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{{Other uses}}{{Redirect|Bayern}}{{Use dmy dates|date=August 2017}}{{short description|State in Germany}}

{{smaller>"Hymn of Bavaria"}}(File:Für Bayern (Bayernhymne).ogg)frame=yframe-align=centertype=shapestroke-color=frame-lat=51.1frame-width=250|frame-height=300}}| mapsize = 155px| map_caption = 48391152display=inline}}| subdivision_type = Country| subdivision_name = Germany| seat_type = Capital| seat = Munich| governing_body = Landtag of Bavaria| leader_party = CSU – Christian Social Union of BavariaList of Ministers-President of Bavaria>Minister-President| leader_name = Markus Söder| leader_title1 = Governing partiesGermanyGermany|Freie Wähler}} Bundesrat of Germany>Bundesrat votes| leader_name2 = 6 (of 69)| total_type = Total| area_footnotes = | area_total_km2 = 70550.19| elevation_m = WORK=BAYERISCHES LANDESAMT FüR STATISTIK UND DATENVERARBEITUNGLANGUAGE=GERMAN, | population_total = 13,076,721| population_as_of = 2018-12-31| population_density_km2 = 185| population_urban = | population_metro = | population_demonym = Bavarian(s) (English)Bayer (m), Bayerin (f) (German)Central European Time>CET| utc_offset1 = +1Central European Summer Time>CEST| utc_offset1_DST = +2| postal_code_type = | postal_code = | area_code_type = | area_code = | registration_plate = Gross domestic product>GDP (nominal)ACCESSDATE=17 FEBRUARY 2019, Gross domestic product>GDP per capita| blank1_info_sec1 = €47,946 (2018)Human Development Index>HDI (2017)WEBSITE=HDI.GLOBALDATALAB.ORGACCESS-DATE=2018-09-13, {{colorvery high}} · 6th of 16| iso_code = DE-BYFirst level NUTS of the European Union#Germany>NUTS Region| blank_info_sec2 = DE2| website = weblink" title="">| footnotes = }}Bavaria ({{IPAc-en|b|É™|ˈ|v|ɛər|i|É™}}; German and Bavarian: Bayern {{IPA-de|ˈbaɪɐn|}}), officially the Free State of Bavaria (German and Bavarian: Freistaat Bayern {{IPA-de|ˈfʁaɪʃtaːt ˈbaɪɐn|}}), is a landlocked federal state of Germany, occupying its southeastern corner. With an area of 70,550.19 square kilometres (27,200 sq mi), Bavaria is the largest German state by land area comprising roughly a fifth of the total land area of Germany. With 13 million inhabitants, it is Germany's second-most-populous state after North Rhine-Westphalia. Bavaria's main cities are Munich (its capital and largest city and also the third largest city in GermanyWEB, Bavaria – Lonely Planet,weblink Lonely Planet, 2015-08-31, Lonely, Planet, ), Nuremberg and Augsburg.The history of Bavaria includes its earliest settlement by Iron Age Celtic tribes, followed by the conquests of the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC, when the territory was incorporated into the provinces of Raetia and Noricum. It became a stem duchy in the 6th century AD following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. It was later incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire, became an independent kingdom, joined the Prussian-led German Empire in 1871 while retaining its title of kingdom, and finally became a state of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949.WEB, Unknown, Unknown, Bavaria,weblink Britannica, 31 August 2015, The Duchy of Bavaria dates back to the year 555. In the 17th century AD, the Duke of Bavaria became a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire. The Kingdom of Bavaria existed from 1806 to 1918, when Bavaria became a republic. In 1946, the Free State of Bavaria reorganized itself on democratic lines after the Second World War.Bavaria has a unique culture, largely because of the state's former Catholic majority and conservative traditions.WEB, Kirchenmitgliederzahlen Stand 31.12 2016,, PDF, 2018-04-25,weblink Bavarians have traditionally been proud of their culture, which includes a language, cuisine, architecture, festivals such as Oktoberfest and elements of Alpine symbolism.WEB, Bavaria – The Local,weblink The Local, 2015-08-31, The, Local, The state also has the second largest economy among the German states by GDP figures, giving it a status as a rather wealthy German region.WEB, Campbell, Eric, Germany – A Bavarian Fairy Tale,weblink ABC, 31 August 2015, Modern Bavaria also includes parts of the historical regions of Franconia and Swabia.


{{historical populations|1840|3802515|1871|4292484|1900|5414831|1910|6451380|1939|7084086|1950|9184466|1961|9515479|1970|10479386|1987|10902643|2011|12397614|2018|13076721|percentages=pagr|footnote=source:Bayern: Amtliche Statistik 2018 data}}File:Heunischenburg.jpg|thumb|Prehistoric Heunischenburg, in the vicinity of KronachKronach


The Bavarians emerged in a region north of the Alps, previously inhabited by Celts, which had been part of the Roman provinces of Raetia and Noricum. The Bavarians spoke Old High German, but, unlike other Germanic groups, they probably did not migrate from elsewhere. Rather, they seem to have coalesced out of other groups left behind by the 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 circa 520. A 17th century Jewish chronicler David Solomon Ganz, citing Cyriacus Spangenberg, claimed that the diocese was named after an ancient Bohemian king, Boiia, in the 14th century BC.Dovid Solomon Ganz, Tzemach Dovid (3rd edition), part 2, Warsaw 1878, pp. 71, 85 (available online {{webarchive |url= |date=14 April 2016 }} )

Middle Ages

{{Further|Duchy of Bavaria}}From about 554 to 788, the house of Agilolfing ruled the Duchy of Bavaria, ending with Tassilo III who was deposed by Charlemagne.BOOK, Brown, Warren, Unjust Seizure, 2001, 9780801437908, 63, 1st,weblink 31 August 2015, 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.WEB, Unknown, Unknown, History of Bavaria,weblink Guide to Bavaria, 31 August 2015, After Garibald II little is known of the Bavarians until Duke Theodo I, whose reign may have begun as early as 680. From 696 onward, 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 Hugbert.(File:Baiern unter den Carolingern im Jahre 900.jpg|thumb|left|The Kingdom of Bavaria in 900)(File:Karte Herzogtum Bayern im 10. Jahrhundert.png|thumb|Bavaria in the 10th century)At Hugbert's death (735) the duchy passed to a distant relative named Odilo, from neighboring Alemannia (modern southwest Germany and northern Switzerland). Odilo issued a law code for Bavaria, completed the process of church organization 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.BOOK, Frassetto, Michael, The Early Medieval World: From the Fall of Rome to the Time of Charlemagne [2 Volumes], 2013, ABC-CLIO, 978-1598849967, 145,weblink BOOK, Collins, Roger, Early Medieval Europe, 300–1000, 2010, Palgrave Macmillan, 978-1137014283, 273,weblink Saint Boniface completed the people's conversion to Christianity in the early 8th century.Tassilo III (b. 741 – d. after 796) 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 onward. He was particularly noted for founding new monasteries and for expanding eastwards, fighting Slavs in the eastern Alps and along the River Danube and colonizing 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 Pépin the Hunchback. 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.(File:Bayern nach der Teilung 1392.png|thumb|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. The territory of Ostarrichi was elevated to a duchy in its own right and given to the Babenberger family. This event marks the founding of Austria.The last, and one of the most important, of the dukes of Bavaria was Henry the Lion of the house of Welf, founder of Munich, and 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 (a.k.a. "Barbarossa" for his red beard), Bavaria was awarded as fief to the Wittelsbach family, counts palatinate of Schyren ("Scheyern" in modern German). They ruled for 738 years, from 1180 to 1918. The Electorate of the Palatinate by Rhine (Kurpfalz in German) was also acquired by the House of Wittelsbach in 1214, which they would subsequently hold for six centuries.BOOK, Harrington, Joel F., Reordering Marriage and Society in Reformation Germany, 1995, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 978-0521464833, 17,weblink The first of several divisions of the duchy of Bavaria occurred in 1255. With the extinction of the Hohenstaufen in 1268, Swabian territories were acquired by the Wittelsbach dukes. Emperor Louis the Bavarian acquired Brandenburg, Tyrol, Holland and Hainaut for his House but released the Upper Palatinate for the Palatinate branch of the Wittelsbach in 1329. In the 14th and 15th centuries, upper and lower Bavaria were repeatedly subdivided. Four Duchies existed after the division of 1392: Bavaria-Straubing, Bavaria-Landshut, Bavaria-Ingolstadt and Bavaria-Munich. In 1506 with the Landshut War of Succession, the other parts of Bavaria were reunited, and Munich became the sole capital. The country became one of the Jesuit-supported counter-reformation centers. File:Bavarian Herald.jpg|thumb|left|upright=0.8|Bavarian herald Joerg Rugenn wearing a tabardtabard

Electorate of Bavaria

{{Further|Electorate of Bavaria}}In 1623 the Bavarian duke replaced his relative of the Palatinate branch, 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. 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 (War of the Spanish Succession, War of the Austrian Succession with the election of a Wittelsbach emperor instead of a Habsburg). From 1777 onward, and after the younger 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. The new state also comprised the Duchies of Jülich and Berg as these on their part were in personal union with the Palatinate.

Kingdom of Bavaria

(File:Bayern von 1800 bis heute.png|thumb|Bavaria in the 19th century and beyond)When Napoleon abolished the Holy Roman Empire, Bavaria became a kingdom in 1806 due, in part, to the Confederation of the Rhine.BOOK, Hanson, Paul R., Historical Dictionary of the French Revolution, 2015, Rowman & Littlefield, 978-0810878921, 2,weblink Its area doubled after the Duchy of Jülich was ceded to France, as the Electoral Palatinate was divided between France and the Grand Duchy of Baden. The Duchy of Berg was given to Jerome Bonaparte. Tyrol and Salzburg were temporarily reunited with Bavaria but finally ceded to Austria by the Congress of Vienna. In return Bavaria was allowed to annex the modern-day region of Palatinate to the west of the Rhine and Franconia in 1815. Between 1799 and 1817, the leading minister, Count Montgelas, followed a strict policy of modernisation; he laid the foundations of administrative structures that survived the monarchy and retain core validity in the 21st century. In May 1808 a first constitution was passed by Maximilian I,BOOK, Sheehan, James J., German History, 1770–1866, 1993, Clarendon Press, 978-0198204329, 265,weblink being modernized in 1818. This second version established a bicameral Parliament with a House of Lords (Kammer der Reichsräte) and a House of Commons (Kammer der Abgeordneten). That constitution was followed until the collapse of the monarchy at the end of World War I.After the rise of Prussia to power in the early 18th century, Bavaria preserved its independence by playing off the rivalry of Prussia and Austria. Allied to Austria, it was defeated along with Austria in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War and was not incorporated into the North German Confederation of 1867, but the question of German unity was still alive. When France declared war on Prussia in 1870, the south German states Baden, Württemberg, Hessen-Darmstadt and Bavaria joined the Prussian forces (whereas Austria did not) and ultimately joined the Federation, which was renamed Deutsches Reich (German Empire) in 1871 while Austria did not. Bavaria continued as a monarchy, and it had some special rights within the federation (such as an army, railways, postal service and a diplomatic body of its own).

Part of the German Empire

(File:Block of Bavarian stamps (1920s) overprinted with "Deutsches Reich".jpg|thumb|left|upright|Bavarian stamps during the German Empire)When Bavaria became part of the newly formed German Empire, this action was considered controversial by Bavarian nationalists who had wanted to retain independence from the rest of Germany, as Austria had. As Bavaria had a majority-Catholic population, many people resented being ruled by the mostly Protestant northerners of Prussia. As a direct result of the Bavarian-Prussian feud, political parties formed to encourage Bavaria to break away and regain its independence.BOOK, James Minahan, One Europe, Many Nations: A Historical Dictionary of European National Groups,weblink 2000, Greenwood Publishing Group, 978-0-313-30984-7, 106–, Although the idea of Bavarian separatism was popular in the late 19th and early 20th century, apart from a small minority such as the Bavaria Party, most Bavarians accepted that Bavaria is part of Germany. {{citation needed|date=March 2018}}In the early 20th century, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Henrik Ibsen, and other artists were drawn to Bavaria, especially to the Schwabing district of Munich, a center of international artistic activity. This area was devastated by bombing and invasion during World War II.

Free State of Bavaria

(File:Kriegerdenkmal Dietelskirchen.jpg|thumb|upright=0.6|A memorial to soldiers who died in the two World Wars in Dietelskirchen, Bavaria)File:Dachau Memorial (iron sculpture).JPG|thumb|upright=0.6|Dachau concentration campDachau concentration campFree State has been an adopted designation after the abolition of monarchy in the aftermath of World War I in several German states.On 12 November 1918, Ludwig III signed a document, the Anif declaration, releasing both civil and military officers from their oaths; the newly formed republican government, or "People's State" of Socialist premier Kurt Eisner,William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany, New York, NY, Simon & Schuster, 2011, p. 33 interpreted this as an abdication. To date, however, no member of the House of Wittelsbach has ever formally declared renunciation of the throne.WEB, Karacs, Imre, Bavaria buries the royal dream Funeral of Prince Albrechty,weblink The Independent, 13 July 1996, On the other hand, none has ever since officially called upon their Bavarian or Stuart claims. Family members are active in cultural and social life, including the head of the house, Franz, Duke of Bavaria. They step back from any announcements on public affairs, showing approval or disapproval solely by Franz's presence or absence.Eisner was assassinated in February 1919, ultimately leading to a Communist revolt and the short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic being proclaimed 6 April 1919. After violent suppression by elements of the German Army and notably the Freikorps, the Bavarian Soviet 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 seen as Nazi strongholds under the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler. However, in the crucial German federal election, March 1933, the Nazis received less than 50% of the votes cast in Bavaria.As a manufacturing centre, Munich was heavily bombed during World War II and was occupied by U.S. troops, becoming a major part of the American Zone of Allied-occupied Germany (1945–47) and then of "Bizonia".The Rhenish Palatinate was detached from Bavaria in 1946 and made part of the new state Rhineland-Palatinate. During the Cold War, Bavaria was part of West Germany. In 1949, the Free State of Bavaria chose not to sign the Founding Treaty (Gründungsvertrag) for the formation of the Federal Republic of Germany, opposing the division of Germany into two states, after World War II. The Bavarian Parliament did not sign the Basic Law of Germany, mainly because it was seen as not granting sufficient powers to the individual Länder, but at the same time decided that it would still come into force in Bavaria if two-thirds of the other Länder ratified it. All of the other Länder ratified it, and so it became law.

Bavarian identity

Bavarians have often emphasized a separate national identity and considered themselves as "Bavarians" first, "Germans" second.Bavaria Guide {{webarchive |url= |date=4 February 2013 }}. Retrieved on 2013-07-16. This feeling started to come about more strongly among Bavarians when the Kingdom of Bavaria joined the Protestant Prussian-dominated German Empire while the Bavarian nationalists wanted to keep Bavaria as Catholic and an independent state. Nowadays, aside from the minority Bavaria Party, most Bavarians accept that Bavaria is part of Germany.Lunau, Kate. (25 June 2009) "No more Bavarian separatism – World" {{Webarchive|url= |date=10 February 2013 }},, 25 June 2009, Retrieved on 2013-07-16. Another consideration is that Bavarians foster different cultural identities: Franconia in the north, speaking East Franconian German; Bavarian Swabia in the south west, speaking Swabian German; and Altbayern (so-called "Old Bavaria", the regions forming the "historic", pentagon-shaped Bavaria before the acquisitions through the Vienna Congress, at present the districts of the Upper Palatinate, Lower and Upper Bavaria) speaking Austro-Bavarian. In Munich, the Old Bavarian dialect was widely spread, but nowadays High German is predominantly spoken there. Moreover, by the expulsion of German speakers from Eastern Europe, Bavaria has received a large population that was not traditionally Bavarian. In particular, the Sudeten Germans, expelled from neighboring Czechoslovakia, have been deemed to have become the "fourth tribe" of Bavarians.

Flags and coat of arms


(File:Flag of Bavaria (lozengy).svg|200px|thumb|right|Second official flag of Bavaria)Uniquely among German states, Bavaria has two official flags of equal status, one with a white and blue stripe, the other with white and blue lozenges. Either may be used by civilians and government offices, who are free to choose between them.WEB, Flag Legislation (Bavaria, Germany), Executive Order on Flags of 1954,weblink Flags of the World, 19 September 2011, Unofficial versions of the flag, especially a lozenge style with coat of arms, are sometimes used by civilians.

Coat of arms

(File:Coat_of_arms_of_Bavaria.svg|thumb|Bavarian 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 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 "Pantier" (mythical creature from French heraldry, sporting a flame instead of a tongue): At the dexter base, argent, a Pantier 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 House of Wittelsbach. 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 (Volkskrone): 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.


(File:Über dem Spitzsteinhaus (3650068382).jpg|thumb|left|Bavarian Alps)Bavaria shares international borders with Austria (Salzburg, Tyrol, Upper Austria and Vorarlberg) and the Czech Republic (Karlovy Vary, Plzeň and South Bohemian Regions), as well as with Switzerland (across Lake Constance to the Canton of St. Gallen). Because all of these countries are part of the Schengen Area, except for Switzerland, the border is completely open. Neighboring states within Germany are Baden-Württemberg, 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 (München), Nuremberg (Nürnberg), Augsburg, Regensburg, Würzburg, Ingolstadt, Fürth, and Erlangen.The geographic center of the European Union is located in the northwestern corner of Bavaria.

Administrative divisions

(File:WV-Bavaria regions.svg|thumb|Administrative districts (' and ') of Bavaria)Bavaria is divided into seven administrative districts called ' (singular ').

Administrative districts

  • Altbayern:
  • Upper Palatinate ()
  • Upper Bavaria ()
  • Lower Bavaria ()
  • Franconia:
  • Upper Franconia ()
  • Middle Franconia ()
  • Lower Franconia ()
  • Swabia:
  • Swabia ()
  • Population and area

    {| class="wikitable" style="background:lightgrey;"! | Administrative region! | Capital! colspan="2" | Population (2011)! colspan="2" | Area (km2)! colspan="2" | No. municipalities| Lower Bavaria| Landshut 1,192,641 9.48% 10,330 14.6% 258 12.5%| Lower Franconia| Würzburg 1,315,882 10.46% 8,531 12.1% 308 15.0%| Upper Franconia| Bayreuth 1,067,988 8.49% 7,231 10.2% 214 10.4%| Middle Franconia| Ansbach 1,717,670 13.65% 7,245 10.3% 210 10.2%| Upper Palatinate| Regensburg 1,081,800 8.60% 9,691 13.7% 226 11.0%Swabia (administrative region)>Swabia| Augsburg 1,788,729 14.21% 9,992 14.2% 340 16.5%| Upper Bavaria| Munich 4,418,828 35.12% 17,530 24.8% 500 24.3% style="background:lightgrey;"! Total!! style="text-align:right;"| 12,583,538! style="text-align:right;"| 100.0%! style="text-align:right;"| 70,549! style="text-align:right;"| 100.0%! style="text-align:right;"| 2,056! style="text-align:right;"| 100.0%


    ' (districts) are the third communal layer in Bavaria; the others are the ' and the ' or '. The ' in Bavaria are territorially identical with the ', but they are self-governing regional corporation, having their own parliaments. In the other larger states of Germany, there are ' which are only administrative divisions and not self-governing entities as the ' in Bavaria.


    The second communal layer is made up of 71 rural districts (called ', singular ') that are comparable to counties, as well as the 25 independent cities (', singular '), both of which share the same administrative responsibilities .(File:Bavaria, administrative divisions - de - colored.svg|thumb|433px|Map of the Landkreise of Bavaria)Rural districts:{|

    Independent cities:{|
    1. Amberg
    2. Ansbach
    3. Aschaffenburg
    4. Augsburg
    5. Bamberg
    6. Bayreuth
    7. Coburg
    8. Erlangen
    9. Fürth
    10. Hof
    11. Ingolstadt
    12. Kaufbeuren
    13. Kempten


    The 71 administrative districts are on the lowest level divided into 2,031 regular municipalities (called ', singular '). Together with the 25 independent cities (', which are in effect municipalities independent of ' administrations), there are a total of 2,056 municipalities in Bavaria.File:Frauenkirche_in_München.jpg|thumb|MunichMunichFile:Nürnberger_Burg_im_Herbst_von_SüdWest_05.JPG|thumb|NurembergNuremberg File:Ulrichsplatz in Augsburg.jpg|thumb|AugsburgAugsburgFile:Regensburg_08_2006_2.jpg|thumb|RegensburgRegensburgIn 44 of the 71 administrative districts, there are a total of 215 unincorporated areas (as of 1 January 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 ).

    Major cities

    {| class="wikitable sortable" style="background:#ddd;"! City! Region! Inhabitants {{small|(2000)}}! Inhabitants {{small|(2005)}}! Inhabitants {{small|(2010)}}! Inhabitants {{small|(2015)}}! Change {{small|(%)}}|Munich| Upper Bavaria1,210,2231,259,6771,353,1861,450,381+11.81|Nuremberg| Middle Franconia488,400499,237505,664509,975+3.53|Augsburg| Swabia254,982262,676264,708286,374+3.81|Regensburg| Upper Palatinate125,676129,859135,520145,465+7.83|Ingolstadt| Upper Bavaria115,722121,314125,088132,438+8.09|Würzburg| Lower Franconia127,966133,906133,799124,873+4.56|Fürth| Middle Franconia110,477113,422114,628124,171+3.76|Erlangen| Middle Franconia100,778103,197105,629108,336+4.81|Bayreuth| Upper Franconia74,15373,99772,68372,148−1.98|Bamberg| Upper Franconia69,03670,08170,00473,331+1.40|Aschaffenburg| Lower Franconia67,59268,64268,67868,986+1.61|Landshut| Lower Bavaria58,74661,36863,25869,211+7.68|Kempten| Swabia61,38961,36062,06066,947+1.09|Rosenheim| Upper Bavaria58,90860,22661,29961,844+4.06|Neu-Ulm| Swabia50,18851,41053,50457,237+6.61|Schweinfurt| Lower Franconia54,32554,27353,41551,969−1.68|Passau| Lower Bavaria50,53650,65150,59450,566+0.11|Freising| Upper Bavaria40,89042,85445,22346,963+10.60
    || Straubing| Lower Bavaria44,014
    44,63344,45046,806+0.99|Dachau| Upper Bavaria38,39839,922 42,95446,705+11.87Source: Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und DatenverarbeitungWEB,weblink Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik – GENESIS-Online Bayern, Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik, München 2015, 30 August 2015,, WEB,weblink Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik – GENESIS-Online Bayern, Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik, München 2017, 23 April 2017,, {{See also|List of places in Bavaria|List of cities in Bavaria by population}}


    File:Bayerische Staatskanzlei Munich 2014 02.jpg|thumb|Bavarian State Chancellery ]]Bavaria has a multiparty system dominated by the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), which has won every election since 1945, The Greens, which became the second biggest political party in the 2018 parliament elections and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), which dominates in Munich. Thus far Wilhelm Hoegner has been the only SPD candidate to ever become Minister-President; notable successors in office include multi-term Federal Minister Franz Josef Strauss, a key figure among West German conservatives during the Cold War years, and Edmund Stoiber, who both failed with their bids for Chancellorship. The German Greens and the center-right Free Voters have been represented in the state parliament since 1986 and 2008 respectively.In the 2003 elections the CSU won a ⅔ supermajority – something no party had ever achieved in postwar Germany. However, in the subsequent 2008 elections the CSU lost the absolute majority for the first time in 46 years.n-tv:Fiasko für die CSU {{webarchive|url= |date=29 September 2008 }} The losses were partly attributed by some to the CSU's stance for an anti-smoking bill.{{elucidate|date=July 2018}} (A first anti-smoking law had been proposed by the CSU and passed but was watered down after the election, after which a referendum enforced a strict antismoking bill with a large majority).

    Current Landtag

    (File:Bavarian Landtag 2018.svg|thumb|Current composition of the Landtag:{{legend|#EB001F|SPD: 22 seats}}{{legend|#64A12D|The Greens: 38 seats}}{{legend|#FFED00|FDP: 11 seats}}{{legend|#007E82|Free Voters: 27 seats}}{{legend|{{Christian Social Union of Bavaria/meta/color}}|CSU: 85 seats}}{{legend|#009EE0|AfD: 22 seats}})The last state elections were held on 14 October 2018 in which the CSU lost its absolute majority in the state parliament in part due to the party's stances as part of the federal government, winning 37.2% of the vote; the party's second worst election outcome in its history. The Greens who had surged in the polls leading up to the election have replaced the social-democratic SPD as the second biggest force in the Landtag with 17.5% of the vote. The SPD lost over half of its previous share compared to 2013 with a mere 9.7% in 2018. The liberals of the FDP were again able to reach the five-percent-threshold in order to receive mandates in parliament after they were not part of the Landtag after the 2013 elections. Also entering the new parliament will be the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) with 10.2% of the vote.WEB,weblink,,, 2018-10-15, The center-right Free Voters party gained 11.6% of the vote and formed a government coalition with the CSU which lead to the subsequent reelection of Markus Söder as Minister-President of Bavaria.


    The Constitution of Bavaria of the Free State of Bavaria was enacted on 8 December 1946. The new Bavarian Constitution became the basis for the Bavarian State after the Second World War.Bavaria has a unicameral ' (English: 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, eleven Ministers and six Secretaries of State. The Minister-President is elected for a period of five 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, Building and Transport ()
    • Ministry of Education and Culture, Science and Art ()
    • Ministry of Finance, for Rural Development and Homeland ()
    • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology ()
    • Ministry of Environment and Consumer Protection ()
    • Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Family and Integration ()
    • Ministry of Justice ()
    • Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry ()
    • Ministry of Public Health and Care Services ()
    Political processes also take place in the seven regions (' or ') 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 (English: More Democracy). This is a grass-roots organization which campaigns for the right to citizen-initiated referendums. In 1997 the Bavarian Supreme Court tightened the regulations considerably (including 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.

    Minister-presidents of Bavaria since 1945

    {{See also|List of Ministers-President of Bavaria}}File:7857ri-Markus Soeder.jpg|thumb|right|upright|Current Minister-President of Bavaria Markus SöderMarkus Söder{| class="wikitable"! style="background:#eef; text-align:center;" colspan="6"| Ministers-President of Bavaria style="background:#eef;"! No.! Name! Born and died! Party affiliation! Begin of tenure! End of tenure style="background:#C5DFE1;"
    || 1
    || Fritz Schäffer 1888–1967
    CSU 1945 1945 style="background:#FFE8E8;"
    || 2
    || Wilhelm Hoegner 1887–1980
    SPD 1945 1946 style="background:#C5DFE1;"
    || 3
    || Hans Ehard 1887–1980
    CSU 1946 1954 style="background:#FFE8E8;"
    || 4
    || Wilhelm Hoegner 1887–1980
    SPD 1954 1957 style="background:#C5DFE1;"
    || 5
    || Hanns Seidel 1901–1961
    CSU 1957 1960 style="background:#C5DFE1;"
    || 6
    || Hans Ehard 1887–1980
    CSU 1960 1962 style="background:#C5DFE1;"
    || 7
    || Alfons Goppel 1905–1991
    CSU 1962 1978 style="background:#C5DFE1;"
    || 8
    || Franz Josef Strauß 1915–1988
    CSU 1978 1988 style="background:#C5DFE1;"
    || 9
    || Max Streibl 1932–1998
    CSU 1988 1993 style="background:#C5DFE1;"
    || 10
    || Edmund Stoiber *1941
    CSU 1993 2007 style="background:#C5DFE1;"
    || 11
    || Günther Beckstein *1943
    CSU 2007 2008 style="background:#C5DFE1;"
    || 12
    || Horst Seehofer *1949
    CSU 2008 2018 style="background:#C5DFE1;"
    || 13
    || Markus Söder *1967
    CSU 2018 Incumbent

    Designation as a "free state"

    Unlike most German states (Länder), which simply designate themselves as "State of" (Land [...]), Bavaria uses the style of "Free State of Bavaria" (Freistaat Bayern). The difference from other states is purely terminological, as German constitutional law does not draw a distinction between "States" and "Free States". The situation is thus analogous to the United States, where some states use the style "Commonwealth" rather than "State". The choice of "Free State", a creation of the early 20th century and intended to be a German alternative to (or translation of) the Latin-derived republic, has historical reasons, Bavaria having been styled that way even before the current 1946 Constitution was enacted (in 1918 after the de facto abdication of Ludwig III). Two other states, Saxony and Thuringia, also use the style "Free State"; unlike Bavaria, however, these were not part of the original states when the Grundgesetz was enacted but joined the federation later on, in 1990, as a result of German reunification. Saxony had used the designation as "Free State" from 1918 to 1952.

    Arbitrary arrest and human rights

    In July 2017, Bavaria's parliament enacted a new revision of the "Gefährdergesetz", allowing the authorities to imprison a person for a three months term, renewable indefinitely, when he or she has not committed a crime but it is assumed that he or she might commit a crime "in the near future".Gefährder-Gesetz verschärft, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 19 July 2017 Critics like the prominent journalist Heribert Prantl have called the law "shameful" and compared it to Guantanamo Bay detention camp,Bayern führt Unendlichkeitshaft ein, Heribert Prantl, 20 July 2017 assessed it to be in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights,Reisewarnung für Bayern, Udo Vetter, 20 July 2017 and also compared it to the legal situation in Russia, where a similar law allows for imprisonment for a maximum term of two years (i.e., not indefinitely)Erinnert ihr euch noch daran, als Bayern als Rechtsstaat galt?, Felix von Leitner, 20 July 2017


    File:BMW Welt y Torre BMW, Múnich, Alemania, 2015-07-03, DD 25-27 HDR.JPG|thumb|left|BMW Welt and BMW HeadquartersBMW HeadquartersFile:Neuschwanstein_Castle_LOC_print_rotated.jpg|thumb|right|Neuschwanstein Castle (pictured) and Hohenschwangau CastleHohenschwangau CastleBavaria has long had one of the largest economies of any region in Germany, and in Europe.Its GDP is 143% of the EU average ({{As of|2005|lc=y}}) whilst the German average is 121.5%. Source: Eurostat{{dead link|date=October 2016 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }} Its GDP in 2007 exceeded €434 billion (about U.S. $600 billion).WEB,weblink Gemeinsames Datenangebot der Statistischen Ämter des Bundes und der Länder, Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg,, This makes Bavaria itself one of the largest economies in Europe, and only 20 countries in the world have a higher GDP.See the list of countries by GDP. Large companies headquartered in Bavaria include BMW, Siemens, Rohde & Schwarz, Audi, MTU Aero Engines, Munich Re, Allianz, Infineon, MAN SE, Wacker Chemie, Puma, Adidas, and Ruf. Bavaria has a GDP per capita of over U.S. $48,000; if it were an independent country it would rank 7th or 8th{{citation needed|date=November 2018}} in the world. Bavaria has strong economic ties with Austria, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Northern Italyweblink


    The motorcycle and automobile maker BMW Bayerische Motoren-Werke, or Bavarian Motor Works in English, Audi, Allianz, Grundig (consumer electronics), Siemens (electricity, telephones, informatics, medical instruments), Amazon, Weltbild (trade) Patrizia Immobilien (real estate management) Continental (automotive tires and electronics), Nintendo, Adidas, Puma, HypoVereinsbank (UniCredit Group), Infineon, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, MAN Diesel & Turbo, KUKA, OSRAM and Ruf have (or had) a Bavarian industrial base.


    The unemployment rate stood at 2.6% in October 2018, the lowest in Germany and one of the lowest in the European Union.WEB,weblink Arbeitslosenquote nach Bundesländern in Deutschland 2018 {{!, Statista|website=Statista|language=de|access-date=2018-11-13}}{| class="wikitable"!YearWEB,weblink Federal Statistical Office Germany – GENESIS-Online, (Destatis) Statistisches Bundesamt, 2018-11-13,, 2018-11-13, !2000!2001!2002!2003!2004!2005!2006!2007!2008!2009!2010!2011!2012!2013!2014!2015!2016!2017!2018|Unemployment rate in %|5.5|5.3|6.0|6.9|6.9|7.8|6.8|5.3|4.2|4.8|4.5|3.8|3.7|3.8|3.8|3.6|3.5|3.2|2.9


    (File:Pop density of Germany.png|thumb|Bavaria is one of Germany's least densely populated states)Bavaria has a population of approximately 12.9 million inhabitants (2016). 8 of the 80 largest cities in Germany are located within Bavaria with Munich being the largest (1,450,381 inhabitants, approximately 5.7 million when including the broader metropolitan area), followed by Nuremberg (509,975 inhabitants) and Augsburg (286,374 inhabitants). All other cities in Bavaria had less than 150,000 inhabitants each in 2015. Population density in Bavaria was {{convert|182|PD/sqkm}}, below the national average of {{convert|227|PD/sqkm}}. Foreign nationals resident in Bavaria (both immigrants and refugees/asylum seekers) were principally from other EU countries and Turkey.{| class="infobox" style="float:right;" Top-ten foreign resident populationsGerman Statistical Office! Nationality || Population (31.12.2018)Turkey}} 192,885Romania}} 169,085Poland}} 115,925Croatia}}111,235Italy}}103,675Austria}}84,895Hungary}}75,820Greece}}75,465Syria}}72,565Bulgaria}}52,305

    Vital statistics

    {{list to table|date=May 2019}}The state's population continues to decline.WEB, Statistik Portal,weblink Statische Ämter, 3 July 2018,weblink" title="">weblink 25 December 2017, dead, dmy-all,
    • Births January–November 2016 = {{increase}} 115,032
    • Births January–November 2017 = {{increase}} 115,690
    • Deaths January–November 2016 = {{DecreasePositive}} 116,915
    • Deaths January–November 2017 = {{increasenegative}} 122,247
    • Natural growth January–November 2016 = {{increase}} -1,883
    • Natural growth January–November 2017 = {{decrease}} -6,557


    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, traditions, and language.


    {{bar box|title=Religion in Bavaria – 2017|left1=Religion|right1=Percent|float=left|bars={{bar percent|Catholics|DarkOrchid|49.6}}{{bar percent|EKD Protestants|DodgerBlue|18.3}}{{bar percent|Muslims|LimeGreen|4}}{{bar percent|Other or none|SlateGray|28.1}}}}File:Baroque Church of Saint-Coloman - panoramio.jpg|thumb|A Catholic church near FüssenFüssenBavarian culture (Altbayern) has a long and predominant tradition of Catholic faith. Pope emeritus Benedict XVI (Joseph Alois Ratzinger) was born in Marktl am Inn in Upper Bavaria and was Cardinal-Archbishop of Munich and Freising. Otherwise, the culturally Franconian and Swabian regions of the modern State of Bavaria are historically more diverse in religiosity, with both Catholic and Protestant traditions. In 1925, 70.0% of the Bavarian population was Catholic, 28.8% was Protestant, 0.7% was Jewish, and 0.5% was placed in other religious categories.Grundriss der Statistik. II. Gesellschaftsstatistik by Wilhelm Winkler, p. 36{{As of|2017}} 49.6% of Bavarians adhered to Catholicism (a decline from 70.4% in 1970).WEB,weblink Massive Kirchenaustritte: Das Ende der Kirche wie wir sie kennen – Religion – Themen –, Bayerischer Rundfunk,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 July 2015, WEB, Kirchenmitgliederzahlen Stand 31.12 2017,, PDF, 2019-05-01,weblink 18.3% of the population adheres to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria, which has also declined since 1970. 3% was Orthodox, Muslims make up 4.0% of the population of Bavaria. 28.1% of Bavarians are irreligious or adhere to other religions.


    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 business directory, as figures on the pole represented the trades of the village), and the bagpipes of the Upper Palatinate region bear witness to the ancient Celtic and Germanic remnants of cultural heritage of the region. There are many traditional Bavarian sports disciplines, e.g. the Aperschnalzen, competitive whipcracking.Whether actually in Bavaria, overseas or with citizens from other nations Bavarians continue to cultivate their traditions. They hold festivals and dances to keep their heritage alive. In New York City the German American Cultural Society is a larger umbrella group for others which represent a specific part of Germany, including the Bavarian organizations. They present 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 (in a ). Bavarians are particularly proud{{citation needed|date=June 2018}} of the traditional , or beer purity law, initially established by the Duke of Bavaria for the City of Munich (i.e. 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 partly struck it down in 1987 as incompatible with the European common market.WEB, 30.04.2005 – EU-Recht,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 30 April 2005, 30 April 2005, German breweries, however, cling to the principle, and Bavarian breweries still comply with it in order to distinguish their beer brands.WEB,weblink To Bier or not to Bier? vom 22.10.2015: Das Reinheitsgebot und seine Tücken – BR Mediathek VIDEO, Bayerischer Rundfunk,, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 October 2015, dmy-all, Bavarians are also known as some of the world's most beer-loving people with an average annual consumption of 170 liters 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

    File:Oberdeutsche Mundarten.png|thumb|upright=0.7|Upper German, southern counterpart to Central German, both forming the High German Languages. Blue are the Austro-Bavarian dialects]]Three German dialects are most commonly spoken in Bavaria: Austro-Bavarian in Old Bavaria (Upper Bavaria, Lower Bavaria and the Upper Palatinate), Swabian German (an Alemannic German dialect) in the Bavarian part of Swabia (south west) and East Franconian German in Franconia (North). In the small town Ludwigsstadt in the north, district Kronach in Upper Franconia, Thuringian dialect is spoken. During the 20th century an increasing part of the population began to speak Standard German (Hochdeutsch), mainly in the cities.


    Bavarians consider themselves to be egalitarian and informal.{{Citation needed|date=April 2016}} 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 buy beer only from the brewery that runs the beer garden.WEB,weblink Ein paar Worte zu unserem Biergarten in München ... (in German), Königlicher Hirschgarten,
    In the United States, particularly among German Americans, Bavarian culture is viewed somewhat nostalgically, and several "Bavarian villages" have been founded, most notably Frankenmuth, Michigan; Helen, Georgia; and Leavenworth, Washington. Since 1962, the latter has been styled with a Bavarian theme and is home to an Oktoberfest celebration it claims is among the most attended in the world outside of Munich.WEB,weblink Leavenworth Washington Hotels, Lodging, Festivals & Events, Visit Leavenworth Washington, USA, 29 September 2007,weblink" title="">weblink 5 September 2008, dead,



    File:Allianz arena at night Richard Bartz.jpg|thumb|right|The Allianz ArenaAllianz ArenaBavaria is home to several football clubs including FC Bayern Munich, 1. FC Nürnberg, FC Augsburg, TSV 1860 Munich, FC Ingolstadt 04 and SpVgg Greuther Fürth. Bayern Munich is the most popular and successful football team in Germany having won a record 27 German titles. They are followed by 1. FC Nürnberg who have won 9 titles. SpVgg Greuther Fürth have won 3 championships while TSV 1860 Munich have been champions once. FC Bayern won the German championship 27 times (record) and the UEFA Champions League 5 times.


    Many famous people have been born or lived in present-day Bavaria:

    See also



    External links

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