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Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria (, ), is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , 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), with 12.5 million inhabitants, more than any of the three sovereign states on its borders. Bavaria's capital is Munich.

One of the oldest states of Europe, it was established as a duchy in the mid first millennium. In the 17th century, the Duke of Bavaria became a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire. The Kingdom of Bavaria 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 and Swabia.



Prehistoric Heunischenburg, in the vicinity of Kronach The Bavarians emerged in a region north of the Alps, originally inhabited by the Gauls, which had been part of the Roman provinces of Raetia and Noricum. The Bavarians spoke Old High German but, unlike other Germanic groups, probably 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, some remaining Romans, Marcomanni, Allemanni, Quadi, Thuringians, Goths, Scirians, Rugians, Heruli. The name "Bavarian" ("Baiuvarii") means "Men of Baia" which may indicate Bohemia, the homeland of the Celtic Boii and later of the Marcomanni. They first appear in written sources c. 520. Saint Boniface completed the people's conversion to Christianity in the early-8th century. Bavaria was, for the most part, unaffected by the Protestant Reformation.

From about 554 to 788, the house of Agilolfing ruled the Duchy of Bavaria, ending with Tassilo III who was deposed by Charlemagne.

Three early dukes are named in Frankish sources: Garibald I may have been appointed to the office by the Merovingian kings and married the Lombard 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 and Avars around 600. Tassilo's son Garibald II 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, led a decisive Bavarian campaign to intervene in a succession dispute in the Lombard Kingdom 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, 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. He was defeated near Augsburg in 743 but continued to rule until his death in 748.

Middle Ages

Bavaria in the 10th century Tassilo III (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 in 792, led by his own son P pin the Hunchback, 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.

Bavarian duchies after the partition of 1392 For the next 400 years numerous families held the duchy, rarely for more than three generations. With the revolt of duke Henry the Quarrelsome 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 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 and Bavaria by his cousin, Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor (aka "Barbarossa" for his red beard), Bavaria was awarded as fief to the Wittelsbach family, counts palatinate of Schyren ("Scheyern" in modern German), which ruled from 1180 to 1918. The Electorate of the 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 Swabian territories were acquired by the Wittelsbach dukes. Emperor Louis the Bavarian acquired Brandenburg, Tirol, Holland and Hainaut for his House but released the Upper Palatinate for the Palatinate branch of the Wittelsbach in 1329. In 1506 with the Landshut War of Succession 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 Electorate of the Palatinate in the early days of the Thirty Years' War and acquired the powerful prince-electoral dignity in the Holy Roman Empire, 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 Electorate of the Palatinate were governed once again in personal union, now by the Palatinian lines.

Kingdom of Bavaria

Bavaria in the 19th century and beyond When Napoleon abolished the Holy Roman Empire, Bavaria became a kingdom in 1806, and its area doubled. Tirol was temporarily united, Salzburg temporarily reunited with Bavaria but finally ceded to Austria. In return the Rhenish Palatinate and Franconia 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 Reichsr te) 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.

Bavaria as a part of the German Empire

Bavarian stamps during the German empire period After the rise of Prussia to prominence Bavaria managed to preserve its independence by playing off the rivalries of Prussia and Austria. Allied to Austria, it was defeated in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War and did not belong to the North German Federation of 1867, but the question of German unity was still alive. When France attacked Prussia in 1870, the south German states Baden, W rttemberg, Hessen-Darmstadt and Bavaria joined the Prussian forces and ultimately joined the Federation, which was renamed Deutsches Reich (German Empire) 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, Paul Klee, Henrik Ibsen, and other notable artists were drawn to Bavaria, notably to the Schwabing district of Munich, later devastated by World War II.

20th century

A memorial to soldiers who died in the two World Wars. Village in Bavaria. On November 12, 1918, Ludwig III signed a document, the Anif declaration, releasing both civil and military officers from their oaths; the newly-formed republican government of Socialist premier Kurt Eisner 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, 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 led by the National Socialists, and Munich and Nuremberg became Nazi 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.

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 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 was the CDU/CSU candidate for chancellor in the 2002 federal election which he lost, and native son Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.

Coat of arms

Bavarian herald Joerg Rugenn wearing a tabard of the arms around 1510 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 rampant Or, armed and langued gules. This represents the administrative region of Upper Palatinate.
  • The "Franconian Rake": At the sinister chief, per fess 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 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 after the royal crown was eschewed in 1923.


The Bavarian Alps Bavaria shares international borders with Austria and the Czech Republic as well as with Switzerland (across Lake Constance). Neighbouring states within Germany are Baden-W rttemberg, Hesse, Thuringia and Saxony. Two major rivers flow through the state, the Danube (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. The Bavarian Forest and the Bohemian Forest form the vast majority of the frontier with the Czech Republic and Bohemia.

The major cities in Bavaria are Munich (M nchen), Nuremberg (N rnberg), Augsburg, Regensburg, W rzburg, Ingolstadt, F rth and Erlangen.

Population and area

Administrative region Population (2010) Area (km2) No. municipalities
Lower Bavaria 1,189,701 9.49% 10,330 14.6% 258 12.5%
Lower Franconia 1,318,695 10.52% 8,531 12.1% 308 15.0%
Upper Franconia 1,071,984 8.55% 7,231 10.2% 214 10.4%
Middle Franconia 1,710,876 13.65% 7,245 10.3% 210 10.2%
Upper Palatinate 1,081,206 8.63% 9,691 13.7% 226 11.0%
Swabia 1,785,875 14.25% 9,992 14.2% 340 16.5%
Upper Bavaria 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
31 December 2005
31 December 2008
Munich 1,210,223 1,259,677 1,326,807
Nuremberg 488,400 499,237 503,638
Augsburg 254,982 262,676 263,313
Regensburg 125,676 129,859 133,525
W rzburg 127,966 133,906 133,501
Ingolstadt 115,722 121,314 123,925
F rth 110,477 113,422 114,071
Erlangen 100,778 103,197 104,980
Bayreuth 74,153 73,997 72,935
Bamberg 69,036 70,081 69,989
Aschaffenburg 67,592 68,642 68,747
Landshut 58,746 61,368 62,606
Kempten (Allg u) 61,389 61,360 62,135
Rosenheim 58,908 60,226 60,711
Neu-Ulm 50,188 51,410 53,866
Schweinfurt 54,325 54,273 53,588
Passau 50,536 50,651 50,717
Hof 50,741 48,723 47,275
Freising 44,167 45,827 45,654
Straubing 44,014 44,633 44,496

Administrative divisions

(administrative districts)

Administrative Districts ( and ) of Bavaria Bavaria is divided into 7 administrative districts called (singular ).

  1. Upper Franconia ()
  2. Middle Franconia ()
  3. Lower Franconia ()
  4. Swabia ()
  5. Upper Palatinate ()
  6. Upper Bavaria ()
  7. Lower Bavaria ()

left Munich Nuremberg Augsburg Regensburg W rzburg Bayreuth Bamberg

(districts) are the third communal layer in Bavaria; the others are the and the or . The in Bavaria are territorially identical with the (e.g. ), but are a different form of administration, having their own parliaments, etc.

In the larger states of Germany (including Bavaria), there are which are only administrative divisions and not self-governing entities as the in Bavaria.

Landkreise/kreisfreie cities

These administrative regions consist of 71 administrative districts (called , singular ) and 25 independent cities (, singular ).


  1. M nchen ()

Kreis-free Cities:

  1. Amberg
  2. Ansbach
  3. Aschaffenburg
  4. Augsburg
  5. Bamberg
  6. Bayreuth
  7. Coburg
  8. Erlangen
  9. F rth
  10. Hof
  11. Ingolstadt
  12. Kaufbeuren
  13. Kempten
  1. Landshut
  2. Memmingen
  3. Munich (M nchen)
  4. Nuremberg (N rnberg)
  5. Passau
  6. Regensburg
  7. Rosenheim
  8. Schwabach
  9. Schweinfurt
  10. Straubing
  11. Weiden
  12. W rzburg


The 71 administrative districts are on the lowest level divided into 2031 municipalities (called , singular ). Together with the 25 independent cities (, which are in effect municipalities independent of administrations), there are a total of 2056 municipalities in Bavaria.

In 44 of the 71 administrative districts, there are a total of 215 unincorporated areas (as of January 1, 2005, called , singular ), not belonging to any municipality, all uninhabited, mostly forested areas, but also four lakes (-without islands, -without island , , which are the three largest lakes of Bavaria, and ).

Government and politics


Bavaria has a unicameral , or state parliament, elected by universal suffrage. Until December 1999, there was also a , or Senate, whose members were chosen by social and economic groups in Bavaria, but following a referendum in 1998, this institution was abolished.

The Bavarian State Government consists of the Minister-President of Bavaria, 11 Ministers and 6 Secretaries of State. The Minister-President is elected for a period of 5 years by the State Parliament and is head of state. With the approval of the State Parliament he appoints the members of the State Government. The State Government is composed of the:

  • Ministry of the Interior ()
  • Ministry of Education and Culture ()
  • Ministry of Finance ()
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Transportation and Technology (, MWIVT)
  • Ministry of Environment and Health ()
  • Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Family and Women ()
  • Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection ()
  • Ministry of Science, Research and Art (, MWFK)
  • Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry ()
  • Ministry of Federal and European Affairs ()

Political processes also take place in the 7 regions ( / ) in Bavaria, in the 71 administrative districts () and the 25 towns and cities forming their own districts (), and in the 2,031 local authorities ().

In 1995 Bavaria introduced direct democracy on the local level in a referendum. 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.


12th and current Minister-President of Bavaria Horst Seehofer

Bavaria has a multi-party system where the biggest parties are the conservative Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), which has dominated politics since 1945 and won every election since then, and the center-left Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The German green party, Alliance '90/The Greens is represented in the parliament as well. Since 2008 Germany's liberal party, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Free Voters 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.

In the 2003 elections the CSU won more than two thirds of the seats in Landtag something no party had ever achieved in post-war German history. In the following 2008 elections the CSU lost its absolute majority in the Landtag for the first time in 46 years.[1]

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 frivolous, 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 Sch ffer 1888 1967 CSU 1945 1945
2 Wilhelm Hoegner 1887 1980 SPD 1945 1946
3 Hans Ehard 1887 1980 CSU 1946 1954
4 Wilhelm Hoegner 1887 1980 SPD 1954 1957
5 Hanns Seidel 1901 1961 CSU 1957 1960
6 Hans Ehard 1887 1980 CSU 1960 1962
7 Alfons Goppel 1905 1991 CSU 1962 1978
8 Franz Josef Strau 1915 1988 CSU 1978 1988
9 Max Streibl 1932 1998 CSU 1988 1993
10 Edmund Stoiber
  • 1941
CSU 1993 2007
11 G nther Beckstein
  • 1943
CSU 2007 2008
12 Horst Seehofer
  • 1949
CSU 2008 incumbent

German-Bavarian relations

The Bayernpartei (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 (CDU), is replaced in Bavaria by the Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU), but in practice the two parties cooperate fully in the Bundestag. Bavaria had its own border police force, separate from the Federal Border Guard, until Austria's EU accession in 1995.

Furthermore, the people from the three northern districts of Bavaria known as Franconia (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 (Fr nkischer Rechen). The flag is often seen during local festivals. Some Franconians would also like to see their own Bundesland Franken "Federal State of Franconia".


Bavaria has long had one of the largest and healthiest economies of any region in Germany, or Europe for that matter.[2] Its GDP in 2007 exceeded 434 billion Euros (about 600 bn US$).[3] This makes Bavaria itself one of the largest economies in Europe and only 17 countries in the world have higher GDP.[4] Some large companies headquartered in Bavaria include BMW, Siemens, Rohde & Schwarz, Audi, Munich Re, Allianz, Infineon, MAN, Wacker Chemie, Puma, and Adidas. 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 and automobile makers BMW (Bayerische Motoren-Werke, or Bavarian Motor Works) and Audi, Allianz, Grundig (consumer electronics), Siemens (electricity, telephones, informatics, medical instruments), Continental (Automotive Tire and Electronics), Adidas, Puma, HypoVereinsbank (UniCredit Group), Infineon and Krauss-Maffei Wegmann have (or had) a Bavarian industrial base.

Bavaria has also given its name to the largest Colombian brewery (Cervecer a Bavaria) and a major Dutch brewery (Bavaria Bier).


Bavarian church with Alps in the background Though only a relatively small part belongs to the Alps, the perception of Bavaria as an alpine region endures. 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:

Full-body relic of Saint Hyacinth in the former Cistercian monastery F rstenfeld Abbey, Bavaria


While 56.4% of the population adhere to the Catholic Church,[5] 21% are affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria.[6]

Most of Bavaria is predominantly Roman Catholic, but the Evangelical Lutheran Church has a strong presence in large parts of Franconia. Only Saarland has a higher percentage of Catholics among the German states.

The current pope, Benedict XVI (Joseph Alois Ratzinger), was born in Marktl am Inn in Upper Bavaria and was Cardinal-Archbishop of Munich and Freising.


Bavarians commonly emphasize pride in their traditions. Traditional costumes collectively known as Tracht are worn on special occasions and include in Altbayern Lederhosen for males and Dirndl 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 remnants of cultural heritage of the region. There are a lot of traditional Bavarian sports disciplines, e.g. the Aperschnalzen is an old tradition of competitive whipcracking.

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 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. 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, and hops. In 1906 the made its way to all-German law, and remained a law in Germany until the EU 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, which is situated along the Main River in Franconia. The region has produced wine (Frankenwein) for over 1,000 years and is famous for its use of the Bocksbeutel 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

Upper German, southern counterpart to Central German, both forming the High German Languages

Three German dialects are spoken in Bavaria: Austro-Bavarian in Old Bavaria (South-East and East), Swabian German (an Alemannic German dialect) in the Bavarian part of Swabia (South West) and East Franconian German in Franconia (North).


Bavarians consider themselves to be egalitarian and informal. Their sociability can be experienced at the annual Oktoberfest, the world's largest beer festival, which welcomes around six million visitors every year, or in the famous beer gardens. In traditional Bavarian beer gardens, patrons may bring their own food but only buy beer from the brewery that runs the beer garden.[7]

In the United States, particularly among German Americans, Bavarian culture is viewed somewhat nostalgically, and many "Bavarian villages", most notably Frankenmuth, Michigan and Leavenworth, Washington, 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 nutcrackers" and an Oktoberfest celebration it claims is among the most attended in the world outside of Munich.[8]

Historical buildings

File:Aschaffenburg Schloss Johannisburg.jpg|Johannisburg Castle in Aschaffenburg File:Wuerzburger_Residenz_vom_Hofgarten.jpg|W rzburg Residence File:Marienberg wuerzburg.jpg|Fortress Marienberg and the Alte Mainbr cke in W rzburg File:Plassenburg oben.jpg|Plassenburg Castle in Kulmbach File:BambergDom.jpg|Cathedral in Bamberg File:Vierzehnheiligen I.JPG|Basilica of the Vierzehnheiligen File:Coburg-Veste1.jpg|Castle of Coburg File:Bayreuth_Festspielhaus_2006-07-16.jpg|Festspielhaus of Richard Wagner in Bayreuth File:Nuremberg sebald castle f lorenz f s.jpg|Imperial Castle in Nuremberg File:Kastell Biriciana (Wei enburg in Bayern).jpg|Kastell Biriciana, Weissenburg close to the Limes File:Kreuztor_Ingoldstadt.jpg|Kreuztor in Ingolstadt File:Schloss Neuburg.jpg|Castle of Neuburg an der Donau File:Regensburg-steinerne-bruecke-hytrion-enhanced_1-1024x768.jpg|Old Stone Bridge and Cathedral of Regensburg File:Walhalla_aussen.jpg|Walhalla temple in Donaustauf near Regensburg File:Befreiungshalle-kelheim-aussen.jpg|Befreiungshalle in Kelheim File:Passau Inn Cathedral.JPG|Cathedral and Oberhaus fortification in Passau File:LandshutTrausnitz01.jpg|Trausnitz castle, Landshut File:Burghausen.jpg|Burghausen Castle File:A_rathausplatz.jpg|Townhall in Augsburg File:Munich_skyline.jpg|Frauenkirche in Munich File:Residenz Ansicht Hofgarten, M nchen.jpg| Residenz in Munich File:Image-Schloss Nymphenburg Munich CC edit3.jpg|Nymphenburg Palace in Munich File:Freisinger Dom aussen 01.jpg|Cathedral in Freising File:Herrenchiem.JPG|Herrenchiemsee Palace File:Linderhof-1.jpg|Linderhof Palace File:Schloss Hohenschwangau.jpg|Hohenschwangau Castle File:wieskirche_boenisch_okt_2003.jpg|Wieskirche, Steingaden File:Bartholomae-2005.jpg|Church of St. Bartholomew at K nigssee


Neuschwanstein Castle]]

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 (baptismal name: Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger) the current Pope of the Roman Catholic Church; Pope Damasus II and Pope Victor II.
  • Painters such as Hans Holbein the Elder, Albrecht D rer, Albrecht Altdorfer, Lucas Cranach, Carl Spitzweg, Franz von Lenbach, Franz von Stuck, Franz Marc, Paul Klee, Erwin Eisch, Gabriele M nter.
  • Musicians such as Johannes Heesters, Orlando di Lasso, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Richard Wagner (originally from Saxony), Richard Strauss, Carl Orff, Johann Pachelbel and Theobald Boehm, the inventor of the modern flute, and countertenor Klaus Nomi.
  • Modern musicians Klaus Doldinger, Barbara Dennerlein, Hans-J rgen Buchner, Sportfreunde Stiller.
  • Opera singers like Jonas Kaufmann and Diana Damrau.
  • Writers, poets and playwrights like Hans Sachs, Jean Paul, Frank Wedekind, Christian Morgenstern, Oskar Maria Graf, Bertolt Brecht, Lion Feuchtwanger, Thomas Mann and his sons Klaus and Golo Mann, Ludwig Thoma, Henrik Ibsen.
  • Scientists such as Max Planck, Wilhelm Conrad R ntgen, and Werner Heisenberg, as well as Adam Ries, Joseph von Fraunhofer, Georg Ohm, Johannes Stark, Carl von Linde, Ludwig Prandtl, Rudolf Moessbauer, Lothar Rohde and Hermann Schwarz, Helmut Hirt and Robert Huber.
  • Well-known inventors such as Martin Behaim, Levi Strauss and Rudolf Diesel.
  • Physicians like Max Joseph von Pettenkofer, Sebastian Kneipp and the neurologist Alois Alzheimer, who first described Alzheimer's Disease.
  • Football players like Max Morlock, Karl Mai, Franz Beckenbauer, Sepp Maier, Gerd M ller, Paul Breitner, Bernd Schuster, Klaus Augenthaler, Lothar Matth us, Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Holger Badstuber, Thomas M ller, Dietmar Hamann and Stefan Reuter
  • Other sportspeople such as golfer Bernhard Langer and basketball player Dirk Nowitzki
  • Actors like Werner Stocker, Helmut Fischer, Walter Sedlmayr, Gustl Bayrhammer, Ottfried Fischer, Ruth Drexel, Elmar Wepper, Fritz Wepper, Uschi Glas, Yank Azman, Wilfried Klaus(Soko 312), Jeanna de Waal.
  • Entertainers Siegfried Fischbacher
  • Film directors Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Joseph Vilsmaier, Werner Herzog, Franz Xaver Bogner.
  • Mysterious people: Kaspar Hauser (the famous foundling), The Smith of Kochel (legend).
  • Legendary outlaws such as Mathias Knei l, the legendary robber or Matthias Klostermayr, better known as Bavarian Hiasl
  • Noted automobile designer Peter Schreyer, born in Bad Reichenhall
  • Fictional characters such as X-Men's Nightcrawler (comics)

See also

  • Outline of Germany
  • List of rulers of Bavaria
  • List of Premiers of Bavaria
  • Former countries in Europe after 1815
  • Extensive pictures of Bavaria in addition to those shown below are linked from in Category:Bavaria, where they are organized (predominantly) by locale.


External links

af:Beiere als:Bayern ang:B gware ar: an:Bavera frp:Bavi re ast:Est u Llibre de Baviera az:Bavariya zh-min-nan:Bayern ba: be: be-x-old: bg: bar:Bayern bs:Bavarska br:Bavaria ca:Baviera cv: cs:Bavorsko cy:Bafaria da:Bayern pdc:Bavaari de:Bayern dsb:Bayerska et:Baieri el: es:Baviera eo:Bavario eu:Bavaria fa: fr:Bavi re fy:Beieren ga:An Bhav ir gv:Yn Vaveyr gd:Bayern gl:Baviera - Bayern ko: hy: hi: hsb:Bayerska hr:Bavarska io:Bavaria id:Bayern ia:Bavaria ie:Bavaria os: is:B jaraland it:Baviera he: jv:Bayern pam:Bavaria ka: kw:Bayern sw:Bavaria ku:Bayern la:Bavaria lv:Bav rija lb:Bayern lt:Bavarija lij:Bavi ra li:Beiere lmo:Baviera hu:Bajororsz g mk: mr: arz: ms:Bavaria nah:Bavaria nl:Beieren nds-nl:Baiern ja: frr:Bayern no:Bayern nn:Bayern nov:Bavaria oc:Bavi ra uz:Bayern pfl:Bayan pnb: pms:Baviera nds:Bayern pl:Bawaria pt:Baviera ro:Bavaria rm:Baviera qu:Bayern ru: sah: sc:Baviera sco:Bavarie stq:Bayern sq:Bavaria scn:Baviera simple:Bavaria sk:Bavorsko sl:Bavarska szl:Bajery sr: sh:Bavarska fi:Baijeri sv:Bayern tl:Bavaria ta: tt:Bayern te: th: tr:Bavyera tk:Bawari a uk: vec:Baviera vi:Bayern vo:Bay n war:Bayern yi: yo:Bavaria diq:Bavyera zh:

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