesrat the upper house. The Bundestag is established by the German Basic Law of 1949, as the successor to the earlier...

. Bavaria had its own border police force
Bavarian Border Police
The Bavarian Border Police is an historic police division within the Bavarian State Police . It was the third arm of the police force alongside the state police and the so-called 'readiness police' It existed from 1946 to 1998 and was responsible for the federal borders in Bavaria.In 1945 the...

, separate from the Federal Border Guard, until Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

's EU accession in 1995.

Furthermore, the people from the three northern districts of Bavaria known as Franconia
Franconia
Franconia is a region of Germany comprising the northern parts of the modern state of Bavaria, a small part of southern Thuringia, and a region in northeastern Baden-Württemberg called Tauberfranken...

 (Mittelfranken, Oberfranken and Unterfranken), do not all consider themselves as Bavarian. They have their own history and celebrate their own identity, which is distinct from southern Bavaria, and symbolized by the Franconian rake (Fränkischer Rechen). The flag is often seen during local festivals. Some Franconians would also like to see their own Bundesland Franken "Federal State of Franconia".

Economy


Bavaria has long had one of the largest and healthiest economies of any region in Germany, or Europe for that matter. Its GDP in 2007 exceeded 434 billion Euros (about 600 bn US$). This makes Bavaria itself one of the largest economies in Europe and only 17 countries in the world have higher GDP. Some large companies headquartered in Bavaria include BMW
BMW
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916. It also owns and produces the Mini marque, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna brands...

, Siemens
Siemens AG
Siemens AG is a German multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Munich, Germany. It is the largest Europe-based electronics and electrical engineering company....

, Rohde & Schwarz
Rohde & Schwarz
Rohde & Schwarz is an independent group of companies specializing in electronics. Well known as a manufacturer of electronic test equipment, they also manufacture equipment used for broadcasting, radiolocation, and radio communications...

, Audi
Audi
Audi AG is a German automobile manufacturer, from supermini to crossover SUVs in various body styles and price ranges that are marketed under the Audi brand , positioned as the premium brand within the Volkswagen Group....

, Munich Re
Munich Re
Munich Re Group is a reinsurance company based in Munich, Germany. It is one of the world’s leading reinsurers. ERGO, a Munich Re subsidiary, is the Group’s primary insurance arm....

, Allianz
Allianz
SE is a global financial services company headquartered in Munich, Germany. Its core business and focus is insurance. As of 2010, it was the world's 12th-largest financial services group and 23rd-largest company according to a composite measure by Forbes magazine.Its Allianz Global Investors...

, Infineon, MAN, Wacker Chemie
Wacker Chemie
Wacker Chemie AG is a worldwide operating company in the chemical business, founded 1914. The company is controlled by the Wacker-family holding more than 50 percent of the shares. The corporation is operating more than 25 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas...

, Puma AG
PUMA AG
Puma SE, officially branded as PUMA, is a major German multinational company that produces high-end athletic shoes, lifestyle footwear and other sportswear. Formed in 1924 as Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik by Adolf and Rudolf Dassler, relationships between the two brothers deteriorated until the two...

, and Adidas
Adidas
Adidas AG is a German sports apparel manufacturer and parent company of the Adidas Group, which consists of the Reebok sportswear company, TaylorMade-Adidas golf company , and Rockport...

 AG. Bavaria has a GDP per capita of over $48 000 US, meaning that if it were its own independent country it would rank 7th or 8th in the world.

Company names


The motorcycle
Motorcycle
A motorcycle is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task for which they are designed, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.Motorcycles are one of the most...

 and automobile
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

 makers BMW
BMW
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916. It also owns and produces the Mini marque, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna brands...

 (Bayerische Motoren-Werke, or Bavarian Motor Works) and Audi, Allianz, Grundig
Grundig
Grundig AG is a German manufacturer of consumer electronics for home entertainment which transferred to Turkish control in 2004-2007. Established in 1945 in Nuremberg by Max Grundig, the company changed hands several times before becoming part of the Turkish Koç Holding group...

(consumer electronics), Siemens (electricity, telephones, informatics, medical instruments), Continental
Continental AG
Continental AG, internally often called Conti for short, is a worldwide leading German manufacturer of tires, brake systems, vehicle stability control systems, engine injection systems, tachographs and other parts for the automotive and transport industries. The company is based in Hanover, Germany...

(Automotive Tire and Electronics), Adidas, Puma
PUMA AG
Puma SE, officially branded as PUMA, is a major German multinational company that produces high-end athletic shoes, lifestyle footwear and other sportswear. Formed in 1924 as Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik by Adolf and Rudolf Dassler, relationships between the two brothers deteriorated until the two...

, HypoVereinsbank (UniCredit Group), Infineon and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann
Krauss-Maffei
The Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH & Co KG or simply Krauss-Maffei is an injection molding machine manufacturer and defence company based in Munich, Germany...

 have (or had) a Bavarian industrial base.

Bavaria has also given its name to the largest Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

n brewery (Cervecería Bavaria
Bavaria Brewery
Bavaria is the second largest brewery in the Netherlands. The company, which produces five million hectolitres of beer annually, is based in the town of Lieshout, North Brabant...

) and a major Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 brewery (Biermerk Bavaria).

Culture




Some features of the Bavarian culture and mentality are remarkably distinct from the rest of Germany. Noteworthy differences (especially in rural areas, less significant in the major cities) can be found with respect to:

Religion


While 56.4% of the population adhere to the Catholic Church, 21% are affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria
Evangelical Church in Germany
The Evangelical Church in Germany is a federation of 22 Lutheran, Unified and Reformed Protestant regional church bodies in Germany. The EKD is not a church in a theological understanding because of the denominational differences. However, the member churches share full pulpit and altar...

.

Most of Bavaria is predominantly Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, but the Evangelical Lutheran Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria is a Protestant church in the German state of Bavaria. The seat of the church is in Munich....

 has a strong presence in large parts of Franconia
Franconia
Franconia is a region of Germany comprising the northern parts of the modern state of Bavaria, a small part of southern Thuringia, and a region in northeastern Baden-Württemberg called Tauberfranken...

. Only Saarland
Saarland
Saarland is one of the sixteen states of Germany. The capital is Saarbrücken. It has an area of 2570 km² and 1,045,000 inhabitants. In both area and population, it is the smallest state in Germany other than the city-states...

 has a higher percentage of Catholics among the German states.

The current pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

, Benedict XVI (Joseph Alois Ratzinger)
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

, was born in Marktl am Inn
Marktl am Inn
Marktl, or often unofficially called Marktl am Inn , is a village and historic market municipality in the state of Bavaria, Germany, near the Austrian border, in the Altötting district of Upper Bavaria. The most notable neighbouring town is Altötting...

in Upper Bavaria
Upper Bavaria
Upper Bavaria is one of the seven administrative regions of Bavaria, Germany.- Geography :Upper Bavaria is located in the southern portion of Bavaria, and is centered around the city of Munich. It is subdivided into four regions : Ingolstadt, Munich, Bayerisches Oberland , and Südostoberbayern...

 and was Cardinal-Archbishop of Munich and Freising.

Traditions


Bavarians commonly emphasize pride in their traditions. Traditional costumes collectively known as Tracht
Tracht
Tracht is a traditional national costume in German-speaking countries. Although the word is most often associated with Austrian and Bavarian costumes, many other peoples of Germany have them.-History:...

are worn on special occasions and include in Altbayern
Altbayern
Altbayern is a term used to describe the three oldest parts of the Free State of Bavaria, which were earlier known as Kurbayern. It also describes the people who live in the area Altbayern (also written Altbaiern, English meaning: Old Bavaria) is a term used to describe the three oldest parts of...

 Lederhosen
Lederhosen
Lederhosen are breeches made of leather; they may be either short or knee-length. The longer ones are generally called Bundhosen....

for males and Dirndl
Dirndl
A dirndl [ˈdɪʁndl̩] is a type of traditional dress worn in Bavaria, Liechtenstein, Austria, and South Tyrol, based on the historical costume of Alpine peasants. Dresses that are loosely based on the dirndl are known as Landhausmode.-Description:...

for females. Centuries-old folk music is performed. The Maibaum, or Maypole (which in the Middle Ages served as the community's yellow pages, as figurettes on the pole represent the trades of the village), and the bagpipes in the Upper Palatinate region bear witness to the ancient Celtic and Germanic
Paganism in the Eastern Alps
The central and eastern Alps of Europe are rich in folklore traditions dating back to pre-Christian times, with surviving elements amalgamated from Germanic, Gaulish , Slavic and Raetian culture....

 remnants of cultural heritage of the region.

Whether actually in Bavaria, overseas or full of citizens from other nations they continue to cultivate their traditions. They hold festivals and dances to keep their traditions alive. In New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 the German American Cultural Society is a larger umbrella group for others such as the Bavarian organizations, which represent a specific part of Germany. They proudly put forth a German Parade called Steuben Parade each year. Various affiliated events take place amongst its groups, one of which is the Bavarian Dancers.

Food and drink


Bavarians tend to place a great value on food and drink
Bavarian cuisine
Bavarian cuisine is a style of cooking derived from Bavaria.The origins of Bavarian cuisine are rural. The cuisine typically includes many meat and Knödel dishes, and the prominent use of flour....

. In addition to their renowned dishes, Bavarians also consume many items of food and drink which are unusual elsewhere in Germany; for example ("white sausage") or in some instances a variety of entrails. At folk festivals and in many beer gardens, beer is traditionally served by the litre (the so-called ). Bavarians are particularly proud of the traditional , or purity law, initially established by the Duke of Bavaria for the City of Munich (e.g. the court) in 1487 and the duchy in 1516. According to this law, only three ingredients were allowed in beer: water, barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

, and hops
Hops
Hops are the female flower clusters , of a hop species, Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor, though hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine...

. In 1906 the made its way to all-German law, and remained a law in Germany until the EU
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 struck it down recently as incompatible with the European common market. German breweries, however, cling to the principle. Bavarians are also known as some of the world's most beer-loving people with an average annual consumption of 170 litres per person, although figures have been declining in recent years.

Bavaria is also home to the Franconia wine region
Franconia (wine region)
Franconia is a region for quality wine in Germany situated in the north west of Bavaria in the district of Franconia, and is the only wine region in the federal state of Bavaria...

, which is situated along the Main River
Main river
Main rivers are a statutory type of watercourse in England and Wales, usually larger streams and rivers, but also include some smaller watercourses. A main river is defined as a watercourse marked as such on a main river map, and can include any structure or appliance for controlling or regulating...

 in Franconia. The region has produced wine (Frankenwein) for over 1,000 years and is famous for its use of the Bocksbeutel
Bocksbeutel
The Bocksbeutel is a type of wine bottle with the form of a flattened ellipsoid. It is commonly used for wines from Franconia in Germany, but is also used for some Portuguese wines, in particular rosés, where the bottle is called cantil, and in rare cases for Italian wine and Greek wine.- History...

 wine bottle. The production of wine forms an integral part of the regional culture, and many of its villages and cities hold their own wine festivals (Weinfeste) throughout the year.

Language and dialects


Three German dialects are spoken in Bavaria: Austro-Bavarian
Austro-Bavarian
Bavarian , also Austro-Bavarian, is a major group of Upper German varieties spoken in the south east of the German language area.-History and origin:...

 in Old Bavaria (South-East and East), Swabian German
Swabian German
Swabian is one of the Alemannic dialects of High German. It is spoken in Swabia, a region which covers much of Germany's southwestern state Baden-Württemberg, including its capital Stuttgart, the rural area known as the Swabian Alb, and Bavaria...

 (an Alemannic German
Alemannic German
Alemannic is a group of dialects of the Upper German branch of the Germanic language family. It is spoken by approximately ten million people in six countries: Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, France and Italy...

 dialect) in the Bavarian part of Swabia (South West) and East Franconian German
East Franconian German
East Franconian is a dialect which is spoken in northern Bavaria and other areas in Germany around Nuremberg, Bamberg, Coburg, Würzburg, Hof, Bayreuth, Bad Mergentheim, Crailsheim and Suhl...

 in Franconia (North).

Ethnography


Bavarians consider themselves to be egalitarian and informal. Their sociability can be experienced at the annual Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest, or Wiesn, is a 16–18 day beer festival held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and is the world's largest fair, with more than 5 million people attending every year. The...

, the world's largest beer festival, which welcomes around six million visitors every year, or in the famous beer garden
Beer garden
Beer garden is an open-air area where beer, other drinks and local food are served. The concept originates from and is most common in Southern Germany...

s. In traditional Bavarian beer gardens, patrons may bring their own food and only buy beer from the brewery that runs the beer garden.

In the United States, particularly among German American
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

s, Bavarian culture is viewed somewhat nostalgically, and many "Bavarian villages", most notably Frankenmuth, Michigan
Frankenmuth, Michigan
Frankenmuth is a city in Saginaw County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 4,838 at the 2000 census. The 2009 census estimate places the population at 4,619. The city is located within Frankenmuth Township, but is politically independent. Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland, which bills...

 and Leavenworth, Washington
Leavenworth, Washington
Leavenworth is a city in Chelan County, Washington, United States. It is part of the Wenatchee–East Wenatchee Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,965 at the 2010 census. The entire town center is modelled on a Bavarian village.-History:...

, have been founded. Since 1962, the latter has been styled with a Bavarian theme; it is also home to "one of the world's largest collections of nutcracker
Nutcracker
A nutcracker is a mechanical device for cracking nuts. Usually they work on the principle of moments as described in Archimedes' analysis of the lever...

s" and an Oktoberfest celebration it claims is among the most attended in the world outside of Munich.

Neuschwanstein


Neuschwanstein was built for King Ludwig II, as a second home. It remains unfinished.

Famous people


There are many famous people who were born or lived in present-day Bavaria:
  • Popes Pope Benedict XVI
    Pope Benedict XVI
    Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

     (baptismal name: Joseph Ratzinger)—the current Pope
    Pope
    The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

     of the Roman Catholic Church
    Roman Catholic Church
    The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

    ; Pope Damasus II
    Pope Damasus II
    Pope Damasus II , born Poppo, Pope from July 17, 1048 to August 9, 1048, was the second of the German pontiffs nominated by Emperor Henry III . A native of Bavaria, he was the third German to become Pope and had one of the shortest papal reigns...

     and Pope Victor II
    Pope Victor II
    Pope Victor II , born Gebhard, Count of Calw, Tollenstein, and Hirschberg, was Pope from 1055 to 1057. He was one of a series of German reform Popes.-Life:...

    .
  • Painters such as Hans Holbein the Elder
    Hans Holbein the Elder
    Hans Holbein was a German painter.He was born in Augsburg, Bavaria and died in Isenheim, Alsace. He and his brother Sigismund Holbein painted religious works in the late Gothic style...

    , Albrecht Dürer
    Albrecht Dürer
    Albrecht Dürer was a German painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg. His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance ever since...

    , Albrecht Altdorfer
    Albrecht Altdorfer
    Albrecht Altdorfer was a German painter, printmaker and architect of the Renaissance era.-Biography:Altdorfer was born in Regensburg or Altdorf around 1480....

    , Lucas Cranach
    Lucas Cranach the Elder
    Lucas Cranach the Elder , was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving...

    , Carl Spitzweg
    Carl Spitzweg
    Carl Spitzweg was a German romanticist painter and poet. He is considered to be one of the most important artists of the Biedermeier era....

    , Franz von Lenbach
    Franz von Lenbach
    Franz von Lenbach was a German painter of Realist style.-Biography:Lenbach was born at Schrobenhausen, in Bavaria. His father was a mason, and the boy was intended to follow his father's trade or be a builder. With this view he was sent to school at Landsberg, and then to the polytechnic at Augsburg...

    , Franz von Stuck
    Franz Stuck
    Franz Stuck , Franz Ritter von Stuck after 1906, was a German symbolist/Art Nouveau painter, sculptor, engraver, and architect.-Life and career:...

    , Franz Marc
    Franz Marc
    Franz Marc was a German painter and printmaker, one of the key figures of the German Expressionist movement...

    , Paul Klee, Erwin Eisch
    Erwin Eisch
    Erwin Eisch is a German artist who works with glass. He is also a painter, draughtsman and printmaker. With that of his friend and colleague in glass, Harvey Littleton, Eisch's work in glass embodies the ideas of the international Studio Glass movement...

    , Gabriele Münter
    Gabriele Münter
    Gabriele Münter was a German expressionist painter who was at the forefront of the Munich avant-garde in the early 20th century. Artists and writers associated with German Expressionism shared a rebellious attitude toward the materialism and mores of German imperial and bourgeois society...

    .
  • Musicians such as Johannes Heesters
    Johannes Heesters
    Johan Marius Nicolaas "Johannes" Heesters is a Dutch actor, singer and entertainer with a -year career, almost exclusively in the German-speaking world. In Germany and Austria, Heesters is mainly known for his acting career...

    , Orlando di Lasso
    Orlande de Lassus
    Orlande de Lassus was a Franco-Flemish composer of the late Renaissance...

    , Christoph Willibald Gluck
    Christoph Willibald Gluck
    Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck was an opera composer of the early classical period. After many years at the Habsburg court at Vienna, Gluck brought about the practical reform of opera's dramaturgical practices that many intellectuals had been campaigning for over the years...

    , Richard Wagner
    Richard Wagner
    Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director, philosopher, music theorist, poet, essayist and writer primarily known for his operas...

     (originally from Saxony), Richard Strauss
    Richard Strauss
    Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems and orchestral works, such as Death and Transfiguration, Till...

    , Carl Orff
    Carl Orff
    Carl Orff was a 20th-century German composer, best known for his cantata Carmina Burana . In addition to his career as a composer, Orff developed an influential method of music education for children.-Early life:...

    , Johann Pachelbel
    Johann Pachelbel
    Johann Pachelbel was a German Baroque composer, organist and teacher, who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most...

    and Theobald Boehm
    Theobald Boehm
    Theobald Böhm was a German inventor and musician, who perfected the modern Western concert flute and its improved fingering system...

    , the inventor of the modern flute
    Flute
    The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening...

    , and countertenor
    Countertenor
    A countertenor is a male singing voice whose vocal range is equivalent to that of a contralto, mezzo-soprano, or a soprano, usually through use of falsetto, or far more rarely than normal, modal voice. A pre-pubescent male who has this ability is called a treble...

     Klaus Nomi
    Klaus Nomi
    Klaus Sperber , better known as Klaus Nomi, was a German countertenor noted for his wide vocal range and an unusual, otherworldly stage persona....

    .
  • Modern musicians Klaus Doldinger
    Klaus Doldinger
    Klaus Doldinger is a German saxophonist, especially well-known for jazz and as a composer of film music. He was the recipient of 1997's Bavarian Film Awards .-Life and work:...

    , Barbara Dennerlein
    Barbara Dennerlein
    Barbara Dennerlein , is a hard bop and post-bop Hammond B3 organist.-Early years:At age 11, Dennerlein began playing electronic organ. After starting organ lessons, she learned to play the two manual organ with a bass pedalboard. After one and a half years of lessons she continued to study without...

    , Hans-Jürgen Buchner.
  • Opera singers like Jonas Kaufmann
    Jonas Kaufmann
    Jonas Kaufmann is a German operatic tenor. Although he has sung a variety of leading roles including both the Mozart and Wagner repertoire, he is particularly known for his performances in spinto roles such as Don José in Carmen, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur, and the title...

     and Diana Damrau
    Diana Damrau
    Diana Damrau is a German lyric coloratura soprano of the operatic stage.-Biography:Diana Damrau was born in 1971 in Günzburg, Bavaria, Germany, and began her operatic studies with Carmen Hanganu at the Musikhochschule in Würzburg. After graduating from music conservatory she worked in Salzburg...

    .
  • Writers, poets and playwrights like Hans Sachs
    Hans Sachs
    Hans Sachs was a German meistersinger , poet, playwright and shoemaker.-Biography:Hans Sachs was born in Nuremberg . His father was a tailor. He attended Latin school in Nuremberg...

    , Jean Paul
    Jean Paul
    Jean Paul , born Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, was a German Romantic writer, best known for his humorous novels and stories.-Life and work:...

    , Frank Wedekind
    Frank Wedekind
    Benjamin Franklin Wedekind , usually known as Frank Wedekind, was a German playwright...

    , Christian Morgenstern
    Christian Morgenstern
    Christian Otto Josef Wolfgang Morgenstern was a German author and poet from Munich. Morgenstern married Margareta Gosebruch von Liechtenstern on March 7, 1910...

    , Oskar Maria Graf
    Oskar Maria Graf
    Oskar Maria Graf was a German author.He wrote several socialist-anarchist novels and narratives about life in Bavaria, mostly autobiographical.In the beginning Graf wrote under his real name Oskar Graf...

    , Bertolt Brecht
    Bertolt Brecht
    Bertolt Brecht was a German poet, playwright, and theatre director.An influential theatre practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht made equally significant contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter particularly through the seismic impact of the tours undertaken by the...

    , Lion Feuchtwanger
    Lion Feuchtwanger
    Lion Feuchtwanger was a German-Jewish novelist and playwright. A prominent figure in the literary world of Weimar Germany, he influenced contemporaries including playwright Bertolt Brecht....

    , Thomas Mann
    Thomas Mann
    Thomas Mann was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and 1929 Nobel Prize laureate, known for his series of highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual...

    and his sons Klaus
    Klaus Mann
    - Life and work :Born in Munich, Klaus Mann was the son of German writer Thomas Mann and his wife, Katia Pringsheim. His father was baptized as a Lutheran, while his mother was from a family of secular Jews. He began writing short stories in 1924 and the following year became drama critic for a...

    and Golo Mann
    Golo Mann
    Golo Mann , born Angelus Gottfried Thomas Mann, was a popular German historian, essayist and writer. He was the third child of the novelist Thomas Mann and his wife Katia Mann.-Life:...

    , Karl Marx
    Karl Marx
    Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

     lived in Munich for a few years, Ludwig Thoma
    Ludwig Thoma
    Ludwig Thoma was a German author, publisher and editor, who gained popularity through his partially exaggerated description of a Bavarian workday....

    .
  • Scientists such as Max Planck
    Max Planck
    Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck, ForMemRS, was a German physicist who actualized the quantum physics, initiating a revolution in natural science and philosophy. He is regarded as the founder of the quantum theory, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918.-Life and career:Planck came...

    , Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen
    Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen
    Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen was a German physicist, who, on 8 November 1895, produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range today known as X-rays or Röntgen rays, an achievement that earned him the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901....

    , and Werner Heisenberg
    Werner Heisenberg
    Werner Karl Heisenberg was a German theoretical physicist who made foundational contributions to quantum mechanics and is best known for asserting the uncertainty principle of quantum theory...

    , as well as Adam Ries
    Adam Ries
    Adam Ries was a German mathematician. He is also known by the name Adam Riese.- Life :Almost nothing is known about Ries' childhood, youth and education. It is not even possible to determine the year of his birth with certainty. The caption on the only known contemporary portrait of the...

    , Joseph von Fraunhofer
    Joseph von Fraunhofer
    Joseph von Fraunhofer was a German optician. He is known for the discovery of the dark absorption lines known as Fraunhofer lines in the Sun's spectrum, and for making excellent optical glass and achromatic telescope objectives.-Biography:Fraunhofer was born in Straubing, Bavaria...

    , Georg Ohm
    Georg Ohm
    Georg Simon Ohm was a German physicist. As a high school teacher, Ohm began his research with the recently-invented electrochemical cell, invented by Italian Count Alessandro Volta. Using equipment of his own creation, Ohm determined that there is a direct proportionality between the potential...

    , Johannes Stark
    Johannes Stark
    Johannes Stark was a German physicist, and Physics Nobel Prize laureate who was closely involved with the Deutsche Physik movement under the Nazi regime.-Early years:...

    , Carl von Linde
    Carl von Linde
    Professor Doctor Carl Paul Gottfried von Linde was a German engineer who developed refrigeration and gas separation technologies...

    , Rudolf Moessbauer, Lothar Rohde and Hermann Schwarz
    Hermann Schwarz
    Karl Hermann Amandus Schwarz was a German mathematician, known for his work in complex analysis. He was born in Hermsdorf, Silesia and died in Berlin...

    , Helmut Hirt
    and Robert Huber
    Robert Huber
    Robert Huber is a German biochemist and Nobel laureate.He was born 20 February 1937 in Munich where his father, Sebastian, was a bank cashier. He was educated at the Humanistisches Karls-Gymnasium from 1947 to 1956 and then studied chemistry at the Technische Hochschule, receiving his diploma in 1960...

    .
  • Well-known inventors such as Martin Behaim
    Martin Behaim
    Martin Behaim , was a German mariner, artist, cosmographer, astronomer, philosopher, geographer and explorer in service to the King of Portugal.-Biography:The Behaim family had immigrated to Nuremberg because of religious persecution around...

    , Levi Strauss
    Levi Strauss
    Levi Strauss was a German-Jewish immigrant to the United States who founded the first company to manufacture blue jeans. His firm, Levi Strauss & Co., began in 1853 in San Francisco, California.-Origins:...

    and Rudolf Diesel
    Rudolf Diesel
    Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel was a German inventor and mechanical engineer, famous for the invention of the diesel engine.-Early life:Diesel was born in Paris, France in 1858 the second of three children of Theodor and Elise Diesel. His parents were Bavarian immigrants living in Paris. Theodor...

    .
  • Physicians like Max Joseph von Pettenkofer
    Max Joseph von Pettenkofer
    Max Joseph von Pettenkofer , Bavarian chemist and hygienist, was born in Lichtenheim, near Neuburg an der Donau, now part of Weichering. He was a nephew of Franz Xaver Pettenkofer , who from 1823 was surgeon and apothecary to the Bavarian court and was the author of some chemical investigations on...

    , Sebastian Kneipp
    Sebastian Kneipp
    Sebastian Kneipp was a Bavarian priest and one of the founders of the Naturopathic medicine movement...

    and the neurologist
    Neurology
    Neurology is a medical specialty dealing with disorders of the nervous system. Specifically, it deals with the diagnosis and treatment of all categories of disease involving the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems, including their coverings, blood vessels, and all effector tissue,...

     Alois Alzheimer
    Alois Alzheimer
    Aloysius "Alois" Alzheimer, was a German psychiatrist and neuropathologist and a colleague of Emil Kraepelin. Alzheimer is credited with identifying the first published case of "presenile dementia", which Kraepelin would later identify as Alzheimer's disease....

    , who first described Alzheimer's Disease
    Alzheimer's disease
    Alzheimer's disease also known in medical literature as Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death...

    .
  • Football players like Max Morlock
    Max Morlock
    Maximilian Morlock was one of the most popular German football players in the 1950s and early 1960s. In his time with the West German national team, he earned 26 caps and scored 21 goals...

    , Karl Mai
    Karl Mai
    Karl Mai was a German footballer. He was born in Fürth.He was part of the West German team that won the 1954 FIFA World Cup. In total he earned 21 caps and scored one goal for West Germany...

    , Franz Beckenbauer
    Franz Beckenbauer
    Franz Anton Beckenbauer is a German football coach, manager, and former player, nicknamed Der Kaiser because of his elegant style, his leadership, his first name "Franz" , and his dominance on the football pitch...

    , Sepp Maier, Gerd Müller
    Gerd Müller
    Gerhard "Gerd" Müller is a former German football player and one of the most prolific goalscorers of all time.With national records of 68 goals in 62 international appearances, 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga games and the international record of 66 goals in 74 European Club games, he was one of the...

    , Paul Breitner
    Paul Breitner
    Paul Breitner is a former German football player. One of Germany's most controversial players, he was capped 48 times for his country.-Playing career:...

    , Bernd Schuster
    Bernd Schuster
    Bernhard Schuster is a German football manager and former player, currently unemployed. His nickname is "der Blonde Engel" .-Club career:...

    , Klaus Augenthaler
    Klaus Augenthaler
    Klaus "Auge" Augenthaler is a former football player and now manager.-Playing years:...

    , Lothar Matthäus
    Lothar Matthäus
    Lothar Herbert Matthäus , is a German football manager and former player.In 1990, he was named European Footballer of the Year and World Soccer Player of the Year after captaining West Germany to victory in the 1990 World Cup...

    , Philipp Lahm
    Philipp Lahm
    Philipp Lahm is a German footballer who plays for Bayern Munich and Germany. Lahm is also the captain for both the national team and Bayern....

    , Bastian Schweinsteiger
    Bastian Schweinsteiger
    Bastian Schweinsteiger is a German footballer who plays as a midfielder for Bayern Munich and the German national team. A right-footed player, he is capable of playing out wide or in a more central role....

    , Holger Badstuber
    Holger Badstuber
    Holger Badstuber is a German footballer who plays as a defender for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga and the German national football team...

    , Thomas Müller
    Thomas Müller
    Thomas Müller was a German Waffen-SS Colonel who commanded the 9th SS Panzer Division Hohenstaufen, 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division Götz von Berlichingen and the 27. SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier-Division Langemarck during World War II...

    , Dietmar Hamann
    Dietmar Hamann
    Dietmar "Didi" Hamann is a German footballer who was most recently manager at Stockport County. Throughout his career, he has played for Bayern Munich, Newcastle United, Liverpool, and Manchester City primarily in a defensive midfield position. He also spent time at Milton Keynes Dons as a...

    and Stefan Reuter
    Stefan Reuter
    Stefan Reuter is a German football coach and former player.-Career:A right sided defender who started his career with TSV 1860 Dinkelsbühl. 1982 he played for 1. FC Nuremberg, first in the 2. Bundesliga and since 1985 in the German Bundesliga. In exactly 100 games he scored 10 goals...

  • Other sportspeople such as golfer Bernhard Langer
    Bernhard Langer
    Bernhard Langer is a German professional golfer. He is a two-time Masters champion, and was one of the world's leading golfers throughout the 1980s and 90s, being the first official number one ranked player in 1986...

    and basketball player Dirk Nowitzki
    Dirk Nowitzki
    Dirk Werner Nowitzki is a German professional basketball player who plays for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association...

  • Actors like Werner Stocker, Helmut Fischer
    Helmut Fischer
    Helmut Fischer was a popular award winning German actor.-Life:Helmut Fischer was the son of a businessman and a tailor and grew up in the Munich district of Neuhausen in Donnersbergerstraße 50a, where he also went to school...

    , Walter Sedlmayr
    Walter Sedlmayr
    Walter Sedlmayr was a Bavarian stage, television, and movie actor.-Career:After his 1945 wartime Abitur, Sedlmayr served as a Flakhelfer towards the end of World War II...

    , Gustl Bayrhammer
    Gustl Bayrhammer
    Gustl Bayrhammer was a German actor. He appeared in 79 films and television shows between 1964 and 1993. He starred in the 1970 film o.k., which was entered into the 20th Berlin International Film Festival. However, the competition was cancelled and no prizes were awarded, over controversy...

    , Ottfried Fischer
    Ottfried Fischer
    Ottfried Fischer is a German actor and Kabarett artist best known for his role as Benno Berghammer in the popular German TV series Der Bulle von Tölz...

    , Ruth Drexel
    Ruth Drexel
    Ruth Drexel was a German actress, director, and theatre director/manager. Her best-known role was as "Resi Berghammer" in the German television series,...

    , Elmar Wepper
    Elmar Wepper
    Elmar Wepper is a German actor. His television credits include Der Kommissar, Unsere schönsten Jahre and Zwei Münchner in Hamburg, the latter starring with Uschi Glas. His film credits include Cherry Blossoms, Café Europa, Lammbock and Dreiviertelmond....

    , Fritz Wepper
    Fritz Wepper
    Fritz Wepper is a German television actor.- Life and work :He has been married to Angela Prinzessin von Hohenzollern since 1979, and they have one daughter, Sophie...

    , Uschi Glas
    Uschi Glas
    Uschi Glas is a German film and television actress.Born in Landau, Bavaria, Glas started appearing in films in 1965...

    ,
    Yank Azman
    Yank Azman
    -Early life:Azman was born in a displaced persons camp in Bad Wörishofen, Germany to Cesia , a sales clerk and Kuba Zajfman, a tailor and furrier, Holocaust survivors from Chmielnik, Poland...

    .
  • Film directors Rainer Werner Fassbinder
    Rainer Werner Fassbinder
    Rainer Werner Maria Fassbinder was a German movie director, screenwriter and actor. He is considered one of the most important representatives of the New German Cinema.He maintained a frenetic pace in film-making...

    , Joseph Vilsmaier
    Joseph Vilsmaier
    Joseph Vilsmaier is a German film director.-Work:After attending a boarding school near Augsburg, he was trained as a technician to make film cameras and then spent nine years at a music conservatory. Following this he was a member of a jazz group...

    , Werner Herzog
    Werner Herzog
    Werner Herzog Stipetić , known as Werner Herzog, is a German film director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and opera director.He is often considered as one of the greatest figures of the New German Cinema, along with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta, Volker Schlöndorff, Werner...

    , Franz Xaver Bogner.
  • Mysterious people: Kaspar Hauser
    Kaspar Hauser
    Kaspar Hauser was a German youth who claimed to have grown up in the total isolation of a darkened cell. Hauser's claims, and his subsequent death by stabbing, sparked much debate and controversy....

    (the famous foundling), The Smith of Kochel
    The Smith of Kochel
    The Smith of Kochel is a figure from Bavarian myth. According to this myth, he was a soldier in the Habsburg-Ottoman Wars . Armed with nothing but a bar, he supposedly stove in the gates of Belgrade...

     (legend).
  • Legendary outlaws such as Mathias Kneißl
    Mathias Kneißl
    Mathias Kneißl, known as Robber Kneißl , 4 August 1875, Unterweikertshofen — 21 February 1902, was a German outlaw, poacher and popular social rebel in the Dachau district, in the Kingdom of Bavaria...

    , the legendary robber or Matthias Klostermayr
    Matthias Klostermayr
    Matthias Klostermayr, known as Bavarian Hiasl was a renowned German outlaw, poacher and social rebel who had come to be described, particularly in accounts written in the English-speaking world, as the Bavarian Robin Hood.A native of the municipality of Kissing...

    , better known as Bavarian Hiasl
  • Noted automobile designer Peter Schreyer
    Peter Schreyer
    Peter Schreyer is an automobile designer, widely known for his design contributions to the Audi TT and as the Chief Design Officer at Kia Motors ....

    , born in Bad Reichenhall
    Bad Reichenhall
    Bad Reichenhall is a spa town, and administrative center of the Berchtesgadener Land district in Upper Bavaria, Germany. It is located near Salzburg in a basin encircled by the Chiemgauer Alps ....

  • Fictional characters such as X-Men's Nightcrawler (comics)
    Nightcrawler (comics)
    Nightcrawler is a fictional character, a comic book superhero in the Marvel Universe. He has been associated with both the X-Men and Excalibur, originally appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Len Wein and artist Dave Cockrum, he debuted in Giant-Size X-Men #1...


See also


  • Outline of Germany
  • List of rulers of Bavaria
  • List of Premiers of Bavaria
  • Former countries in Europe after 1815
    Former countries in Europe after 1815
    This article gives a detailed listing of all the countries, , that have existed in Europe since the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to the present day...

  • Extensive pictures of Bavaria in addition to those shown below are linked from in :Category:Bavaria, where they are organized (predominantly) by locale.
  • Template:User Bavarian Ancestry Bavarian ancestry infobox

External links