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Visions of Europe 09of16 Germany Bavaria
Visions of Europe 09of16 Germany Bavaria
::2013/09/08::
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Wonderful Bavaria & The 200th Oktoberfest with BayernTrips in HD
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Illuminati of Bavaria - Full Documentary
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BAVARIA - CRUISER 56 - On Board with Product Manager (English)
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BAVARIA CRUISER 46
BAVARIA CRUISER 46
::2014/01/28::
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BAVARIA - CRUISER 46 - On board with Product Manager (English)
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Bavaria Holandress Commercial
::2014/05/21::
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Yachting Monthly
Yachting Monthly's Bavaria 42 Vision test
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::2013/10/26::
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::2013/03/10::
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Bavaria 37
Bavaria 37
::2013/09/14::
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To Beautify a Bavaria
To Beautify a Bavaria
::2012/09/12::
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Bavaria Vision 46
::2012/11/06::
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::2011/11/01::
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Restying BAVARIA SPORT 38 : BAVARIA SPORT 39
::2012/01/25::
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::2014/07/11::
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::2009/02/27::
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Yachting Monthly
Yachting Monthly's Bavaria 33 Cruiser test
::2013/05/28::
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::2013/01/05::
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BAVARIA - SPORT 400 - First video
::2014/08/06::
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BAVARIA - CRUISER 56 - First video of the brand new CRUISER 56
::2012/10/31::
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Bavaria - Traumreise durch Bayern
::2013/03/14::
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::2011/05/29::
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::2014/04/12::
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::2013/01/09::
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Bavaria Virtess 420 tested by Motor Boats Monthly
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::2012/10/16::
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Bavaria Cruiser 36
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::2011/04/13::
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::2014/02/13::
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::2014/06/08::
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Das Bayerisches Restaurant Stuck(Bavarian Restaurant Sketch), full, uncut
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::2009/01/02::
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43
BAVARIA - SPORT 39 - In action
BAVARIA - SPORT 39 - In action
::2012/05/30::
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44
Oktoberfest Song "I am from Bavaria" (official version)
Oktoberfest Song "I am from Bavaria" (official version)
::2008/07/24::
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Hoe draag je de Bavaria HolanDress
::2014/05/08::
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BAVARIA - CRUISER 46 - An Bord mit Product Manager (Deutsch)
BAVARIA - CRUISER 46 - An Bord mit Product Manager (Deutsch)
::2014/03/17::
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Everywhere by Bavaria
Everywhere by Bavaria
::2014/02/06::
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BAVARIA 37 CRUISER (2007) En Venta / For Sale
BAVARIA 37 CRUISER (2007) En Venta / For Sale
::2014/02/07::
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Bavaria 360 Sport
Bavaria 360 Sport
::2014/09/01::
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Bavaria Filmstadt Imagetrailer (2012) -- Filmstadt Führung, Bullyversum, 4 D Erlebniskino
Bavaria Filmstadt Imagetrailer (2012) -- Filmstadt Führung, Bullyversum, 4 D Erlebniskino
::2014/02/07::
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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"Bayern" redirects here. For other uses, see Bavaria (disambiguation) and Bayern (disambiguation).
Free State of Bavaria
Freistaat Bayern
State of Germany
Flag of Free State of Bavaria
Flag
Coat of arms of Free State of Bavaria
Coat of arms
Deutschland Lage von Bayern.svg
Coordinates: 48°46′39″N 11°25′52″E / 48.77750°N 11.43111°E / 48.77750; 11.43111
Country Germany
Capital Munich
Government
 • Minister-President Horst Seehofer (CSU)
 • Governing party CSU
 • Votes in Bundesrat 6 (of 69)
Area
 • Total 70,549.44 km2 (27,239.29 sq mi)
Population (2013-12-31)[1]
 • Total 12,604,244
 • Density 180/km2 (460/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code DE-BY
GDP/ Nominal €465.50 billion (2012) [2]
GDP per capita €36,701 (2012)
NUTS Region DE2
Website bayern.de

The Free State of Bavaria (German: Freistaat Bayern, pronounced [ˈfʁaɪʃtaːt ˈbaɪ.ɐn] ( ), Alemannic German: Freistaat Bayre, Austro-Bavarian: Freistood Boajan/Baijaan, Main-Franconian: Freischdood Bayan) is a state of Germany, located in the southeast. With an area of 70,548 square kilometres (27,200 sq mi), it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20 percent of the total land area of Germany. Bavaria is Germany's second most populous state (after North Rhine-Westphalia), with 12.5 million inhabitants. Bavaria's capital and largest city is Munich, the third largest city in Germany.

The History of Bavaria stretches from its earliest settlement and its formation as a stem duchy in the 6th century through its inclusion in the Holy Roman Empires to its status as an independent kingdom and finally as a large Bundesland (state) of the modern, re-united Federal Republic of Germany.

The earliest proof for the existence of Bavaria having been established as a stem duchy dates back to the year 555. In the 17th century, the Duke of Bavaria became a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. The Kingdom of Bavaria existed from 1806 to 1918, and Bavaria has since been a free state (republic). In the past Germany’s Bundesverfassungsgericht (“Federal Constitutional Court”) issued several decisions stating that the Deutsches Reich (“German Empire”) never ceased to exist despite the Nazi era’s overgrowing of existing structures of statehood by “creations” of its own (say Gaue or various party organizations), the Allied Forces’s occupation following Nazi-Germany’s military breakdown and the foundation of both the FRG (the Reich’s self-proclaimed assignee) and the GDR. In 1946 the Free State of Bavaria re-founded and re-organised itself on new, democratic foundations.

Modern Bavaria also includes parts of the historical regions of Franconia, Upper Palatinate and Swabia.

History[edit]

Main article: History of Bavaria
Prehistoric Heunischenburg, in the vicinity of Kronach

The Bavarians emerged in a region north of the Alps, originally inhabited by the Celts, 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 circa 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 that happened centuries later.

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[edit]

Further information: Duchy of Bavaria
Bavaria in the 10th 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 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 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.

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 out of 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 (aka "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.

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, 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[edit]

Further information: 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. 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 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[edit]

Main article: Kingdom of Bavaria
Bavaria in the 19th century and beyond

When Napoleon abolished the Holy Roman Empire, Bavaria became a kingdom in 1806. Its area doubled after the Duchy of Julich was ceded to France, as the Electorate Palatinate was divided between France and Grand Duchy of Baden,. The Duchy of Berg was given to Jerome Bonaparte. The Tirol was temporarily reunited Salzburg with Bavaria but finally ceded to Austria. In return Bavaria was allowed to annex the Rhenish Palatinate 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 1808 a first constitution was passed, 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). The constitution would be followed until the collapse of the monarchy at the end of World War I.

As a part of the German Empire[edit]

Bavarian stamps during the German empire period

After the rise of Prussia to power, Bavaria preserved 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, Württemberg, 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 had some special rights within the federation (such as an army, railways and a postal service of its own).

When Bavaria became part of the newly formed German Empire, this action was considered controversial by Bavarian nationalists who had wanted to retain independence. 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.[3] 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 have accepted that Bavaria is part of Germany.[4]

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, a center of international artistic activity. This area was devastated by bombing and invasion during World War II.

20th century[edit]

A memorial to soldiers who died in the two world wars. Village in Bavaria.

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 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 Stuart 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 (Bamberger Verfassung) 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 centre, 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. During the Cold War, Bavaria was part of West Germany. In 1949 The Landtag of Bavaria rejected to ratify 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.

Bavarian identity[edit]

Bavarians have often emphasized a separate national identity and considered themselves as "Bavarians" first, "Germans" second.[5] 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. Aside from the minority Bavaria Party, most Bavarians accept that Bavaria is part of Germany. 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, nowadays the districts of the Upper Palatinate, Lower and Upper Bavaria). In Munich the Old Bavarian dialect was spoken, but nowadays mainly High German.

Coat of arms[edit]

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 "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 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 (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.

Geography[edit]

The Bavarian Alps

Bavaria shares international borders with Austria and the Czech Republic as well as with Switzerland (across Lake Constance). Because all of these countries are part of the Schengen Area, the border is completely open. Neighbouring 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.

Population and area[edit]

Administrative region Capital Population (2011) Area (km2) 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 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%
Total 12,583,538 100.0% 70,549 100.0% 2,056 100.0%

Major cities[edit]

City Region Inhabitants
31 December 2000
Inhabitants
31 December 2005
Inhabitants
31 December 2010
Inhabitants
31 December 2012
Changes
2000 – 2010 in %
Munich Upper Bavaria 1,210,223 1,259,677 1,353,186 1,388,308 +11.81
Nuremberg Middle Franconia 488,400 499,237 505,664 495,121 +3.53
Augsburg Swabia 254,982 262,676 264,708 272,699 +3.81
Regensburg Upper Palatinate 125,676 129,859 135,520 138,296 +7.83
Ingolstadt Upper Bavaria 115,722 121,314 125,088 127,886 +8.09
Würzburg Lower Franconia 127,966 133,906 133,799 124,577 +4.56
Fürth Middle Franconia 110,477 113,422 114,628 118,358 +3.76
Erlangen Middle Franconia 100,778 103,197 105,629 105,412 +4.81
Bayreuth Upper Franconia 74,153 73,997 72,683 71,482 −1.98
Bamberg Upper Franconia 69,036 70,081 70,004 70,863 +1.40
Aschaffenburg Lower Franconia 67,592 68,642 68,678 67,681 +1.61
Landshut Lower Bavaria 58,746 61,368 63,258 65,322 +7.68
Kempten (Allgäu) Swabia 61,389 61,360 62,060 64,625 +1.09
Rosenheim Upper Bavaria 58,908 60,226 61,299 59,935 +4.06
Neu-Ulm Swabia 50,188 51,410 53,504 53,888 +6.61
Schweinfurt Lower Franconia 54,325 54,273 53,415 52,098 −1.68
Passau Lower Bavaria 50,536 50,651 50,594 49,038 +0.11
Freising Upper Bavaria 40,890 42,854 45,223 45,227 +10.60
Straubing Lower Bavaria 44,014 44,633 44,450 45,099 +0.99
Dachau Upper Bavaria 38,398 39,922 42,954 44,822 +11.87

Source: Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung[6]

Administrative divisions[edit]

Regierungsbezirke (administrative districts)[edit]

WV-Bavaria regions
Administrative Districts (Regierungsbezirke and Bezirke) of Bavaria

Bavaria is divided into 7 administrative districts called Regierungsbezirke (singular Regierungsbezirk).

  1. Upper Franconia (German: Oberfranken)
  2. Middle Franconia (Mittelfranken)
  3. Lower Franconia (Unterfranken)
  4. Swabia (Schwaben)
  5. Upper Palatinate (Oberpfalz)
  6. Upper Bavaria (Oberbayern)
  7. Lower Bavaria (Niederbayern)
Karte-Bayern-Landkreise.png

Bezirke[edit]

Bezirke (districts) are the third communal layer in Bavaria; the others are the Landkreise and the Gemeinden or Städte. 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.

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.

Landkreise/kreisfreie cities[edit]

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

Landkreise:

  1. Aichach-Friedberg
  2. Altötting
  3. Amberg-Sulzbach
  4. Ansbach
  5. Aschaffenburg
  6. Augsburg
  7. Bad Kissingen
  8. Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen
  9. Bamberg
  10. Bayreuth
  11. Berchtesgadener Land
  12. Cham
  13. Coburg
  14. Dachau
  15. Deggendorf
  16. Dillingen
  17. Dingolfing-Landau
  18. Donau-Ries
  19. Ebersberg
  20. Eichstätt
  21. Erding
  22. Erlangen-Höchstadt
  23. Forchheim
  24. Freising
  25. Freyung-Grafenau
  26. Fürstenfeldbruck
  27. Fürth
  28. Garmisch-Partenkirchen
  29. Günzburg
  30. Hassberge
  31. Hof
  32. Kelheim
  33. Kitzingen
  34. Kronach
  35. Kulmbach
  1. Landsberg
  2. Landshut
  3. Lichtenfels
  4. Lindau
  5. Main-Spessart
  6. Miesbach
  7. Miltenberg
  8. Mühldorf
  9. München (Landkreis München)
  10. Neuburg-Schrobenhausen
  11. Neumarkt
  12. Neustadt (Aisch)-Bad Windsheim
  13. Neustadt (Waldnaab)
  14. Neu-Ulm
  15. Nürnberger Land
  16. Oberallgäu
  17. Ostallgäu
  18. Passau
  19. Pfaffenhofen
  20. Regen
  21. Regensburg
  22. Rhön-Grabfeld
  23. Rosenheim
  24. Roth
  25. Rottal-Inn
  26. Schwandorf
  27. Schweinfurt
  28. Starnberg
  29. Straubing-Bogen
  30. Tirschenreuth
  31. Traunstein
  32. Unterallgäu
  33. Weilheim-Schongau
  34. Weissenburg-Gunzenhausen
  35. Wunsiedel
  36. Würzburg

Kreis-free 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
  1. Landshut
  2. Memmingen
  3. Munich (München)
  4. Nuremberg (Nürnberg)
  5. Passau
  6. Regensburg
  7. Rosenheim
  8. Schwabach
  9. Schweinfurt
  10. Straubing
  11. Weiden
  12. Würzburg

Gemeinden (municipalities)[edit]

The 71 administrative districts are on the lowest level divided into 2031 municipalities (called Gemeinden, singular Gemeinde). Together with the 25 independent cities (kreisfreie Städte, 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 areas (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-without islands, Starnberger See-without island Roseninsel, Ammersee, which are the three largest lakes of Bavaria, and Waginger See).

Government and politics[edit]

Government[edit]

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 Landtag, or state parliament, elected by universal suffrage. Until December 1999, there was also a Senat, 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 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 (Staatsministerium des Innern, für Bau und Verkehr)
  • Ministry of Education and Culture, Science and Art (Staatsministerium für Bildung und Kultus, Wissenschaft und Kunst)
  • Ministry of Finance, for Rural Development and Homeland (Staatsministerium der Finanzen, für Landesentwicklung und Heimat)
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology (Staatsministerium für Wirtschaft und Medien, Energie und Technologie)
  • Ministry of Environment and Consumer Protection (Staatsministerium für Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz)
  • Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Family and Integration (Staatsministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, Familie und Integration)
  • Ministry of Justice (Staatsministerium der Justiz)
  • Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry (Staatsministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Forsten)
  • Ministry of Public Health and Care Services (Staatsministerium für Gesundheit und Pflege)

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

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.

Bavarian Politics[edit]

Main article: Politics of Bavaria

The last state elections were held on 15 September 2013, where the Christian Social Union (CSU) won an absolute majority in the state parliament[7] in spite of bad press surrounding a cronyism affair.[8] The CSU's former coalition partner Free Democrats (FDP) failed to gain caucus recognition amidst a downward trend in all of Germany. The 17th parliamentary term comprises 180 mandates of which the CSU won 101, the Social Democrats (SPD) 42, the Free Voters 19 and the Alliance '90/ The Greens 18.[9]

12th and current Minister-President of Bavaria Horst Seehofer

Bavaria has a multi-party system dominated by the conservative CSU, which has won every election since 1945, and the center-left SPD. 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 of the West Germany conservatives of 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 2/3 supermajority — something no party had ever achieved in post-war Germany. However, in the subsequent 2008 elections the CSU lost the absolute majority for the first time in 46 years.[10] The losses were purportedly attributed to political affairs and the CSU's stance towards an anti-smoking bill later overruled by a public referendum.

Designation as a "free state"[edit]

Unlike most German states (Länder), which simply designate themselves as "State of X" (Land X), Bavaria uses the style of "Free State of Bavaria" (Freistaat Bayern). The difference to other states is purely terminological - 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", which is intended to be a variant of the word "republic", has historical reasons, Bavaria having been styled that way even before the current 1946 constitution was enacted. 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.

Minister-presidents of Bavaria since 1945[edit]

Minister-presidents of Bavaria
No. Name Born-Died Party affiliation Begin of Tenure End of Tenure
1 Fritz Schäffer 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 Strauß 1915–1988 CSU 1978 1988
9 Max Streibl 1932–1998 CSU 1988 1993
10 Edmund Stoiber *1941 CSU 1993 2007
11 Günther Beckstein *1943 CSU 2007 2008
12 Horst Seehofer *1949 CSU 2008 incumbent

Economy[edit]

BMW headquarters in Munich

Bavaria has long had one of the largest economies of any region in Germany, or Europe for that matter.[11] Its GDP in 2007 exceeded 434 billion Euros (about 600 bn US$).[12] This makes Bavaria itself one of the largest economies in Europe and only 17 countries in the world have higher GDP.[13] 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[edit]

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.

Culture[edit]

Religion in Bavaria - 2010
religion percent
Roman Catholics
  
54.4%
Lutherans
  
20.4%
Muslims
  
4.0%
Other or none
  
21.2%
Bavarian church with Alps in the background

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

Religion[edit]

St. Sebastian in Ramsau

Bavarian culture (Altbayern) has a long and predominant tradition of Roman 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.

As of 2010 54.4% of Bavarians still adhere to Roman Catholicism though the number is on the decline (they were 70.4% in 1970, 56.3% in 2007).[14] 20.4% of the population adheres to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria, and their number is declining too.[14] Muslims make up 4.0% of the population of Bavaria.[15] 21.2% of Bavarians are irreligious or adhere to other religions, and this number is increasing.

Traditions[edit]

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[edit]

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 Weißwurst ("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 Maß). Bavarians are particularly proud of the traditional Reinheitsgebot, 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 Reinheitsgebot 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[edit]

Upper German, southern counterpart to Central German, both forming the High German Languages. Blue are the Austro-Bavarian dialects

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). In the 20th century an increasing part of the population began to speak Standard German, mainly in the cities.

Ethnography[edit]

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 buy beer only from the brewery that runs the beer garden.[16]

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; 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.[17]

Sports[edit]

Football[edit]

Bavaria is home to several football clubs including FC Bayern Munich, 1. FC Nuremberg, FC Augsburg, TSV 1860 München, and SpVgg Greuther Fürth. Bayern Munich is the most popular and successful football team in Germany having won a record 23 German titles. They are followed by 1.FC Nuremberg who have won 9 titles. SpVgg Greuther Furth have won 3 championships while TSV 1860 Munchen have been champions once. FC Bayern Munich are current World Champions.

Historical buildings[edit]

Famous people[edit]

There are many famous people who were born or lived in present-day Bavaria:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

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