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Free State of Bavaria
State flag of Bavaria
State flag of Bavaria
State flags
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Bavarian state coat of arms
National coat of arms
State anthem : Bavaria anthem
Basic data
Language : German
State capital : Munich
Form of government : parliamentary republic , partially sovereign member state of a federal state
Area : 70,541.57 km²
ISO 3166-2 : DE-BY
Population : 13,140,183 (December 31, 2020)
Population density : 186 inhabitants per km²
Gross domestic product (nominal): EUR 633 billion  ( 2nd ) (2019)
Debt : EUR 12.926 billion
(December 31, 2019)
Unemployment rate : 2.9% (November 2021)
Head of Government : Prime Minister
Markus Söder ( CSU )
President of the State Parliament : President of the State Parliament
Ilse Aigner ( CSU )
Ruling parties: CSU and Free Voters
Allocation of seats in the 18th state parliament :
Distribution of seats in the state parliament : Of the 205 seats, there are:

Government (111)

  • CSU 84
  • FW 27
  • Opposition (94)
  • Green 38
  • SPD 22nd
  • AfD 19
  • FDP 11
  • non-attached 4
  • Last choice: October 14, 2018
    Next choice : End of 2023
    Votes in the Federal Council : 6th
    Topographic map Bavaria.tif
    Bavaria relief location map.jpg

    The Free State of Bavaria (  [ ˈbaɪ̯ɐn ] ; country code BY ) is more than 70,500 square kilometers and is the largest of the 16 countries in Germany and is located in the south-east. With more than 13 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous German state after North Rhine-Westphalia . Please click to listen!Play

    In the south, the Free State has a share in the high mountains of the Eastern Alps and in the flat Alpine foothills that extend as far as the Danube . North of the Danube, low mountain ranges such as the Bavarian Forest or the Fichtel Mountains determine the landscape. With Mainfranken , Bavaria also has one of the most important wine regions in Germany.

    The largest cities in Bavaria according to inhabitants with the highest number are first Munich , Nuremberg , Augsburg , Regensburg , Ingolstadt , Fürth , Würzburg and Erlangen . Two centers of European metropolitan regions are located in Bavaria , the metropolis of Munich with an agglomeration of 2,211,800 and 5.71 million inhabitants in the metropolitan region, and the half-million metropolis of Nuremberg with an agglomeration of 1,206,200 and 3.56 million inhabitants in the metropolitan region. In addition, Bavaria has Augsburg, a city with over 300,000 inhabitants with an agglomeration of 510,100 inhabitants.

    Bavaria is a parliamentary republic with the Bavarian State Parliament as the legislature and the Bavarian State Government , headed by the Prime Minister as head of government, as the executive. Politics is based on the Constitution of the Free State of Bavaria , according to which Bavaria is a people's , legal , cultural and social state . Bavaria has been known as a Free People's State or Free State as a republic since 1918 when it was proclaimed by the revolutionary Prime Minister Kurt Eisner on November 8, 1918 and the associated end of the Kingdom of Bavaria .

    The older Bavarian tribal duchy , which under the Merovingians became part of the Franconian domain , is proven as early as 555 AD, around 500 years before the term German was used in today's sense . Under the Carolingians , a Baierian kingship arose for the first time, which they either ruled in personal union as kings or sub-kings or appointed governors. After the end of the Carolingian rule, the Bavarian independence strengthened in the younger Bavarian tribal duchy. With the beginning of the Wittelsbach rule in 1180, the transition to the territorial state followed . They ruled Bavaria for 700 years until 1918. Baiern was the Electorate of the Holy Roman Empire and from 1806 a kingdom. The constitutions of 1808 and 1818 made Bavaria a constitutional monarchy . As one of the victorious powers, Bavaria was able to retain a large part of the territorial gains at the Congress of Vienna in 1814; Among other things, Upper , Middle and Lower Franconia , parts of Swabia and the newly created Palatinate on the left bank of the Rhine came to Bavaria. In 1918 the Wittelsbach monarchy collapsed in the November Revolution .

    After the occupation by the US Army , Bavaria became part of the newly founded Federal Republic in 1949. The Palatinate was separated from Bavaria in 1946 and is now part of Rhineland-Palatinate . An economic upswing began and a development from an agricultural state to a modern industrial state.

    Bavaria is almost entirely in the Upper German-speaking area . It is traditionally divided into the three parts of Franconia (today the administrative districts of Upper, Middle and Lower Franconia), Swabia (administrative district of the same name) and Altbayern (administrative districts of Upper Palatinate , Upper and Lower Bavaria ).

    Etymology and spelling

    The only spelling of the state name with "y" goes back to an order of King Ludwig I of Bavaria from October 20, 1825, with which the spelling "Kingdom of Bavaria", which had been in effect since 1806, was replaced. This arrangement of the king to write with the "Greek" Ypsilon is related to his philhellenism . Until then, the country name was often spelled with an “i”, although there are also many older evidence of the spelling with a “y”. During the Munich Soviet Republic , the spelling “Baiern” was temporarily reverted to.

    Even during the imperial era, the spelling was not uniform across the empire: The Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck used the old i spelling in his correspondence with Ludwig II around 1880, while the Bavarian king used the y spelling.

    The tribe of the indigenous population of Old Bavaria (i.e. without Franconia and Bavarian Swabia ) is still referred to as the Baiern (also called Old Bavaria in other sections), as is the name for the dialect in Bavarian (in this spelling the word also refers to those spoken in Austria Dialects).

    The term Bavaria or Baiern can be traced back to the Bavarian people . The full name of the Bavarians is derived from a presumed Germanic compound * Bajowarjōz (plural). This name is passed down as Old High German Beiara, Peigira, Latinized Baiovarii . It is believed that this is an endonym . Behind the first link Baio is the ethnicon of the previously inhabiting Celtic tribe of the Boier , which is preserved in the Old High German landscape name Bēheima 'Böhmen' ( ancient Germanic * Bajohaimaz 'home of the Boier' , late Latin then Boiohaemum ) and in the onomastic connecting point ( Baias, Bainaib , etc.) . The second link -ware or -varii of the resident designation Bajuwaren comes from the ancient Germanic * warjaz 'residents' (cf. Old Norse Rómverjar 'Römer' , old English burhware 'city dwellers' ), which belongs to defend ( ancient German * warjana- ) (cf. also Welsh gwerin 'crowd'). The name 'Baiern' is therefore interpreted as 'inhabitant of Bohemia'. However, the interpretation of the name is still controversial.


    Landscape in the Bavarian Alps: Ramsau near Berchtesgaden , in the background the Reiteralpe
    The Grünten , "Guardian of the Allgäu"
    Wörth an der Donau : crossing of the Danube plain ( Gäuboden , Dungau), right - to the Bavarian Forest , left
    Kipfenberg : Geographical center of Bavaria

    Territory and landscape

    Map of the landscapes of Bavaria with rivers.

    As a landlocked country , Bavaria borders on the following states: in the east with the Czech Republic , in the south-east and south with Austria , in the south-west via Lake Constance indirectly with Switzerland . There are also the German federal states of Baden-Württemberg (in the west), Hesse (in the northwest), Thuringia (in the north) and Saxony (in the northeast). The state border of Bavaria is a total of 2705 kilometers long. Starting in the west, Bavaria borders in a clockwise direction with Baden-Württemberg (829 kilometers border length), Hesse (262 kilometers), Thuringia (381 kilometers), Saxony (41 kilometers), the Czech regions Karlsbad , Pilsen and South Bohemia (357 kilometers) , to the Austrian federal states of Upper Austria , Salzburg , Tyrol and Vorarlberg (816 kilometers) and to the Swiss canton of St. Gallen (19 kilometers), although the border line in Lake Constance is not specified.

    Until 1990, the border with Thuringia, Saxony and what was then Czechoslovakia formed a section of the Iron Curtain . Due to the border security systems, it represented a physically almost insurmountable separation between NATO and the Warsaw Pact . At Prex there was a three-country triangle . The Saalforsten in Austria , which are privately owned by Bavaria, do not belong to the Bavarian national territory and therefore not to the German federal territory . On the other hand, the Eger city forest, which historically belongs to the Bohemian city of Eger (Cheb in Czech), belongs to the Bavarian national territory and is administered by a foundation.

    Bavaria is located in southern Germany and includes:

    The Bavarian Alps in the extreme south of Bavaria belong to the Northern Limestone Alps . Bavaria is the only German state that has a share in the Alps . Usually, the Bavarian Alps are only understood to mean the parts of the mountains between the Lech and Saalach rivers . In this narrower sense, the Allgäu Alps , to which the Bavarian national territory has only recently extended, and the Berchtesgaden Alps do not belong to the Bavarian Alps. It is not to be confused with the term of the Bavarian Prealps , which border the mountains to the north. The latter only include the Bavarian part of the Pre-Alps between the Loisach in the west and the Inn in the east. While the Alps have only sporadically pronounced limestone cliffs, the Alps are by the Upper Pleistocene incurred Kare embossed, lakes and the typical U-shaped valleys through Glacier. Deposits from the Ice Age rivers and, above all, the glaciers created a hilly landscape with lakes and moors , especially in the foothills of the Alps . The Chiemgau , the Fünfseenland and the Allgäu are located there .

    While the terrain is between the Alps and south of the Danube flat to hilly, lying north of it several mountains that reach an altitude of over one thousand meters, including for example, the Bavarian Forest to the Great Arber as the highest mountain Bayens outside the Alps and the Fichtelgebirge with the Schneeberg as the highest mountain in Franconia. The Franconian Alb as a geological continuation of the Swiss Jura and the Swabian Alb stretches around an arch through northern Bavaria and shields parts of Franconia from old Bavaria. To the north of it lie numerous witness mountains such as the Hesselberg . The extreme southwest of the Alb borders the Nördlinger Ries , the remains of an impact crater formed during the Ries event around 14.6 million years ago. The Franconian Keuper-Lias-Land , in which Aischgrund , Steigerwald and Frankenhöhe are located, merges into the Main Franconian Plates . To the southwest of it are the low mountain ranges Odenwald , Spessart and Rhön . The eastern half of Bavaria is characterized by low mountain ranges such as the Bavarian Forest or the Franconian Forest . The largest uncut forest area in Central Europe is located there. Parts of the Vogtland are in Bavaria. The western part of Lower Franconia as part of the lowlands of the Rhine belongs to the Bavarian Lower Main .

    The lowest point in Bavaria, at 100  m, is the water level of the Main in Kahl am Main (Lower Franconia), the highest on the summit of the Zugspitze ( 2962  m ), the highest German mountain in the Wetterstein Mountains. All 30 highest mountain peaks in Germany are in the Bavarian Alps, concentrated in the Wetterstein Mountains, in the Berchtesgaden Alps and the Allgäu Alps . The highest Bavarian peaks of the latter two are the Watzmann ( 2713  m ) for the Berchtesgaden Alps and the Hochfrottspitze ( 2649  m ) for the Allgäu Alps. The Leoganger Steinberge with numerous high peaks are located in Austria, but part of them, at the top the Birnhorn ( 2634  m ), are located in the Saalforsten and are therefore privately owned by Bavaria.

    The geographical center of Bavaria is about 500 meters east of the Kipfenberg market in the Eichstätt district ( Lage ). Historically, several places in Bavaria viewed themselves as the center of Europe . Since Croatia joined the EU on July 1, 2013, the geographic center of the European Union has been in the Aschaffenburg district , in the Oberwestern district of the Bavarian municipality of Westerngrund ( Lage ). With the accession of the French overseas department of Mayotte , a group of islands in northwest Madagascar , it had shifted by 500 meters ( location ). Since the United Kingdom left on January 31, 2020, the EU center has been in the district of Würzburg , in the Gadheim district of the municipality of Veitshöchheim ( Lage ).


    Aerial view of the Brombach axis from the west towards the dam. On the right side of the picture you can see Ramsberg and the Schwarzleite ridge .

    The most important river in the country is the Danube , which flows in the southern half of the country from west to east, reaches the state area near Ulm and crosses to Austria near Passau . Their largest tributaries are (downstream):

    The four southern tributaries have their source in the Alps and are richer in water. At their confluence, the Inn and Lech usually have a little more water than the Danube (because of the long upper course ) .

    In local history lessons, the following motto is said about the Danube in many places : “Brigach and Breg take the Danube away. Iller, Lech, Isar, Inn, flow right towards the Danube. Wörnitz, Altmühl, Naab and Regen flow against it on the left. "

    Most of Franconia is drained through the Main from east to west into the Rhine . In its strikingly curved course it forms the so-called Main Triangle and Main Square . Its largest tributaries are the Regnitz and Tauber from the left and the Franconian Saale from the right. The left tributaries of the Elbe , the "Saxon" Saale and the Eger have their source in the northeast of Upper Franconia .

    In the terminal moraine landscapes in the southern part of the northern foothills of the Alps, there are many lakes, some of which protrude into the mountains, such as the Tegernsee , the Starnberger See and the Schliersee . Bavaria has a share in Lake Constance , the largest lake in western Central Europe. The largest lake in Bavaria is the Chiemsee . The reservoirs of the Franconian Lake District were formed north of the Franconian Alb . They serve to regulate the water in Northern Bavaria, in particular the water supply of the Main-Danube Canal , an important waterway in Northern Bavaria. In the Alps, the Walchensee power plant was put into operation in 1924 , which uses the natural gradient between the Walchensee , which acts as the "upper basin" and the "lower basin" Kochelsee, to generate electricity.

    The European main watershed runs through parts of Bavaria . It separates the river system belonging to the Rhine from that of the Danube.

    There are several stone gullies along the northern edge of the Alb . The approximately 150 meter long and 0.2 meter high Käsrinne near Heidenheim and the Steinerne Rinne near Wolfsbronn , 128 meters long and 1.5 meters high, are the longest of these “growing streams” in Bavaria.

    Protected areas

    Bavaria's most beautiful geotopes: Gypsum karst spring Bottomless hole

    The Bavarian Forest National Park and the Berchtesgaden National Park are located in Bavaria . From the UNESCO -recognized biosphere reserves which are Biosphere Reserve Berchtesgaden and the Biosphere Reserve Rhön . There are 18 nature parks in Bavaria, the oldest is the Altmühltal Nature Park, founded in 1969 .

    In Bavaria, 603  nature reserves , 702  landscape protection areas , 674  fauna-flora-habitat areas , 84  European bird sanctuaries , 160 natural forest reserves and over 3,400  geotopes are designated by the Bavarian State Office for the Environment (as of March 2017). One hundred geotopes that are particularly worth seeing are designated as Bavaria's most beautiful geotopes . The largest nature reserve is the Allgäu High Alps , the smallest is the Drabafelsen .

    See also:

    Expansion and land use

    Land use in the Free State of Bavaria
    Land use
    on December 31, 2012
    in percent
    Agriculture 34,703 49.2
    Wooded areas 24,732 35.1
    Buildings and open spaces
    (including cemeteries)
    04,207 06.0
    traffic 03,400 04.8
    water 01,446 02.0
    Land for other uses
    (excluding cemeteries)
    01,394 02.0
    recreation 00.391 00.6
    Mining land 00.153 00.2
    Plant area without mining land 00.124 00.2

    With 70,541.57 square kilometers, Bavaria is the largest German state in terms of area and thus has almost 22,000 square kilometers more area than Lower Saxony . The Free State corresponds to about 19 percent of the German state area. The area of ​​Bavaria is larger than that of many European countries, such as the Netherlands or Ireland .

    The national territory of Bavaria extends from 47 ° 16 'to 50 ° 34' north latitude and from 8 ° 58 'to 13 ° 50' east longitude. Bavaria extends in a west-east direction over a maximum of 384 kilometers, in north-south over 362 kilometers. The southernmost place in Bavaria is Einödsbach , the westernmost Großwelzheim , the northernmost Weimarschmieden and the easternmost Breitenberg . The southernmost point of Bavaria and all of Germany is Haldenwanger Eck . The Central European Time (CET) is ahead of local time at the outermost West boundary of the land 24 minutes and 8 seconds, at the eastern border outermost to 4 minutes and 40 seconds.

    About five sixths (86.1 percent) of the area is used for agriculture and forestry . 12.0 percent are settlement and traffic areas.


    Passau during floods (2013)

    The climate changes from the northwest (relatively balanced) to the east from the maritime climate (Cfb) to the continental climate (Dfb) . On about 100 days the temperatures are below zero degrees Celsius, the westerly winds bring an average of 700 mm of precipitation, in the northern damming of the Alps locally up to 1800 mm per year. The mean annual sunshine duration is 1600 to 1900 hours. The warmest month is usually July, the coldest January. The foehn influences the weather in the entire foothills of the Alps and in places can reach as far as the Franconian Alb. The north of Bavaria is drier and warmer than the south; the region around Würzburg has the most sunny days in southern Germany.

    Effects of climate change

    The effects of global warming can also be seen in Bavaria. The summer months tend to be hotter and drier. Most recently, for example , June 2019 was the warmest June in Bavaria since observations began and the winter 2019/2020 was three degrees Celsius above the long-term average across Bavaria. On December 20, 2019, a record temperature of 20.2 ° C was measured in Piding . The winter months tend to have more precipitation, with more precipitation falling in the form of rain instead of snow. Extreme weather conditions, such as the floods in Central Europe in 2013 or the heavy snow event in January 2019 , are increasing . One consequence of the warming is, inter alia. the progressive melting of almost all Bavarian Alpine glaciers: of the five Bavarian glaciers, only one will exist in the medium term, the Höllentalferner. For example, since the 1980s, the southern Schneeferner , apart from remains, has already completely disappeared.


    By nature, Bavaria would mainly be covered by forests. In the flat and hill country, mixed forests dominated by beeches would predominate, which would merge into mixed mountain forests in the mountains . In the higher mountains there would be spruce forests and the rivers would be accompanied by extensive alluvial forests . Only the waters and the mountainous areas above the tree line as well as special locations such as high moors would not be naturally forested. Through extensive clearing for agricultural land and settlements, however, humans pushed back the forest area in Bavaria as early as the Middle Ages . Currently, 2.6 million hectares, 36.9 percent of the Bavarian area are forested. This means that around a quarter of Germany's forests are in Bavaria. The tree species composition of the forests in Bavaria is strongly influenced by the forestry use. The most common tree species in Bavaria's forests is the common spruce with 41.8 percent of the area, followed by the Scots pine with 17.9 percent, the common beech with 13.9 percent and the oak with 6.8 percent. Particularly large forest areas can still be found in the low mountain ranges in northern and eastern Bavaria, such as in the Spessart , the Fichtelgebirge , the Steigerwald and the Bavarian Forest , as well as in the Bavarian Alps .

    In contrast, the areas with fertile soils in the foothills of the Alps, in the hill country and in the river lowlands are characterized by predominantly agricultural open landscapes with meadows , fields and only a few individual trees and smaller forests. Franconia has sand habitats that are unique in southern Germany and are protected as the Franconian sand axis . In the river valleys along the Main and Tauber, the landscape was redesigned for viticulture. Lean lawns , an extensively used grassland in particularly nutrient-poor , "lean" locations , are widespread . The southern Franconian Alb with the Altmühltal is particularly characterized by such poor grasslands. Many of these areas are designated as protected areas.


    Beaver dam on the Buxbach near Veitserlbach

    As in other parts of Germany, only relatively few large animal species live in the forests of Bavaria. There are various species of marten , fallow and red deer , roe deer as well as wild boars and foxes . In near-natural areas such as the Fichtelgebirge, lynx and capercaillie live , but beavers and otters are also spreading again. Occasionally there have been sightings of animals in Bavaria that have long been exterminated in Central Europe, for example the wolf . The re-naturalized alpine ibex and alpine marmot live in high alpine regions . The chamois is less common in some low mountain ranges, such as the Franconian Alb. The golden eagle occurs in the Bavarian Alps.

    19 different amphibian species have been identified in Bavaria.


    Large coat of arms of the Kingdom of Bavaria
    The Bavarian tribal duchy
    in the 8th century


    From the 3rd century BC Chr. Founded Celtic strains in the foothills first fortified, city similar settlements. At that time, around 5,000 to 10,000 Celts lived in the Manching oppidum within a city fortification. At the time of Emperor Augustus , the Celtic-settled area of ​​Old Bavaria south of the Danube became part of the Roman Empire and its provinces of Raetia and Noricum . After the collapse of Roman rule, the Bavarian people were formed. Probably the Bavarians were formed from different ethnic groups:

    It is assumed that the Bavarian tribes will be formed in their own country, i.e. the country between the Danube and the Alps.

    Older tribal duchy

    The existence of a Bavarian tribal duchy with headquarters in Freising and Regensburg under the Agilolfingers is documented for the year 555 AD , which became part of the Franconian rulership of Austrasia under the Merovingians . The first codified Bavarian tribal law arose with the Lex Baiuvariorum (around 741/743). The victory of Charlemagne over the Bavarian Duke Tassilo III. 788 marks the end of the so-called older tribal duchy. From 788 until the beginning of the 10th century there was no Baier duke. The Carolingians ruled as Bavarian kings or sub-kings and sometimes appointed governors (prefects) to exercise their power.

    Younger tribal duchy

    The decline of the Carolingians made it possible to revive the independence of the Bavarian dukes in the so-called younger tribal duchy. After the end of the Carolingian rule, the individual areas gradually became more independent. This was supported by the external threat posed by the Hungarian invasions from around 862. Margrave Luitpold of Bavaria was defeated by the Hungarians in the Battle of Pressburg in 907 , but the date is set by the accession of his son Arnulf I as Duke of Bavaria at the same time seen as the beginning of the younger Baier tribal duchy. After the victory in the battle on the Lechfeld , there was a second wave of eastern Baier settlements, with the acquisition of areas in what is now Lower Austria , Istria and Carniola . The quarrel with the Ottonians again led to a strong dependence on German royalty. In 976, the south-east of Bavaria was separated as part of a newly created Duchy of Carinthia . In addition, the gender of the ruled Babenberger in the Marcha Orientalis ( Ostarrichi ) increasingly independent from the Duke of Bavaria. In 1014 Duke Heinrich IV. Of the Bavarian line of the Ottonians became Heinrich II. Roman-German Emperor .

    From 1070 onwards, the power of the Bavarian dukes underwent a resurgence. In 1156 the Austrian march was detached and raised to a duchy themselves under the Babenbergs , who had previously ruled all of Bavaria for a short time . In 1180, at the instigation of the princes , Friedrich I. Barbarossa overthrew Heinrich the Lion , Duke of Bavaria and Saxony . The Duchy of Bavaria was further reduced by the separation of Styria and the Andechs margravate of Istria . The Counts of Tyrol also acted increasingly independently of the Bavarian duke and later benefited, like the Wittelsbachers, from the extinction of the Counts of Andechs, who had recently also owned the Duchy of Meranien , which had been separated from Bavaria .

    Territorial Duchy

    From 1180, the reduced Bavaria was ruled as a territorial duchy by the Wittelsbachers , who remained in power until the end of the monarchy in 1918. In 1214 the Palatinate fell from the Guelphs to the Wittelsbachers. The ducal suburb had shifted several times during this period, first from Regensburg until 1231 to Kelheim and then until 1255 to Landshut .

    Bavaria experienced a period of numerous divisions into individual duchies from 1255 to 1503. Shortly before the first reunification, Ludwig IV was the first Wittelsbacher to gain imperial dignity in 1328, which meant a new peak of power for Bavaria. At the same time, however, the archbishopric of Salzburg finally broke away from the motherland of Bavaria. In the Pavia house contract of 1329, Ludwig divided the property into a Palatinate line with the Rhine Palatinate and what later became known as the Upper Palatinate, and an old Bavarian line. The newly acquired areas of Brandenburg , Tyrol , the Dutch provinces of Holland , Zealand and Friesland as well as Hainaut were soon lost again under his successors. Tyrol fell to the Habsburgs in 1363 , and Brandenburg to the Luxembourgers in 1373. With the Golden Bull in 1356, the electoral dignity for the old Bavarian line was lost to that of the Palatinate.

    In 1429, after the Straubing-Holland line became extinct, the Duchy of Bavaria-Straubing was divided under the lines of Munich , Ingolstadt and Landshut . In 1447 Bayern-Ingolstadt fell to Bayern-Landshut , which in turn was won by Bayern-Munich in the Landshut War of Succession in 1503 . With the primogeniture law of Duke Albrecht IV of 1506, the divisions of the country came to an end. The free imperial cities of Nuremberg and Augsburg, which border on Bavaria, were important trading and economic centers from the beginning of the modern era to the end of the Renaissance, which in Augsburg was mainly due to the influence of the Fugger and Welser merchant families . During this time, both places, along with Cologne and Prague, were among the four largest cities of the Holy Roman Empire and had overtaken Regensburg, which was also a Free Imperial City.

    In 1583, Duke Wilhelm V successfully took part in the war against the Archbishop of Cologne, who had become Protestant, and Bavarian princes have been elector of Cologne for almost 200 years and have ruled numerous other bishoprics in northwest Germany.


    Bavaria continued to occupy a leading position in the Counter-Reformation and emerged from the Thirty Years' War with territorial gains and the rise to electorate : in 1620, the troops of the Catholic League, led by the Bavarian general Tilly, defeated the Protestants in the Battle of the White Mountains near Prague. Then Tilly had the Palatinate occupied. In gratitude, Maximilian I received the electoral dignity in 1623 and the Upper Palatinate he occupied in 1628 as war compensation. After the war, Elector Ferdinand Maria devoted himself to rebuilding the devastated country and pursued a cautious policy of neutrality .

    During the Spanish and Austrian War of Succession and in the wake of the great power politics of Maximilian II. Emanuel and later his son Karl Albrecht , absolutist Bavaria was temporarily occupied twice by Austria. In 1705 the Bavarian people rose against the imperial occupation . The Bavarian popular uprising covered large areas of Lower Bavaria, the Innviertel and eastern Upper Bavaria. A state defense congress met in December 1705 in Braunau am Inn, which was then still in Bavaria . Only the battle of Aidenbach on January 8, 1706 ended with the complete defeat of the popular uprising. After Karl Albrecht was coronated as emperor , large parts of the electorate were reoccupied until 1744. Karl Albrecht's son Maximilian III. Joseph finally put an end to the great power politics of his predecessors in 1745 and devoted himself to internal reforms.

    After the old Bavarian line of the Wittelsbach family had died out, the dual electorate of Electoral Palatinate-Bavaria was established in 1777 under the reign of Elector Karl Theodor from the Palatinate line of the Wittelsbach family. Count Rumford began under Karl Theodor with further reforms, including the Bavarian Army .


    Kingdom of Bavaria in 1816 after the Treaty of Munich

    At the time of Napoleon Bavaria initially stood on the side of France and was able to record large territorial gains through secularization and mediatization . Thus while Salzburg , Tyrol , Vorarlberg and the 1779 Lost Innviertel temporarily Bavaria. In the Peace of Pressburg , which was concluded on December 26, 1805 between France and the German Emperor Franz II , Bavaria, allied with Napoleon, was proclaimed a kingdom . King Max I. Joseph's minister Maximilian Graf von Montgelas is considered to be the creator of the modern Bavarian state. The new kingdom eradicated all the relics of serfdom that the old kingdom had left behind. Through the religious edict of 1803, all three Christian denominations were given equal rights - Catholics, Reformed and Lutherans. In 1807 the corporate tax privileges were abolished. In 1805 all hereditary and purchasable offices were abolished by the great service pragmatics. The Munich regulation of 1805 and the Jewish edict of 1813 granted the Israelites in the new Bavaria their first freedoms. On August 27, 1807, Bavaria became the first country in the world to introduce a smallpox vaccination . The Bavarian gendarmerie was founded in 1812 . A new penal code drafted by Anselm von Feuerbach abolished torture in 1813. The Principality of Ansbach fell to the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1806 through an exchange of territory forced by Napoleon , the Protestant Principality of Bayreuth was sold by Napoleon to Bavaria in 1810. By switching to the side of Napoleon's opponents in the Treaty of Ried at the right time , Bavaria was able to retain part of the territorial gains as a victorious power at the Congress of Vienna in 1814. For the loss of Tyrol and the Palatinate on the right bank of the Rhine , it was compensated by the more economically developed areas around Würzburg and Aschaffenburg. The newly created Rhine district on the left bank of the Rhine came to Bavaria in exchange for Salzburg in 1816 through the Treaty of Munich and became the Bavarian Rhine Palatinate from 1837 .

    King Ludwig I , who ruled since 1825, expanded the Bavarian capital Munich into an art and university city. He reintroduced censorship and eliminated freedom of the press. The Hambach Festival in 1832 in the Palatinate at Hambach Castle near Neustadt an der Weinstrasse had its roots in the dissatisfaction of the Palatinate population with the Bavarian administration. Because of an affair with the dancer Lola Montez , he had to abdicate in the course of the March riots in 1848 . Under his son and successor Max II Joseph there was a gradual liberalization, but also the Palatinate uprising . The king was a supporter of the Triassic policy , which envisaged developing the German medium-sized states under the leadership of Bavaria into the third force alongside the two great powers Prussia and Austria. In 1861, with the abolition of the old regional courts, the judiciary and administration were separated.

    King Ludwig II in general's uniform with the coronation robe

    In 1864 Ludwig II was proclaimed King of Bavaria. He went down in history as a fairy tale king because of the construction of Neuschwanstein and other castles . In the German War of 1866, Bavaria suffered a defeat against Prussia alongside Austria . In 1868 the conservative Greater German Patriot Party was founded (renamed the Bavarian Center in 1887 ).

    In 1871 Bavaria became part of the newly founded German Empire and received so-called reservation rights (its own postal, railway and army services as well as its own diplomacy ). In 1886, Prince Regent Luitpold took over the reign. The “Prinzregentenzeit”, as the era of Prince Luitpold is often called, is due to the political passivity of Luitpold as the era of the gradual subordination of Bavarian interests to those of the empire. In 1893 the SPD entered the Bavarian state parliament for the first time, and in 1906 the state election law was harmonized with the national electoral law. In 1913 Ludwig III. König, the following year the First World War broke out. On November 2, 1918, electoral law and parliamentary reforms took place. During the November Revolution of 1918, however, the Wittelsbach monarchy was overturned shortly afterwards.

    Free State (Bamberg Constitution)

    In the course of the November Revolution, on November 8, 1918, Kurt Eisner , writer and journalist, founding member of the USPD , proclaimed Bavaria as a People's State or Free State , the Free People's State of Bavaria . According to the state constitution of the Republic of Bavaria of January 4, 1919, the Bamberg constitution of August 14, 1919 became the first democratic constitution of Bavaria and ended the Kingdom of Bavaria , which was founded in 1806 . (In the meantime, however, from April 7, 1919, socialist groups were able to install the “ Munich Soviet Republic ” for four weeks .)

    On July 1, 1920, the Free State of Coburg became part of Bavaria (→ Landkreis Coburg ) through a referendum . The provisions of the Versailles Treaty , the district office had on January 10, 1920 St. Ingbert and parts of the district offices Homburg and Zweibrücken to the newly created under League of Nations administration standing Saar be assigned. It was not until 1930 that the French crew withdrew and the Palatinate was completely reintegrated into Bavaria.

    As a stronghold of ultra-conservative and reactionary forces, Bavaria was referred to as a “ regulatory cell ” in the first years of the Weimar Republic . On November 8th and 9th, 1923, Bavaria was the scene of the Hitler putsch , which, however, was suppressed by the Bavarian state police. The strongest party was the Bavarian People's Party , which usually also provided the Prime Minister.

    National Socialism and World War II

    Bavaria also existed as an administrative unit during the Nazi era (1933 to 1945), but was largely insignificant. The city of Munich, in which Adolf Hitler had lived for a long time since 1913 and began his political ascent, was stylized by the National Socialists for propaganda purposes as the capital of the movement . With the Dachau concentration camp , the Nazi regime established the first continuously operated concentration camp just a few weeks after the so-called seizure of power . In Franconia Nuremberg Nazi Party held from 1933 to 1938 on the Reichsparteitagsgelände their party rallies and other propaganda events from. In 1935 the Nuremberg Laws came into force. On the Obersalzberg near Berchtesgaden, Hitler had the Berghof built, which served him as the second seat of government and developed into a central place of power in the National Socialist German Reich. In 1939 the administrative district of Niederbayern-Oberpfalz was expanded to include an area that belonged to Czechoslovakia until the Munich Agreement in 1938 , the districts of Bergreichenstein , Markt Eisenstein and Prachatitz , which was separated again in 1945.

    During the Second World War , Bavarian cities such as Aschaffenburg , Augsburg , Munich , Nuremberg and Würzburg suffered severe destruction (see air raids on Aschaffenburg , Augsburg , Munich , Nuremberg and Würzburg ).

    Part of the American zone of occupation

    The occupying powers directed expellees from Silesia and the Sudetenland specifically to the sparsely populated Bavaria. As a result, the population grew by a quarter by 1949. Several cities for displaced persons emerged .

    General Eisenhower officially restored Bavaria as a state with proclamation number 2 of September 28, 1945; the executive power was in the hands of US military governors between 1945 and 1952 . After the occupation by US troops, Bavaria became part of the American occupation zone , while in 1946 the heavily industrialized Rhine -Palatinate in the French occupation zone was incorporated into the newly formed state of Rhineland-Palatinate .

    Since the US military government was firmly opposed to the restoration of a monarchy , it banned the re-established Bavarian Home and King Party in 1946 . (After the end of the military government in 1949, however, the party could be reconstituted.)

    From June 30, 1946, a constituent assembly met in Munich . A new, republican constitution for the Free State of Bavaria was adopted by the people with a large majority in 1946 (for more information, see the article Bavarian Constitutional History ).

    Free State (within the Federal Republic of Germany)

    In 1948, at the request of the state government, the state parliament decided to reject the Basic Law , but then to recognize it as binding if two thirds of the federal states would accept it. 1949 Bayern was on this basis as the country part of the Federal Republic of Germany . The district of Lindau was reintegrated into Bavaria on September 1, 1955. A sustained economic upswing (" economic miracle ") contributed to Bavaria not only remaining agricultural land, but also becoming the home of many industrial companies. From 1962 to 2008 and from 2013 to 2018, the CSU held the absolute majority in Bavaria. In 1987, Bavaria switched from the recipient country to the donor country for the first time in the state financial equalization scheme and has been the largest donor country without interruption since 2008.



    Around 13 million people or 16 percent of the German population live in the Free State of Bavaria. After North Rhine-Westphalia , Bavaria is the most populous subnational entity in the European Union and one of the more populous member states in the western world.

    Bavaria's population is growing. Bavaria's population has more than tripled since 1840. For the first time, more than 10 million inhabitants were counted at the 1970 census. As of December 31, 2016, the population was 12,930,751, of whom around 50.5% were female. Although more people die in the Free State than are born, the population has risen continuously by a total of more than 400,000 since 2012 due to a significantly higher immigration compared to emigration. At the end of 2012, the proportion of foreigners was 9.6 percent. With 1.55 children per woman in 2017, Bavaria had a combined fertility rate that was slightly below the national average of 1.57.

    Population development in the Free State of Bavaria
    year population Inhabitants / km²
    1840 03,802,515 054
    1871 04,292,484 061
    1900 05,414,831 077
    1925 06,451,380 091
    1939 07,084,086 100
    1950 09,184,466 130
    1961 09,515,479 135
    1970 10,479,386 149
    1987 10,902,643 155
    12/31/2007 12,520,332 177
    December 31, 2008 12,519,728 177
    December 31, 2009 12,510,331 177
    December 31, 2010 12,538,696 178
    December 31, 2011 12,443,372 176
    December 31, 2012 12,519,571 177
    December 31, 2013 12,604,244 179
    December 31, 2014 12,691,568 180
    December 31, 2015 12,843,514 182
    December 31, 2016 12,930,751 183
    December 31, 2017 12,997,204 184
    December 31, 2018 13,076,721 185
    Population development in Bavaria from 1840 to 2018 according to the table below
    Age structure in Bavaria (data source: 2011 census)

    As in the rest of (West) Germany, immigration began in the 1950s against the background of the German economic miracle, in particular from Turkey, what was then Yugoslavia and Italy, and increasingly from East Central European and Eastern European countries around 1990 after the end of the Cold War.

    "Four Tribes of Bavaria"

    Maxmonument in Munich; the putti at the feet of King Maximilian II hold shields with the coats of arms of the regions of Old Bavaria , Palatinate , Franconia and Swabia

    At the beginning of 1778, the Electorate of Bavaria and the Electoral Palatinate were reunited by the Wittelsbach family . While the right bank Pfalz came to bathe in the Napoleonic period, fell much of the left-bank Palatinate in 1816 as Rhine circle back to Bavaria. At the same time, through Napoleon, other Swabian areas and large parts of Franconia came to the Kingdom of Bavaria . Up until the Second World War, the four Bavarian tribes were understood to be the Altbayern , Franconians , Swabians and Palatinates . Numerous monuments from this period emphasize this fact.

    After 1945 reached more than two million refugees and expellees , especially as the Sudeten Germans called German Bohemia, Deutschmährer and Sudetenschlesier , to Bavaria. The Sudeten Germans were referred to as the “fourth tribe” by Franz Josef Strauss , whereby the German-Bohemian, Moravian and Sudeten-Silesian population came from different dialect and cultural areas of the German-speaking area within what was then Czechoslovakia and is therefore heterogeneous. Sinti and Yeniche also have a long tradition in Bavaria that has not yet been officially recognized.

    Since the Second World War and the final loss of the Rhine Palatinate in 1946, the originally resident and the German-Bohemian population of Bavaria who immigrated immediately after the Second World War has been subdivided into "four tribes" (see German tribes for the origin of the word) and consists of the three traditionally resident tribes, the Franks, the Swabians and the old Bavarians, which gave the Free State its name, as well as the fourth tribe, the Sudeten Germans, for which Bavaria took over the "patronage".

    The distinctive features of the three originally resident tribes include their own dialects ( Bavarian , East Franconian , Alemannic ), their own kitchens ( Bavarian , Franconian , Swabian ), their own traditions, costumes and, in some cases, architectural styles. Occasionally, the individual tribes are even assigned different mentalities, for example, according to the Bavarian State Government, the old Bavarians are cosmopolitan, persistent and musically gifted, while Franconians are characterized by a pronounced "sense of community, organizational talent, cheerfulness and a quick perception", while Swabians are known as thrifty people sees who have a “tendency to understatement”. In the case of cabinet formation, the offices are distributed according to the tribes for reasons of proportionality . The three CSU ministerial posts in the Merkel III Federal Cabinet were also divided between the three tribes of Franconia, Bavaria and Swabia.

    Above all, the long dispute between the Franks and the old Bavarians over the alleged unequal treatment of the Franks by the Bavarians is known. According to some organizations, Franconia is underrepresented in the party structures and receives less tax revenue. In general, the concerns and problems of the Franconian administrative districts are also given less attention. Occasionally, the return of so-called looted art , works of art from Franconian cities and treasuries that were confiscated by the Kingdom of Bavaria in the 19th century and brought to Munich is requested. However, many such complaints are considered to be irrelevant. Franconian politicians, for example, are not underrepresented in the structures of the major parties. The demand for the return of art treasures is also problematic, as the Hofer Altar in Munich and some Dürer paintings in the Alte Pinakothek were not stolen, but were given voluntarily.

    Religion and belief

    Denominations of the Bavarian population (in percent)
    1840 * 1900 * 1933 * 1950 1970 2006 2011 2015 2016 2018

    Roman Catholic 71.1 70.5 70.0 71.9 70.4 57.2 55, 0 51.2 50.5 48.8 47.8
    evangelical 27.4 28.3 28.7 26.5 25.2 21.3 21, 0 18.9 18.8 17.8 17.6
    Muslim - - - - 00.9 02.2 4th, - - - -
    Christian Orthodox - - - - - - 01.6 - - - -
    Jewish 01.4 00.9 00.5 00.1 00.1 00.1 00.1 - - - -
    other denominations
    and non-denominational
    00.1 00.3 00.8 01.5 03.4 19.2 18.3 - 31.2 33.4 34.6
    * including the Palatinate region
    Wies Church in Upper Bavaria
    Entrance to the Augsburg synagogue

    With 47.7% (as of 2020), Bavaria is the federal state with the highest Roman Catholic population in Germany after Saarland . Another 17.6% of the population are Evangelical Lutheran. These two denominations are distributed unequally across the districts. Old Bavaria and Lower Franconia are predominantly Catholic, while Middle Franconia and parts of Upper Franconia are Protestant.

    The number of Catholics and Protestants has decreased significantly since 1970. Both the margravate of Ansbach and Bayreuth and the majority of the free imperial cities (such as Nuremberg or Rothenburg ob der Tauber ) were part of the Lutheran heartland and were strongholds of the Reformation .

    The Bavarian state pays the Roman Catholic Church each year 65 million euros and the Protestant Church 21 million euro state subsidies from the general budget. The Catholic parishes belong to the Diocese of Würzburg , the Diocese of Eichstätt and the Archdiocese of Bamberg in the Church Province of Bamberg and the Diocese of Regensburg , the Diocese of Passau , the Diocese of Augsburg and the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising in the Church of Munich and Freising . Other Catholic parishes are subject to the jurisdiction of Eastern Catholic Churches .

    The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria is a member of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and is divided into six church districts Ansbach-Würzburg , Augsburg , Bayreuth , Munich , Nuremberg and Regensburg . The ten Bavarian parishes of the Evangelical Reformed Church also belong to the EKD .

    Evangelical free churches can be found mainly in metropolitan areas. The Old Catholic Church has a Bavarian deanery .

    Until the 19th century, Jewish communities existed mainly in rural areas of Franconia and Swabia as well as in the free imperial cities such as Nuremberg (settlement ban from 1499 to 1850) and Regensburg . In Wittelsbach Bavarians there were virtually no Jews since the emancipation of the Jews but increasingly in Bavarian cities. Of almost 200 Jewish communities before the Holocaust , 13 communities still exist in Bavaria or again. They are organized in the IKG Munich and Upper Bavaria as well as in the regional association of Israelite cultural communities in Bavaria .

    Islam is of growing importance, especially in large cities . Many mosque communities are trying to replace their previous backyard mosques with representative new buildings. A study by the Federal Ministry of the Interior puts the proportion of Muslims in the total Bavarian population in 2008 at around 4 percent (around 13 percent of Muslims living in Germany).

    As in many parts of Germany, the proportion of non-denominational residents is growing in Bavaria . The Humanist Association sees itself as a ideological community and representation of the interests of non-religious people. The association, which had around 2,100 members in March 2019, is one of the providers of humanistic life studies in Bavaria ; it has been running a privately owned primary school and over a dozen day-care centers since 2008. He maintains his own social work and the tower of the senses in Nuremberg.

    Especially in metropolitan areas there are smaller Buddhist , Alevi , Hindu and Baha'i congregations, Kingdom Halls of Jehovah's Witnesses and congregations of smaller Christian churches such as the Seventh-day Adventist Church . The almost extinct religious community of the Mandaeans has found refuge in Munich and founded a community. Due to the conflict with the German state about compulsory schooling, the Twelve Tribes in Nördlingen hit the headlines negatively. Since 1966 Bavaria has also had a large Assyrian-Aramaic community, most of which belongs to the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch . Most of these Syriacs come from the Tur Abdin limestone mountains in southeastern Turkey.

    Most populous cities

    30 most populous cities in the Free State of Bavaria ( large and medium-sized cities with more than 40,000 inhabitants)
    city Resident on
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Residents on
    Dec. 31, 2020
    in percent
    01. Munich 1.210.223 1,488,202 +23.0 Munich and the Alps at Föhn.jpg
    02. Nuremberg 0.488,400 0.515,543 +5.6th Nuremberg Castle in autumn 2013.jpg
    03. augsburg 0.254.982 0.295.830 +16.0 Augsburg - Markt.jpg
    04th regensburg 0.125,676 0.152.270 +21.2 DSC2452 Danube view Regensburg.tif
    05. Ingolstadt 0.115,722 0.136,952 +18.3 IngolstadtBruecke.JPG
    06th Fuerth 0.110,477 0.128,223 +16.1 Fuerth from the air.jpg
    07th Wurzburg 0.127.966 0.126,954 -0.8th Cathedral R1.jpg
    08th. gain 0.100,778 0.112,385 +11.5 Erlangen 08-2012.jpg
    09. Bamberg 0.069,036 0.076,674 +11.1 Bamberg from an airplane perspective .jpg
    10. Bayreuth 0.074,153 0.074,048 -0.1 Marketplace Bayreuth.JPG
    11th Landshut 0.058,746 0.073.065 +24.4th Landshut city view Isar 01.jpg
    12th Aschaffenburg 0.067,592 0.070,858 +4.8th Aschaffenburg city center June 2021.jpg
    13th Kempten (Allgäu) 0.061,389 0.068,940 +12.3 Basilica of St. Lorenz Kempten (Photo Hilarmont) .jpg
    14th Rosenheim 0.058,908 0.063,591 +7.9 Rosenheim Panorama.jpg
    15th New Ulm 0.050,188 0.058,841 +17.2
    16. Schweinfurt 0.054,325 0.053,319 -1.9 Schweinfurt and the Main at night.jpg
    17th Passau 0.050,536 0.052,415 +3.7th The Passau Cathedral seen from the "Fünferlsteg" .JPG
    18th Freising 40,890 0.048,872 +15.0 Freising marienplatz.jpg
    19th Dachau 0.038,398 0.047,680 +19.4th 06/06/2010.  Dachau - panoramio (2) .jpg
    20th Straubing 0.043.906 0.047,612 +7.4th Straubing, SR v N.jpg
    21. Hof (Saale) 0.050,741 0.045.173 -12th.3 Hof, HO - Theresienstein - Pavilion - City Center v N 02.jpg
    22nd Kaufbeuren 0.041,772 0.044,662 +6.4th Kaufbeurer old town.jpg
    23 Memmingen 0.040.993 0.044,360 +7.6th View over the east of Memmingen 1.jpg
    24 Willows in the Upper Palatinate 0.042,997 0.042,535 -1.1 Old Town Hall Weiden 002.jpg
    25th On the mountain 0.043,367 0.042,052 -3.1 Amberg old town.jpg
    26th Ansbach 0.040.163 0.041,681 +3.6th Ansbach, Martin-Luther-Platz-001.jpg
    27 Schwabach 0.037,947 0.041,056 +7.6th Schwabach old town May 2021 3.jpg
    28. Coburg 0.043,277 0.040,842 -6th.2 Panorama old town Coburg.jpg
    29 Germering 0.036,000 0.040,511 +11.1
    30th Neumarkt in the Upper Palatinate 0.040,977 0.040,243 -1.8th Neumarkt Upper Palatinate 11052008.jpg

    The largest city and the only one in Bavaria with a population of over a million is the state capital Munich with around 1.45 million inhabitants. It is the third largest city in Germany and the eleventh largest city in the European Union and is one of the world cities in the Beta + category . It is the largest city ​​in Germany that is not a city-state . In addition, with around 4670 inhabitants per square kilometer (December 2015), Munich is the most densely populated municipality in Germany and at 519  m above sea level. NN its highest city . With around 520,000 inhabitants, Nuremberg is the second largest city in the country, ranks 14th in Germany and 51st in the European Union and is one of the world's cities in the Gamma− category . Due to the importance of Nuremberg, Munich is not a prime city in Bavaria . Augsburg, with almost 300,000 inhabitants, is the third largest city nationwide and is in 23rd place nationwide. There are a total of eight large cities in Bavaria. The youngest major city in Bavaria (at least 100,000 inhabitants) is Fürth (since 1990), which was previously a major city from 1951 to 1956 and from 1972 to 1976. Nuremberg, together with Erlangen, Fürth and Schwabach, forms a distinct group of cities with around 800,000 inhabitants. Metropolitan regions in Bavaria represent the metropolitan region of Munich and the metropolitan region of Nuremberg . Furthermore, parts of the Rhine-Main area belong to.


    There are over 400 hospitals in Bavaria, five of which are university clinics . They have a total of around 73,000 beds and around 4,000 semi-inpatients. Around 60 percent of the hospitals are publicly owned. In Bavaria there are also over 3,200 pharmacies and around 60,000 doctors. The density of doctors is 208 inhabitants per doctor, which means that Bavaria has a top value among the regional states after Saarland . Nevertheless , warnings are given of the consequences of a shortage of doctors in Bavaria, especially in the countryside and among specialists. Most residents of Bavaria have health insurance with AOK Bayern .

    The average life expectancy in the period 2015/17 was 79.13 years for men and 83.63 years for women. The men are in second place among the German federal states, while women are in third place. Regionally, in 2013/15 Starnberg (expectation of the total population: 83.39 years), Munich (city) (83.02) and the district of Munich (82.97) had the highest, as did Amberg (79.04), Straubing (78, 80) and Hof (Saale) (78.75) have the lowest life expectancy.

    Language and dialect

    Upper German-speaking area after 1945: blue: Bavarian-Austrian dialects

    Official and common language is German . Numerous other languages ​​are spoken by those who come from other language regions or have the corresponding migration background .

    Dialects of the Upper German dialect family dominate in Bavaria. Central German dialects are also spoken in a spatially limited area.

    The dialects in Bavaria can be assigned to the following dialect groups (from north to south):

    Middle German dialects :

    Upper German dialects :

    Between these dialect dreams there are transition areas which should not be underestimated and which cannot be assigned to one of these areas without a break. There are Bavarian-Franconian (e.g. Nuremberg and the surrounding area), Bavarian-Swabian (including Lechrain ) and Swabian-Franconian (area around Dinkelsbühl and Hesselberg area ) transition areas, in some places even Bavarian-Swabian-Franconian mixed dialects (e.g. Treuchtlingen , Eichstätt ) .

    The dialects are very widespread among the locals, especially outside of the big cities, with the dialects becoming extinct in metropolitan areas such as Munich.

    The Bavarian dialects are lexicographically recorded by the Bavarian dictionary , the Swabian by the Swabian dictionary and the East Franconian by the Franconian dictionary , plus numerous dictionaries on local and regional dialects . In terms of area linguistics, the dialects of Bavaria are processed by the linguistic atlas of Bavarian-Swabia , the linguistic atlas of Middle Franconia , the linguistic atlas of Lower Bavaria , the linguistic atlas of northeast Bavaria , the linguistic atlas of Upper Bavaria and the linguistic atlas of Lower Franconia .

    Numerous other German and non-German dialects are spoken by those who come from other dialect or language regions.


    State building

    Bavarian State Chancellery , Munich (former Army Museum)

    The basis of politics in Bavaria is the constitution of the Free State of Bavaria , which was adopted by referendum on December 1, 1946 . The constitution came into force on December 8, 1946. Bavaria is therefore a free state ( republic ) and a people's state ( democracy ). Since January 1, 2000, following the abolition of the Senate, a unicameral parliamentary system has existed .

    Legislative power lies with the Bavarian State Parliament , whose members are elected every five years (until 1998: every four years). By the end of 1999 there was a second chamber with the Senate , with which representatives of social and economic interest groups were supposed to create a political counterweight to the state parliament. In a referendum on February 8, 1998, the abolition of this chamber was decided. Until then, Bavaria was the only German state with a second chamber. However, it had only limited influence because it was not allowed to introduce laws, but only had the right to participate.

    The state government is led by the Bavarian Prime Minister . He manages the business, determines the guidelines of politics, represents Bavaria externally and appoints the ministers and secretaries of state.

    Apart from the state parliament, laws and constitutional amendments can be passed in Bavaria by means of referendums and referendums . A referendum is imperative for every change to the Bavarian constitution .

    legislative branch

    38 22nd 11th 85 27 22nd 
    Allocation of seats in the 18th electoral term of the Bavarian State Parliament after the 2018 election

    The Bavarian State Parliament is the state parliament of the Free State of Bavaria. Its seat is the Maximilianeum in Munich. A legislative period lasts five years. Six parties are currently represented in the Bavarian State Parliament. After the election on October 14, 2018 , the distribution of seats and votes (a total of 205 seats) resulted in the following :

    Election to the Bavarian State Parliament on October 14, 2018
    Political party Share of votes
    in percent
    Seats Change compared to
    2013 in percent
    Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) 37.2 85 −10.5
    Alliance 90 / The Greens (Greens) 17.6 38 0+9.0
    Free voters (FW) 11.6 27 0+2.6
    Alternative for Germany (AfD) * 10.2 22nd +10.2
    Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) 09.7 22nd −10.9
    Free Democratic Party (FDP) 05.1 11th 0+1.8
    The left (left) 03.2 - 0+1.1
    Bavaria Party (BP) 01.7 - 0−0.4
    Ecological Democratic Party (ÖDP) 01.6 - 0−0.4
    Other 02.2 - 0−2.4

    * Not started in 2013


    Hans Ehard , first elected Minister-President of Bavaria after the Second World War

    The state government is the highest authority in the Free State of Bavaria. The Prime Minister elected by the State Parliament appoints and dismisses the State Ministers and State Secretaries with the consent of the State Parliament. He assigns the ministers of state a business area or a special task, which they manage independently according to the departmental principle and the policy guidelines ( guideline competence ) determined by the prime minister . The state secretaries are bound by instructions from their state ministers. The Bavarian State Chancellery supports the Prime Minister and the State Government in their constitutional tasks. The constitutional maximum of 18 members in the cabinet of the state government is usually fully used.

    The Bavarian Constitutional Court is housed in the New Justice Building in Munich.


    The highest Bavarian court is the Bavarian Constitutional Court . There are also various higher regional courts, including three higher regional courts in Munich , Nuremberg and Bamberg , the Bavarian Administrative Court, two regional labor courts ( Munich and Nuremberg ), the Bavarian regional social court and the rest of the judiciary . The Bavarian Supreme Regional Court as the highest Bavarian court of ordinary jurisdiction was dissolved with effect from July 1, 2006, and re-established on September 15, 2018, but with fewer powers.


    The Bavarian State Parliament building ( Maximilianeum ) in Munich

    In comparison to elections at the federal level, the Bavarian electoral law has several special features: direct candidates who have won the election in their constituency ( constituency ) can only enter the state parliament if their party has also reached the five percent threshold.

    In addition, the distribution of seats in the state parliament results from the sum of the first and second votes. In other federal states and in federal elections, the first vote decides on the election of the direct candidate in the constituency and the second vote alone determines the number of seats in parliament, which usually means that first votes are more often given to the large parties with promising direct candidates. If you vote a smaller party with both votes in a Bavarian state election, you do not give away your first vote, as both votes benefit this party, even if the relevant constituency candidate does not make it into the state parliament. In addition, there is the option of giving the second vote to a specific candidate from a party, so that the ranking of the applicants can change compared to the lists drawn up by the parties.

    Another peculiarity can be found in local electoral law. There is the possibility of accumulating ("heaping up", up to three votes can be cast for a candidate) and variegating (votes can be distributed to candidates from different lists).

    Direct democracy

    Development of the three-stage national legislative process in the state of Bavaria

    There are numerous direct democratic elements in Bavaria . In addition to referendums and referendums at the state level, direct democracy was introduced at the local level by a referendum on October 1, 1995 . The Bavarian Constitutional Court has been tightened regulations in 1997 (among other things by introducing a voting quorum), but the Bayern annually initiate around 100 referendums .

    District administrators and mayors

    In local elections, the three largest forces are mostly the CSU, SPD and Free Voters. Of the 71 district councilors , 50 are from the CSU, 6 from the SPD, 13 from the Free Voters and two from the Greens; five district administrators are female. Of the mayors of the 25 independent cities, eleven are from the CSU and eleven from the SPD, including Nuremberg ( Marcus König ) and Munich ( Dieter Reiter ). In addition, one CDU member, one non-party and one candidate from the Bayreuth community's electoral association were elected to office. The last Bavarian municipal election took place on March 15, 2020.

    Party landscape

    The party landscape in the Free State of Bavaria has characteristics that are not found in the rest of the Federal Republic of Germany: the CDU as a people 's party is not represented by its own regional association and does not take part in elections. Instead, it lets the CSU take precedence as a sister party . It is also unusual for a German state that the CSU has provided the Prime Minister without interruption since 1957; often in connection with an absolute majority in the state parliament.

    The SPD has in Bavaria with the slightest encouragement of all SPD state organizations. It was the largest opposition party with a fifth to a third of the votes in state elections up to the state elections in Bavaria in 2018 . In this election it only reached 10%, making it the fifth-strongest party after the CSU, the Greens (17.5%), the Free Voters and the AfD. In the past, however, the Bavarian Greens always entered parliament with just under ten percent of the vote. In the last state election they received six direct mandates for the first time. In contrast to other federal states and at the federal level, the free voters in Bavaria regularly move into the state parliament, while Die Linke , the Pirate Party and the FDP hardly play a political role and have rarely or never been elected to the state parliament. The AfD managed to move into the new Bavarian state parliament in 2018 when it ran for the first time.

    Several regional parties are active in Bavaria . The Bavarian party z. B. advocates the possibility of a referendum on Bavaria's exit from the German state association. While it moved into the state parliament and the Bundestag in the 1950s and 1960s and took part in the state government from 1962 to 1966, this party completely lost its importance after leaving the state parliament. In 2009, the Party for Franconia was founded in Bamberg , a small regional party that campaigns, among other things, for better economic equality for Franconia within the Free State. With the exception of the 2014 local elections, this party has so far not had any particular election successes.

    Partner and sponsorships

    On June 5, 1954, the Free State of Bavaria and the Bavarian State Government under Hans Ehard sponsored the Sudeten German ethnic group who moved to the Federal Republic after the Germans were expelled from Czechoslovakia .

    The Free State of Bavaria maintains contacts with the following partner regions:

    National debt

    National debt of Bavaria 2008–2019

    The national debt of Bavaria developed as on the federal level and in other states in the long term upward. Debts have been repaid annually since 2011. In 1992 the debt was still around 15 billion, in 2010 a high of 29 billion was reached. In 2016 it was 19 billion euros in debt, at the end of 2018 15 billion euros and at the end of 2019 13 billion euros. The state government wants to pay off all debts in the medium term by 2030.

    Internal security

    The Bavarian Police is the largest police association in the Federal Republic. In 2007, 666,807 criminal offenses were statistically recorded in Bavaria. 428,766 cases (64.3 percent) were cleared up, 305,711 suspects were identified. This represents the highest clear-up rate is in Germany. The Bavarian Police maintains with the Bavarian Police Helicopter Squadron also the largest police helicopter squadron of the National Police .


    Wilhelm Hoegner and Theodor Blank attending an officer training course in Sonthofen on May 15, 1956

    A Bavarian Army existed as a standing army from 1682 until its dissolution in 1919. The Bavarian Reichswehr had a certain degree of independence until 1924 . The Bundeswehr currently has around 60 locations in Bavaria with a total of 50,700 posts. As part of the realignment of the Bundeswehr , three locations in Bavaria are closing and the number of posts has fallen to 31,000. The largest barracks in Bavaria is the Hochstaufen barracks in Bad Reichenhall .

    There are Bundeswehr technical schools in Munich and Würzburg . The Bundeswehr's 10th Panzer Division, which emerged from the Southern Division, is based in Veitshöchheim . The Medical Academy of the Bundeswehr , the Troop Service Court South and the University of the Bundeswehr are located in Munich, and the Defense Science Institute for Materials and Operating Materials in Erding . The highest command authority in Bavaria is the State Command of Bavaria . There are over 150,000 reservists organized by associations in the Free State .

    There are several US military bases in Bavaria . The third largest military training area in Europe is the Grafenwöhr military training area .

    The mountain riflemen who were once responsible for national defense today usually only perform representative tasks, for example at the request of the state government they form an honorary formation during official visits by foreign heads of state in Bavaria .

    Bavaria in Europe

    Institute building of the Bavarian Representation to the EU (2010)

    With the connection to European politics and administration is State Minister for European Affairs and International Melanie Huml entrusted. The Bavarian State Chancellery has a representation at the European Union in Brussels .

    Bavaria has many relationships and partnerships with neighboring European countries, including those for coordinating Alpine and Danube politics. The Free State of Bavaria is represented by politicians in the Committee of the Regions . The European Parliament has twelve members from Bavaria: five from the CSU , three from the SPD , one each from Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen , Free Voters , ÖDP and Left Party .

    The Free State of Bavaria receives numerous grants from the EU, around 495 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and almost 300 million euros from the European Social Fund (ESF), each in the funding period 2014 to 2020.

    Bavaria in the federal government

    Bavarian representation in Berlin

    In the Bundesrat , Bavaria, Lower Saxony , Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia have the highest possible number of six votes. Bavaria is represented by Prime Minister Markus Söder as well as Hubert Aiwanger , Florian Herrmann , Joachim Herrmann , Thorsten Glauber and Georg Eisenreich . The work in the Federal Council is coordinated by the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria at the federal level . In the Bavarian cabinet, Florian Herrmann is responsible for federal affairs as Minister of State for federal affairs and the media.


    The economic importance of Bavaria for the foreign trade of the Federal Republic of Germany as well as the importance as an important center of industry, trade and logistics, as the seat of foreign companies and with a population in which numerous different nationalities are represented, has led to the fact that in the area of ​​the Free State of Bavaria 115 states are represented with their consulates (June 2015). These include 42 professional and 73 honorary consular representations. Most of the agencies are located in and around Munich. There are also foreign representations in Nuremberg, Fürth and Regensburg. The doyen of the Bavarian Corps Consulaire is the Italian Consul General Filippo Scammacca Del Murgo .


    The Maximilian Order
    The Bavarian flag at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich

    The highest honor bestowed by the Free State of Bavaria is the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art , founded in 1853 . The Bavarian Order of Merit , the Bavarian Constitutional Medal and numerous other orders, medals and decorations are awarded to recognize outstanding services . At the suggestion of juries, the Free State awards numerous awards such as the Bavarian Film Prize or the Bavarian Print Prize .

    Sovereign symbols

    The Bavarian state coat of arms consists of six heraldic components: the golden lion , originally associated with the Wittelsbach Palatinate on the Rhine, stands for the Upper Palatinate, the " Franconian rake " for the three Franconian districts, the blue panther for the old Bavaria and the three black lions for Swabia. The white and blue heart sign indicates the entire state of Bavaria, the people's crown denotes popular sovereignty after the royal crown was no longer available. The small national coat of arms shows the Bavarian diamonds and the people's crown. The Bavarian diamonds and the Franconian rake act as heraldic symbols.

    The Free State of Bavaria has two equivalent state flags , the white and blue roughened flag and the flag with horizontal stripes in white and blue. The diamond flag always has a cut, white diamond (also in the coat of arms) and at least 21 (cut) diamonds at the top left (heraldic right, upper corner) when viewed from the observer. The same white and blue diamonds can be found in many city and district coats of arms in the areas of the historic Electoral Palatinate , as the Wittelsbachers were also wealthy in the Palatinate. There is a flag dispute over the Franconian flag .

    The national anthem is the Bavarian song . The original text comprises three stanzas and was written by Michael Öchsner , the melody comes from Konrad Max Kunz . This historically correct text is still the official version today (first two stanzas), is taught in schools and played at official and state events. The Bayernlied (original version) has had hymn status for the Federal Republic of Germany since 1966.

    The Bavaria (the Latinized expression for Bavaria) is the female symbol of Bavaria and appears as a personified allegory for the state structure of Bavaria in various shapes and forms. She thus represents the secular counterpart to Maria as religious patrona Bavariae . The Bavarian lion is a symbol of the Free State of Bavaria, among other things on monuments and awards. The national colors are white-blue.

    Large national coat of arms Small national coat of arms Diamond flag Stripe flag State symbol "Free State of Bavaria" State symbol "Free State of Bavaria" - Franconia
    Large national coat of arms Small national coat of arms State flag (diamond flag) State flag (stripe flag) State symbol "Free State of Bavaria" Coat of arms of Franconia

    Administrative division

    Governments and counties

    Schweiz Österreich Baden-Württemberg Hessen Tschechien Sachsen Thüringen Unterfranken Oberfranken Oberpfalz Mittelfranken Schwaben (Bayern) Niederbayern Oberbayern
    The Bavarian administrative districts, congruent with the districts

    The state territory of the Free State of Bavaria is divided into administrative districts for general and internal administration, which are called administrative districts (according to the constitution, districts ). The administrative districts are run by the governments, each headed by a district president who is appointed by the interior minister. The governments are the intermediate authorities of general and internal administration and are subordinate to the State Ministry of the Interior. Below are the administrative districts sorted according to the official municipality key (AGS) and with the abbreviations of the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior.

    In Bavaria, the districts of the same name are geographically congruent with the government districts . Unlike the administrative districts, which determine the local jurisdiction of the governments, the districts are local authorities under public law. In Bavaria, the district is the third municipal level above the municipalities (first level) and rural districts (second level). They are self-governing bodies and therefore have democratically elected administrative bodies, the district assembly, which is directly elected every five years by the district electorate, and a district assembly president, who is elected from among the district assembly. Unlike the administrative districts, they can use coats of arms and flags such as a municipality or a district.

    Administrative district government capital city AGS Abbr. Area in km²
    January 1, 2019
    December 31, 2020
    per km²
    Upper Bavaria Government of Upper Bavaria Munich 091 IF 17,529.10 4,719,716 269
    Lower Bavaria Government of Lower Bavaria Landshut 092 NB 10,325.93 1,247,063 121
    Upper Palatinate Government of the Upper Palatinate regensburg 093 OPf. 09,690.12 1,112,267 115
    Upper Franconia Government of Upper Franconia Bayreuth 094 Offr. 07,231.12 1,062,085 147
    Middle Franconia Government of Middle Franconia Ansbach 095 Mfr. 07,243.69 1,775,704 245
    Lower Franconia Government of Lower Franconia Wurzburg 096 Ufr. 08,530.08 1,317,507 154
    Swabia Government of Swabia augsburg 097 Schw. 09,991.54 1,905,841 191
    Free State of Bavaria Bavarian State Government Munich 090 BY 70,541.57 13.140.1830 186

    Planning regions

    Bavaria has 18 planning regions. They are regional planning areas in which, according to the Bavarian State Development Program, balanced living and economic relationships are to be maintained or developed. For this purpose, a regional plan is drawn up for each region . The Donau-Iller region (15) is the first transnational planning region in Germany with an eastern part in Bavaria and a western part in Baden-Württemberg .

    The planning regions
    Lower Franconia
    Bavarian Lower Main (1)
    Würzburg planning region (2)
    Main-Rhön planning region (3)
    Middle Franconia
    Planning region Nuremberg (7)
    Planning region West Central Franconia (8)
    Upper Franconia
    Planning region Upper Franconia-West (4)
    Planning region Upper Franconia East (5)
    Upper Palatinate
    (Upper Franconia East; 5)
    Planning region Upper Palatinate North (6)
    Regensburg planning region (11)
    Lower Bavaria
    (Regensburg; 11)
    Danube Forest planning region (12)
    Landshut planning region (13)
    Planning region Augsburg (9)
    Danube-Iller Region (15)
    Allgäu planning region (16)
    Upper Bavaria
    Ingolstadt planning region (10)
    Planning region Munich (14)
    Oberland planning region (17)
    Planning region Southeast Upper Bavaria (18)

    Counties and urban districts

    Counties and independent cities in Bavaria

    The seven administrative districts are divided into 71  rural districts and 25  independent cities . The rural districts and urban districts are local authorities with the right to self-government . The districts have the district council and the district administrator as administrative bodies . The independent city acts through the city ​​council and the mayor . Both the district administrator or the mayor and the district council or the city council are elected by those entitled to vote for a period of six years ( southern German council constitution ).

    The districts also form districts, which determine the local jurisdiction of the sub-authorities of general and internal administration. In contrast to the level of the administrative districts, however, the state has not set up its own internal authorities here, but makes use of the district administration's organ lending to fulfill the tasks of state administration; the district administrator is in this respect the district administrative authority. In the case of the independent cities, on the other hand, there is full municipalization, since they are assigned the tasks of the lower state administrative authority to deal with them independently.

    The largest district in Bavaria is the district of Ansbach (Middle Franconia). The district of Munich (Upper Bavaria) is the most populous district in the Free State with around 330,000 inhabitants. Schwabach (Middle Franconia) is Bavaria's smallest independent city.

    The 71 districts of the Free State of Bavaria with license plates :

    1. Aichach-Friedberg (AIC, FDB)
    2. Altötting (AÖ, LF )
    3. Amberg-Sulzbach (AS, BUL , ESB , NAB , SUL)
    4. Ansbach ( AN , DKB, FEU, ROT)
    5. Aschaffenburg ( AB , ALZ)
    6. Augsburg ( A , SMÜ, WHO )
    7. Bad Kissingen (KG, BRK, HAB)
    8. Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen (TÖL, WOR )
    9. Bamberg ( BA )
    10. Bayreuth (BT, EBS , ESB , KEM , MÜB , PEG )
    11. Berchtesgadener Land (BGL, BGD, LF , REI)
    12. Cham (CHA, KÖZ, ROD , WÜM)
    13. Coburg (CO, NEC)
    14. Dachau (DAH)
    15. Deggendorf (DEG)
    16. Dillingen an der Donau (DLG, WER )
    17. Dingolfing-Landau (DGF, LAN)
    18. Donau-Ries (DON, Lower Austria)
    19. Ebersberg (EBE)
    20. Eichstätt (EI)
    21. Erding (ED)
    22. Erlangen-Höchstadt (ERH, HÖS)
    23. Forchheim (FO, EBS , PEG )
    24. Freising ( FS )
    25. Freyung-Grafenau (FRG, GRA, WOS)
    26. Fürstenfeldbruck (FFB)
    27. Fürth ( )
    28. Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GAP)
    29. Günzburg (GZ, KRU)
    30. Haßberge (HAS, EBN, GEO , HOH)
    31. Hof ( HO , MÜB , NAI, REH , SAN )
    32. Kelheim (KEH, MAI , PAR , RID, ROL )
    33. Kitzingen (KT)
    34. Kronach (KC, SAN )
    35. Kulmbach (KU, EBS , SAN )
    36. Landsberg am Lech (LL)
    37. Landshut ( LA , MAY , MAL , ROL , VIB )
    38. Lichtenfels (LIF, STE)
    39. Lindau (Lake Constance) (LI)
    40. Main-Spessart (MSP)
    41. Miesbach (MB)
    42. Miltenberg (MIL, OBB)
    43. Mühldorf am Inn (MÜ, VIB , WS )
    44. Munich ( M , AIB , WOR )
    45. Neuburg-Schrobenhausen (ND, SOB)
    46. Neumarkt in the Upper Palatinate (NM, PAR )
    47. Neustadt an der Aisch-Bad Windsheim (NEA, SEF, UFF)
    48. Neustadt an der Waldnaab (NEW, ESB , VOH)
    49. Neu-Ulm (NU, ILL)
    50. Nürnberger Land (LAU, ESB , HEB, N , PEG )
    51. Oberallgäu (OA)
    52. Ostallgäu (OAL, FÜS, MOD)
    53. Passau ( PA )
    54. Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm (PAF)
    55. Rain (REG, VIT)
    56. Regensburg ( R )
    57. Rhön-Grabfeld (NES, KÖN, MET)
    58. Rosenheim ( RO , AIB , WS )
    59. Roth (RH, HIP)
    60. Rottal-Inn (PAN, EG, GRI, VIB )
    61. Schwandorf (SAD, BUL , NAB , NEN, OVI, ROD )
    62. Schweinfurt ( SW , GEO )
    63. Starnberg (STA, WOR )
    64. Straubing-Bogen ( SR , BOG, MAL )
    65. Tirschenreuth (TIR, KEM )
    66. Traunstein (TS, LF )
    67. Unterallgäu (MN)
    68. Weilheim-Schongau (WM, SOG)
    69. Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen (WUG, GUN)
    70. Wunsiedel in the Fichtelgebirge (WUN, MAK, REH , SEL)
    71. Würzburg ( , OCH)

    The 25 independent cities in Bavaria with license plates :


    The Bavarian municipalities and districts. The unincorporated areas are marked in dark gray. Note: The few lakes shown (but not Lake Constance) are also unregulated areas

    The Free State of Bavaria consists of 2056 politically independent municipalities and 192 municipality-free areas , mostly lakes and forests (as of February 13, 2013). Of the 2031 municipalities belonging to the district, 985 are member municipalities in one of the 312  administrative communities (as of February 12, 2013).

    The municipalities are divided (as of February 12, 2013) into 25 independent cities and 29 large district towns . As of January 1, 2009 there were 262 other cities , 386 markets and 1,355 other municipalities. In addition, 13 locations have been appointed as efficient municipalities belonging to the district , which take on certain tasks of building supervision. While urban districts take on the same tasks as rural districts, large district towns only have a few tasks that go beyond those of a “normal” district municipality. Although the market law has no legal significance today, larger municipalities belonging to the district can still be officially declared a "market" by the Bavarian state government at their request. The term “ Marktgemeinde ” is not an official name for a municipality in Bavaria. It happens there, however, that the term “market” is an official part of the community name, for example Markt Berolzheim or Markt Einersheim .

    The largest and most populous municipality in Bavaria is Munich, the smallest municipality is Buckenhof in the district of Erlangen-Höchstadt , and the municipality with the lowest population is Chiemsee in the district of Rosenheim . Unterhaching is the most populous municipality in Bavaria without its own market or town rights.

    Administrative reforms

    Independent cities and districts before the territorial reform, 1970

    The only district reform in Bavaria took place on July 1, 1972. All other changes to the county boundaries are due to minor, non-fundamental reforms, most of which were municipal area reforms. Sometimes congregations were incorporated into existing congregations, and sometimes a new congregation was formed. From 1971 to 1980, the efficiency of the communities was greatly increased as a result of community mergers. The number of municipalities was reduced from around 7,000 to around 2050, the number of rural districts fell from 143 to 71, the number of independent cities fell from 48 to 25. At the same time, the administrative unit of the large district town was introduced.

    Economy and Transport

    The Business Tower Nuremberg is one of the tallest buildings in the Free State of Bavaria
    German headquarters of the largest rolling bearing group in the world SKF in Schweinfurt
    The Gun pre-refinery (formerly Petroplus , Esso) in Ingolstadt
    Continental Automotive, Regensburg

    Bavaria is considered to be a very economically strong and rich state; it has developed from an agricultural location to a technology location in the last few decades. The gross domestic product in 2014 was 522 billion euros; the gross domestic product per capita in 2014 was 39,691 euros, Bavaria's share in German economic output was 18.0 percent. The economically strongest region is the greater Munich area with the automotive industry ( BMW , Audi , MAN , Knorr-Bremse ), IT sector ( Siemens , Nokia Networks , Infineon , Microsoft , Nemetschek SE ), media and publishers ( ProSiebenSat.1 Media , Vodafone Kabel Germany , Hubert Burda Media ), arms industry ( Airbus , Krauss-Maffei ), tourism (museums, Oktoberfest , congresses, trade fairs). Other important business locations in southern Bavaria are Augsburg (Airbus, Fujitsu Technology Solutions , MAN, KUKA , UPM-Kymmene , Weltbild publishing group ), Ingolstadt (Audi, MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group ) and the Bavarian chemical triangle between Chiemsee , Inn and Salzach .

    The greater Nuremberg area with industrial companies (Siemens, Leistritz Group , Dehn , Schmitt + Sohn ), sporting goods manufacturers ( Adidas , Puma , uvex ), toy manufacturers ( Playmobil , Simba-Dickie-Group , Trix , Herpa , Bruder ), stationery manufacturers ( Faber-Castell , Lyra , Staedtler , Schwan-Stabilo ), the automotive industry ( Leoni , MAN , Schaeffler ), armaments companies ( Diehl , RUAG Ammotec ), service providers ( DATEV , Ergo Direkt , GfK , Nürnberger Versicherung ), printers and publishers ( Olympia-Verlag , Tessloff Verlag , Verlag Nürnberger Presse ) as well as tourism ( museums , Christmas market , congresses, trade fairs ) is another important business location.

    In addition, in northern Bavaria the area between Aschaffenburg and Würzburg / Schweinfurt can show very good economic data, such as an average unemployment rate of less than six percent and a flourishing economy. The same applies to Regensburg ( Continental Automotive , Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen , BMW, Siemens, Infineon , Osram Opto Semiconductors ), which has been growing in economic power for years. Another economic area is Upper Franconia . Nexans , Dennree , Scherdel and Netzsch are represented there .

    Some border regions are dependent on subsidies on the one hand due to competitive advantages in neighboring countries and a lack of infrastructure on the other . The Bavarian Forest in particular had little attractiveness as a location during the Cold War due to its remote location on the edge of the zone . The iron curtain on the CSFR fell there after 1990 , at the same time the zone border funding was lifted in reunified Germany, and at the same time the neighboring Czech Republic - EU member since 2004 - often offered better investment incentives.

    Bavaria was able to record economic growth of 4.0 percent in 2006. In 2006, this value roughly corresponded to the national average. After a temporary decline in growth in 2008 (+0.8 percent) and the fall into recession in 2009 (−2.4 percent) as a result of the global financial crisis , the Bavarian economy recovered and was able to achieve economic growth of 5.5 again in 2010 Record percent. In 2011 it reached 6.6 percent, in 2012 2.6 percent, 2013 2.7 percent and in 2014 growth rose to 3.5 percent.

    Family businesses are of great importance in Bavaria . In the ranking of the 1000 largest companies of this type, Bavaria ranks second with 193 companies in a comparison of the federal states (after North Rhine-Westphalia). The largest companies in significant entrepreneurial ownership are BMW , Schaeffler and Knauf .

    In comparison with the gross domestic product of the European Union, expressed in purchasing power standards, Bavaria achieved an index of 151 in 2014 (Upper Bavaria: 186; EU-28: 100; Germany: 131; Hamburg: 215). The unemployment rate was 2.9% (November 2021) ; thus Bavaria has the lowest unemployment rate in Germany. Schweinfurt has the highest unemployment rate in Bavaria .

    Bavaria - especially the Nuremberg area  - had to put up with plant closings and the relocation of jobs again and again. The decline of the office machine manufacturer Triumph-Adler began in the mid-1980s ; In 2003 Grundig AG dissolved. From 2005 to 2007 the AEG main plant was closed and relocated abroad. The formerly largest mail order Corporation Quelle GmbH was in June 2009 in insolvency and was disbanded in October of this year.

    Internationally important trade fairs are located in Munich and Nuremberg .

    Most important locations of employment subject to social insurance
    City (place of work) social insurance
    June 30, 2019
    Percentage change
    since June 30, 2015
    Commuter balance
    June 30, 2019
    1 2
    Munich , state capital 897.140 +12.55 +212.085 877
    Nuremberg 314,648 +8.6 +91,148 914
    augsburg 147,489 +7.03 +23,935 735
    regensburg 125,582 +10.89 +59.991 1,165
    Ingolstadt 107,531 +7.69 +44.507 1,163
    Wurzburg 92.172 +8.29 +39.171 1,040
    gain 91,977 +3.26 +43.447 1,183
    Bamberg 54,478 +4.25 +24,945 1,031
    Schweinfurt 53,899 +0.48 +33,190 1.612
    Fuerth 48,770 +8.2 −8,556 559
    1Jobs subject to social security contributions per 1000 people of working age from 15 to under 65 years of age; Figures as of December 31, 2019 based on the update of the population according to the Population Statistics Act based on the 2011 census.
    2 Own calculation
    Development of the unemployment rate
    year 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
    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 2.8


    One of the most famous tourist attractions in Bavaria is Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

    Due to its high contribution to the Bavarian economy, tourism is considered to be the “lead economy”. The gross turnover of the tourism industry in 2016 was almost 24 billion euros, with day trips accounting for the largest share at 63 percent. The accommodation industry plays a major role in Bavaria with 13,400 accommodation establishments with at least nine beds and 548,000 guest beds. This means that around one in four German accommodation providers is located in Bavaria. After Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania , Bavaria was the second most popular holiday destination within Germany in 2014 (measured in terms of trips of five days or more). In 2018 tourism in Bavaria achieved the eighth arrival and overnight stay record in a row with 39.1 million arrivals and 98.7 million overnight stays. Bavaria was the most popular travel destination for foreign guests in Germany in 2018.

    In addition to Munich, the regions around the Bavarian lakes and in the Alps, the culturally and historically important cities of Nuremberg (with the historic mile , Nazi party rally grounds and its museums ), Augsburg (with the Fuggerei , city wall, Renaissance buildings) and Regensburg (with the historic old town ) are particularly touristy as UNESCO World Heritage since 2007). With 38.0 million overnight stays, Upper Bavaria takes a top position among the administrative districts, the second strongest destination is Bavarian Swabia with 15.5 million. The official marketing company of the Bavarian tourism and leisure industry has been Bayern Tourismus Marketing GmbH (Munich) since the beginning of 2000. The claim is: "Bavaria - traditionally different". The four regional tourism associations are responsible for the tourist offers and the associated quality assurance: Tourismusverband Allgäu / Bavarian Swabia, Tourismusverband Franken , Tourismusverband Ostbayern and Tourismus Oberbayern München .


    The 380 kV Etzenricht-Hradec line crosses the state border between Germany and the Czech Republic. The mast in the foreground is in Bavaria, the one in the background in the Czech Republic.


    The primary energy consumption in the country is fairly constant and was 578.2 billion kWh in 2010, after 556.8 billion kWh in 2009 and 566.6 billion kWh in 2008. This can be attributed to increasing energy productivity, in other words an improved economic productivity in relation to the energy used. This has risen almost continuously since 1995, which is used as the base year. The years 2008 and 2009 fall behind the record in 2007.

    The largest energy consumers in 2010 were private households, which accounted for 29 percent of final energy consumption . The areas of industry and transport equally required 28 percent of the final energy and thus only slightly less than households. The area of ​​commerce, trade and services was somewhat lagging behind with a total of 15 percent of final energy consumption.

    Energy supplier

    In 2013 there were around 420 energy suppliers in Bavaria that are active in one or more areas: around 350 of these suppliers are involved in the electricity supply, around 100 operate in the field of heating and cooling, and around 140 deal with the natural gas sector .

    Electricity mix

    The nuclear energy constitutes 48.7 percent for the largest share of net electricity . Renewable energies follow in second place with 29.2 percent. Both proportions are therefore above average compared to the national average (18 and 21 percent). Conventional gases contribute 15.5 percent to net electricity generation - this share is almost the national average (14 percent). The generation of electricity from coal-fired power plants is relatively insignificant, its share is 4.1 percent (nationwide average of brown and hard coal a total of 42 percent). Mineral oils have an even lower share at 2.6 percent, which are used less frequently nationwide on average (heating oil, pumped storage and other here a total of 5 percent) (as of 2011 in each case).

    Nuclear energy

    There are nuclear power plants at two locations in Bavaria ( Isar and Gundremmingen ), and a research reactor ( FRM II ) is operated in Garching near Munich . A study by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) found in 2015 that the nuclear phase-out does not endanger the security of supply in Bavaria and Germany.

    Renewable energy

    Various roofs with photovoltaic systems in Oberstdorf
    Wind power plant of the Berching wind farm

    Renewable energies contributed 36.2% to gross electricity generation in 2014. The high share of renewable energies in net electricity generation is based primarily on the significant share of hydropower that has been used for decades : its share in electricity generation from renewable energies is 35.3 percent. The second most important regenerative energy supplier is now photovoltaics with 35.2 percent of the total share of renewable energies, which was greatly expanded as part of the energy transition. Electricity generation from biomass had a share of 25.4 percent. The use of wind energy is still rather insignificant - the contribution amounts to 5.6 percent of renewable electricity generation (as of 2014). In a comparison of the federal states “Renewable Energies”, Bavaria took second place after Brandenburg in 2012 . According to the Bavarian Energy Concept (2011), renewable energies should make up 20 percent of final energy consumption and 50 percent of electricity consumption by 2021 .

    According to this energy concept, the wind energy should cover approx. 6 to 10 percent of the electricity requirement by 2025, which corresponds approximately to the construction of 1000 to 1500 additional wind turbines . In contradiction to this goal, significantly more restrictive distance regulations in the form of the 10-H regulation were introduced in 2014 and a year later the wind energy expansion goal was reduced to 5 to 6 percent of the electricity requirement. As a result, the number of building permits fell from 336 in 2014 to 25 in 2015. With a total height of 200 m, only 0.05% of the land area is theoretically available for wind energy use; considering that only some locations have enough wind only 0.01%. By mid-2018, 1159 wind turbines with a total output of 2510 MW had been installed.


    The headquarters of the Kicker editorial team in Nuremberg with the kicker statue in front of the main entrance

    Bavaria is the seat of several important media companies, especially in the state capital Munich . There, or in the vicinity of Munich, there are public media such as Bayerischer Rundfunk and the program management of the ARD joint program Das Erste and the ZDF Landesstudios Bayern as well as private television and radio providers such as Antenne Bayern , ProSiebenSat.1 Media , Sport1 or Sky Germany . In addition, there are around 250 resident publishers and large newspapers such as the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) based in Munich . Nuremberg is one of the largest publishing locations in Germany; there, for example, the nationwide sports magazine Kicker by the Nürnberger Olympia Verlag and the Nürnberger Nachrichten , one of the largest German daily newspapers with a circulation of around 300,000 copies, are published.


    The Free State of Bavaria had set itself the goal of having a close-knit network of around 20,000 free BayernWLAN hotspots by the end of 2020. Today over 23,000 hotspots are already in operation. BayernWLAN recorded around 9.3 million users per month in 2019. This makes the Free State No. 1 among the territorial states in Germany. Since April 2018 there has also been a support program for WiFi in public transport buses. The Free State provides municipalities with four hotspots free of charge.


    Map of the airports and landing fields in Bavaria

    International transport

    In international road and rail traffic, the connections from Germany to Austria and beyond to Italy and south-east Europe are of paramount importance. Examples are the connections from Nuremberg via Regensburg and Passau to Linz, the connections from Würzburg or Nuremberg and Munich via Rosenheim to Salzburg or Innsbruck and the connection from Munich via Lindau to Bregenz and Zurich. On the other hand, the traffic connections to the neighboring Czech Republic are by no means of comparable relevance, only the Federal Motorway 6 was realized after the political change in the Czech Republic. In particular, the rail connections to the Czech Republic are still not very efficient. Electrification has not yet been implemented on any connection leading to the Czech Republic. Before the Second World War was in the Czechoslovakian town of Cheb (Eger) , a railway junction , which was used by corridor connections in German domestic traffic. From its inception until the end of the Second World War, it was subordinate to the Bavarian and German railway administrations. During the Cold War, the connection from Nuremberg via Cheb to Prague was of comparatively important importance. Today there are only transfer connections from Nuremberg with regional trains via Cheb and Furth im Wald , while from Munich there is a direct connection with the Alex via Regensburg (change of direction), Schwandorf (again change of direction) and Furth im Wald to Prague. For the future, electrification of the connection is planned as part of the Danube-Vltava Railway project. For long-distance traffic from Nuremberg to Prague, Deutsche Bahn offers long-distance buses .


    The A 3 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 and 70 motorways as well as the A 71 , which was completed in autumn 2005, and the A 73 , which was completed in August 2008, connect Bavaria with Thuringia. There is a connection to the federal state of Hesse via the A 3, the A 7 and a small section of the A 45 . The A 72 provides a connection to the Free State of Saxony . The A 95 leads in a star shape from Munich to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the A 96 via Memmingen to Lindau, the A 93 via Regensburg to Hof, the A 92 via Landshut to Deggendorf and the A 94 in sections to Passau. From the A 95, the A 952 branches off as a connection to Lake Starnberg . To the south, a piece of the A 93 connects the A 8 with the Brenner motorway . Planned since the 1970s, the A 94 from Munich via Altötting to Passau has only been completed in sections due to disputes about the route . In addition, a large number of federal highways run through Bavaria. The Munich ring is formed by the A 99 highways with the Eschenrieder Spange (also called A 99a) and the A 995 . These are supplemented by state , district and municipal roads .

    Bavaria is thus well developed in terms of road traffic. Nevertheless, with 344 projects on federal motorways and federal highways, 18.5 percent of the registrations for the Federal Transport Infrastructure Plan 2030 come from Bavaria.

    The Federal Ministry of Transport, which has been led by the CSU since 2009, has allocated more investments from federal funds to Bavaria in the period from 2009 to 2018. In terms of infrastructure and population, this was a disproportionately large amount of money, especially for highways. From 2014 to 2019, for example, 243 bridges of around 4700 were renovated in Bavaria, 100 of almost 4400 in North Rhine-Westphalia. 2 billion euros were invested in the highways in Bavaria, and 1.4 billion euros in the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Bavaria also received the highest funding allocation over the entire period and had the largest increase in funding. In Bavaria (or, by comparison, in North Rhine-Westphalia), new kilometers of road were built between 2011 and 2018: motorways 13 km (24 km); Federal roads 120 km (0 km).

    In the south, Bavaria is also often used as an abbreviation in inner-Austrian traffic, as the route through the Alps is far longer than from Innsbruck via the A 8 or from Lofer via the B 21 or B 305 to Salzburg (" Großes "). or " Kleines Deutsches Eck ").

    Rail, air and ship transport

    Munich Airport with Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and Munich Airport Center
    Nuremberg port with trimodal freight center (2011)

    Bavaria has a dense rail network with numerous train stations . The Munich and Nuremberg main stations are two of the largest in Germany and represent important junctions in trans-European traffic . The cities of Munich and Nuremberg have underground and suburban trains with a wide catchment area.

    Munich Airport “Franz Josef Strauss” is one of the largest European hubs for air traffic . In addition to the international airport Nuremberg "Albrecht Dürer" , there is also the airport Memmingen and numerous airfields . In 2018 there were four rapid fuel dumps over Bavaria. A total of 107 tons of kerosene were drained.

    Most inland navigation takes place on the Danube , the Main and the Main-Danube Canal . There are numerous freight ports for this . With an annual throughput of around 15 million tons, the trimodal freight transport center at the port of Nuremberg is the largest and most important multifunctional freight transport and logistics center in southern Germany.


    Theater, drama and opera

    Bavaria has several state theaters. The Bavarian State Opera in the National Theater in Munich is considered the most nationally and internationally renowned theater in Bavaria. Munich Further play the Bavarian State Theater , the Residenz Theater in Munich , the Bavarian State Ballet and the State Theater on Gärtnerplatz . There are also the State Theater in Nuremberg and the State Theater in Augsburg , which emerged from the respective municipal theaters.

    Theater courtyard

    Sixteen theaters are run by Bavarian municipalities. Multi-branch houses are the theaters in Regensburg , Würzburg , Hof and Coburg . The ETA-Hoffmann-Theater in Bamberg, the Theater Erlangen , the Stadttheater Fürth and the Stadttheater Ingolstadt as well as in the Bavarian capital the Münchner Kammerspiele and the Münchner Volkstheater offer predominantly or exclusively spoken theater . The four state theaters are located in Memmingen , Landshut / Passau / Straubing , Coburg and Dinkelsbühl .

    Augsburger doll crate

    Theaters for children and adolescents offer, in addition to the children and adolescents' sections of the municipal sponsored houses, the Schauburg in Munich or the Theater Pfütze and the Theater Mummpitz in Nuremberg. The Augsburger Puppenkiste achieved international fame through its television productions, but the puppet theater also offers a program for adults.

    There are also a large number of free and private theaters as well as folk and peasant theater groups.

    The Bayreuth Festival , founded by Richard Wagner , is an internationally important festival. The Bavarian Theater Days take place every year in changing cities .


    Bavaria is traditionally regarded as the home of folk music , yodellers and Schuhplattler . Well-known composers such as Max Reger , Carl Orff , Wilfried Hiller , Richard Strauss and Christoph Willibald Gluck come from Bavaria . The Regensburger Domspatzen , the Augsburger Domsingknaben , the Tölzer Knabenchor and the Windsbacher Knabenchor as well as the Munich Bach Choir are world-famous choirs. The best-known classical orchestras in Bavaria include the Munich Philharmonic , the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra , the Bamberg Symphony , the Bavarian State Orchestra at the National Theater, the Augsburg Philharmonic at the Augsburg State Theater , the Munich Bach Orchestra , the Bavarian Chamber Philharmonic in Augsburg, the Munich Symphony Orchestra , the Munich Chamber Orchestra , the Georgian Chamber Orchestra in Ingolstadt, the Nuremberg Philharmonic Orchestra at the Nuremberg State Theater , the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and the Hof Symphony Orchestra , which are the only orchestras that also train music students.

    Hofer Symphoniker Logo.jpg

    Outstanding among the music festivals are the Bayreuth Festival and the Munich Opera Festival . Another highlight in the music scene are the Thurn-und-Taxis Castle Festival , which has been held in Regensburg for several years under the protectorate of Gloria von Thurn und Taxis . The number of visitors has increased steadily over the past few years. Also noteworthy are the Munich Kaiserball and the Nuremberg Opera Ball.

    Local bands and solo artists have also enjoyed greater popularity in recent years. The LaBrassBanda group has been celebrating great successes not only in Bavaria since 2008, but also at the federal level and in neighboring German-speaking countries.


    Former exterior sets on the Bavaria Film site

    Bayern, together with the city of Munich , the Bavarian Radio and the umbrella organization of the film industry partner of the International Munich Film Weeks GmbH , both the annual Munich Film Festival also as International Festival of Film Schools Munich organize.

    The Nuremberg International Human Rights Film Festival and the German Human Rights Film Award take place in Nuremberg in an annually changing cycle . In addition to the Turkey / Germany film festival, the city is also home to the Fantasy Film Festival .

    Film Prize of the City of Hof 2012

    The Hof Film Festival takes place in Hof (Saale) every year . Its founder, Heinz Badewitz, died in 2016, but the festival still exists. The main focus of the Film Days is German, but also international world premieres.


    Due to the coexistence of the two Bavarian tribes Old Bavaria and Franconia, plus cultural parts of Swabia, Bavarian cuisine is very diverse:


    Oktoberfest 2007

    Folk festivals and church fairs are widespread in Bavaria. Initially, this was used to commemorate the consecration of the church . In many places there are many church fair traditions, such as putting up a church fair tree. In larger cities, a folk festival is usually celebrated instead of a parish fair. The largest folk festival in the world is the Munich Oktoberfest (Wiesn) with 6.3 million visitors in 2014. Other major folk festivals in Bavaria are the Gäubodenvolksfest in Straubing , the Erlanger Bergkirchweih , the Karpfhamer Fest , the Nuremberg Volksfest , the Augsburger Plärrer , the Würzburger Kiliani-Volksfest , the Regensburg Dult , the Fürth Michaeliskirchweih and the Hofer Schlappentag .

    Bavaria does not officially have a state festival , but Franconian Day , which has been celebrated in Franconia since 2006, has the character of a state festival. The Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt is a Christmas market on the main market and, with over two million visitors annually, is one of the largest Christmas markets in Germany and the most famous in the world.

    The figurehead among the traditional village church festivals is the Limmersdorfer Lindenkirchweih in Thurnau in Upper Franconia ( district of Kulmbach ), the focus of which is the dance in the linden crown. It has been held continuously as a Franconian Plankirchweih since at least 1729 . In 2014 it was therefore included in the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage as a symbol of village Franconian festival culture as one of 27 customs in Germany .

    Card game tradition

    See: Schafkopf , Watten


    See: Bavarian costume , Franconian costume

    Industrial culture

    Rail, made in the Maxhütte

    With the Maxhütte (Sulzbach-Rosenberg) Bavaria has one of the most important industrial monuments in Europe. The facility, which is unique in terms of technology and architecture, will be partially dismantled despite the existing monument protection. Attempts are currently being made to save the industrial monument from permanent demolition.


    Bavaria can look back on over 1000 years of cultural and intellectual history. According to Article 3 of the Constitution of the Free State of Bavaria , Bavaria is a cultural state. In its 2003 budget, the Free State of Bavaria supports art and culture with more than 500 million euros annually, in addition to which there are considerable contributions from Bavarian municipalities and private sponsors.

    The first stone buildings in Bavaria were built in Roman times. For example, a Roman thermal bath was excavated in Weißenburg . There are few testimonies from the early Middle Ages. One example, however, is the crypt of Bamberg Cathedral from the time of Emperor Heinrich II. Augsburg, Nuremberg, Würzburg and Regensburg became wealthy trading cities in the High Middle Ages. In Regensburg and Nuremberg, as in Italy, mighty family towers were built . The Regensburg Cathedral is a major work of Gothic architecture in southern Germany. Since the Stone Bridge was the only bridge between Ulm and Vienna on the Danube for a long time, it brought trade here. In addition to the large cities, the historic city centers also include Rothenburg ob der Tauber , Dinkelsbühl , Straubing and Nördlingen . The city of Landshut is known for the Martinskirche, the largest brick tower in the world and for the city residence with its Renaissance paintings. In Augsburg, the Fuggers built the Fuggerei , the oldest social housing estate in the world. The city ​​hall is considered the showpiece of this time. Sights in Munich include the Siegestor and the antique collections . Nuremberg are among the historical sights of the old , the Nazi Party Rally Grounds from the era of National Socialism and the Memorial Nuremberg Trials of the most important usual tourist haunts. Under King Ludwig II. Came Neuschwanstein , Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee .

    UNESCO world heritage

    The Würzburg Residenz , a palace from the South German Baroque, including the courtyard garden and the adjacent Residenzplatz, has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site within Bavaria since 1981 . The remarkably splendidly furnished Wieskirche near Steingaden was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983. In 1993 the old town of Bamberg was declared a World Heritage Site. The Upper Germanic-Raetian Limes , with a total length of 550 kilometers, the longest soil monument in Europe , has been a World Heritage Site since 2005 . Several buildings belonging to the Limes, such as the thermal baths in Weißenburg, are part of the world heritage . In 2006 the old town of Regensburg with the old town hall , cathedral and stone bridge was added, in 2011 the prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps with several prehistoric settlements, in 2012 the margravial opera house in Bayreuth followed . The last Bavarian addition to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2019 was the Augsburg water management system .

    The Bamberg Apocalypse , a manuscript of the Reichenau Monastery , and the Lorsch Pharmacopoeia since 2013 have been part of the UNESCO World Document Heritage since 2003 . Both writings are kept in the Bamberg State Library. In the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich are the pericopes of Heinrich II recorded in 2003 , the Hohenems-Munich Manuscript A recorded in 2009 , the Gospels from Bamberg Cathedral recorded in 2003, Otto III 's Gospels recorded in 2003 . and the Bibliotheca Corviniana, which was added in 2005 . A Golden Bull (taken in 2013) is stored in the Bavarian Main State Archives , another in the Nuremberg State Archives .


    The writing "Property of the German Nation" above the main entrance of the Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg

    With around 1,350 museums, Bavaria is the most museum-rich federal state in Germany and one of the most museum-rich regions on the continent. The diverse museum landscape includes collections, castles, gardens and private collections. The Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg and the Bavarian National Museum in Munich are among the largest and most famous . The largest science and technology museum in the world is the German Museum in Munich. The Franconian Open Air Museum in Bad Windsheim , which has existed since 1976, and the Franconian Open Air Museum in Fladungen, which has existed since 1990, are among the largest and most important of their kind . The Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen looks after a substantial part of the paintings and art holdings of the Free State of Bavaria .

    Libraries and Archives

    The Bavarian State Library in Munich is the largest library in the Free State . It is the central state library in Bavaria and one of the most important European research and universal libraries with an international reputation. With 10.22 million media units, it is the third largest library in Germany and has one of the largest collections in German-speaking countries. The largest university library is the Munich University Library of the Ludwig Maximilians University . The oldest public library is the Nuremberg City Library , while the largest is the Munich City Library . The second largest library in Bavaria is the library of the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg . In order to guarantee the supply of scientific literature in all regions, there are ten state regional libraries , the largest of which is the Bamberg State Library .

    The Bavarian Main State Archive in Munich is the largest Bavarian state archive and, due to Bavaria's long state existence, it is also one of the most important archives in Europe. There are also numerous other state archives.

    Animal and game parks

    The historic elephant house in Munich's Hellabrunn Zoo


    Garden shows

    In Bavaria, the twice found Bundesgartenschau place: The National Garden Show in 1983 , with the International Horticultural Exhibition coincided, and the 2005 National Garden Festival , both held in Munich each.

    Bavaria was one of the first federal states to design its own state horticultural show , which took place for the first time in 1980 together with the state of Baden-Württemberg in Neu-Ulm / Ulm .


    Since 2006, 2 euro commemorative coins have been issued annually with a motif of the country that provides the President of the Federal Council . In 2012 this was Bavaria, so around 30 million 2-euro coins with the Neuschwanstein Castle as a motif were minted with the issue date of February 3, 2012 , which are in circulation as an official means of payment and are popular for coin collecting .

    public holidays

    Peace plaque at the Augsburg town hall during the Augsburg High Peace Festival

    In addition to the nationwide public holidays New Year (January 1), Good Friday , Easter Sunday and Easter Monday , Labor Day (May 1), Ascension Day , Pentecost Sunday and Whit Monday , Day of German Unity (October 3) as well as the 1st and 2nd On Christmas Day (December 25/26) there are other public holidays in the Free State of Bavaria in accordance with the law on the protection of Sundays and public holidays. The Holy Three Kings (January 6th), Corpus Christi and All Saints' Day (November 1st) are valid throughout Bavaria as a public holiday . On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, Reformation Day on October 31, 2017 was a one-time public holiday. Assumption of Mary (August 15) is only a public holiday in parishes with a predominantly Catholic population. The Augsburg Peace Festival (August 8th) is only a public holiday in the city of Augsburg . Likewise, Schlappentag is only a public holiday in the city of Hof . The day of penance and prayer was a public holiday until 1994. Since then, the day has been a working day, but students have no lessons.

    With twelve national holidays, Bavaria is the state with the most public holidays, including the Assumption of Mary there are 13 public holidays in Catholic areas and 14 in Augsburg.

    In addition to the public holidays, there are silent days on which special restrictions must be observed. Public entertainment events that do not correspond to the serious nature of these days are prohibited, for example dancing is prohibited on Good Friday . The quiet days in Bavaria are Ash Wednesday , Maundy Thursday , Good Friday , Holy Saturday , All Saints ' Day , National Mourning Day , Sunday in the dead , Repentance and Prayer Day and Christmas Eve (December 24th).



    The Melanchthon Gymnasium, founded in Nuremberg in 1526, is considered the oldest gymnasium in German-speaking countries.

    There are around 5500 schools in the Free State of Bavaria that work in accordance with the Bavarian Law on Education . The four-year elementary school is followed by the three-tier school system with middle school , secondary school and grammar school with Abitur after 12th grade . From the 7th grade there is the possibility of attending the business school and from the 10th grade the vocational secondary school ( technical college and vocational secondary school ) with the achievement of the Bavarian high school diploma after the 13th grade .

    Pupils with a diploma from the Realschule, the Business School or the M-Zug at Mittelschulen can transfer to so-called introductory classes at selected grammar schools and, if they pass it successfully, transfer to the 11th grade of the grammar school. Under certain conditions, it is possible to transfer to the 11th grade without attending the introductory class or to transfer to the regular 10th grade of the grammar school. There are also special needs schools and schools for the sick . The school system is generally permeable, and every pupil has the option of attaining the next higher school qualification with every qualification they achieve.

    There are five comprehensive schools in Bavaria as schools of a special kind . There are also numerous boarding schools , private schools and second-level educational institutions in Bavaria . A special feature of the Bavarian education system are preparatory schools for children with special educational needs, which are not available in this form in any other federal state. Other special features of the Bavarian school system are grade tests , absentee booklet guides and the Bavarian elite network for top academic training.

    In the PISA studies carried out by the OECD , Bavarian students regularly achieve top positions.

    In an overall German educational comparison, Bavaria (as of 2019) ranks second behind Saxony .

    Erlangen Castle : The castle, which was completed as a margravial residence in 1702, was transferred to the University of Erlangen in 1817.

    Universities and colleges

    In Bavaria there are nine state universities as well as the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich . Until 1962 there were only four universities in Munich ( LMU , TU ), Würzburg and Erlangen (from 1966 Erlangen-Nuremberg ). Between 1962 and 1975 five more were founded by the Free State in Regensburg , Augsburg , Bamberg , Bayreuth and Passau . In 1973 the newly founded Bundeswehr University was added. The Technical University of Nuremberg, the tenth state university, has been under construction since 2018 .

    There are also 18 state universities of applied sciences in Bavaria, such as those in Aschaffenburg , Hof , Landshut , Kempten and Nuremberg, which were founded between 1971 and 1996. In addition, there is a church university, the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, founded in 1980 , as well as four other private or church universities and 10 art colleges .


    Ball sports

    The Allianz Arena , home stadium of FC Bayern Munich
    The Max-Morlock-Stadion is the home stadium of 1. FC Nürnberg

    Football is one of the most popular sports . The Bavarian Football Association has around 1.5 million members, making it the association with the largest number of members in the German Football Association . FC Bayern Munich is internationally known , it is the record champions of the Bundesliga , to which he has been a member since 1965, and has also won multiple international soccer competitions such as the UEFA Champions League . FC Augsburg has also played in the top German division since 2011 . Four Bavarian clubs are currently playing in the second highest division, the 2nd Bundesliga : the nine-time German champions and long-time record champions 1. FC Nürnberg , three-time German champions SpVgg Greuther Fürth , SSV Jahn Regensburg and the Würzburger Kickers . In the 2020/21 season, FC Ingolstadt 04 , SpVgg Unterhaching , the long-standing first division club TSV 1860 Munich , Türkgücü Munich and the second representative of FC Bayern Munich will also play in the 3rd soccer league . 1. FC Nürnberg came second in terms of the number of championship trophies won.

    For women, the team from FC Bayern Munich , German champions in 1976, 2015 and 2016, is also represented in the Bundesliga.

    In volleyball , the multiple German champions of women Roten Raben Vilsbiburg and NawaRo Straubing as well as the men from WWK Volleys Herrsching and TSV Unterhaching are active in the 1st Bundesliga .

    The basketball teams from Brose Bamberg , medi Bayreuth , Bayern Munich and s.Oliver Würzburg play in the top German division. Brose Bamberg became German champions in 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015 and cup winners in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In women's basketball, the TSV Wasserburg team, which played in the 1st Bundesliga, won the German championship title from 2004 to 2007 and was also the German cup winner from 2005 to 2007.

    Currently (2020/21 season) HC Erlangen and HSC 2000 Coburg (both Bundesliga ) are the top-class men's handball clubs in the Free State of Bavaria. The handball department of TV Großwallstadt from the Miltenberg district played for many years in the 1st  handball Bundesliga and now plays in the 2nd Bundesliga , in which the DJK Rimpar is also represented. Known, even if no longer first class, are the Munich clubs TSV Milbertshofen and MTSV Schwabing .

    1. FC Nürnberg is the most successful Bavarian team in women's handball . In the more recent past they became German champions in 2005, 2007 and 2008 and advanced to the main round of the EHF Champions League in 2007/2008 .

    A large tennis tournament sponsored by BMW takes place in Munich every year : the BMW Open . They are seen as the gateway to later careers. Well-known tennis players from all over the world travel there to collect important ATP points. Female tennis players take part in the WTA competitions. A major WTA tournament, the Nuremberg Insurance Cup, has been held annually in Nuremberg since 2013. Well-known representatives of Bavarian tennis are Philipp Kohlschreiber from Augsburg and David Prinosil from Amberg . Bavaria is at the top with 163 golf courses in Germany; Upper Bavaria , together with the metropolitan region of Hamburg, has the greatest density of golf courses . There are 110,000 active golfers registered.

    In baseball have spawned more and more teams in recent years, successfully playing in the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga Baseball. These include the German champions of the 2008, 2010 and 2011 season from Regensburg , the Regensburg Legionnaires . Other successful Bavarian teams include the Gauting Indians , the Ingolstadt Schanzer and the Haar Disciples . At the regional association level, the Augsburg Gators, the Erlangen White Sox, the Fürth Pirates , the Deggendorf Dragons and the Garching Atomics belong to the Bavarian clubs. With around 60 registered clubs, the BBSV, the Bavarian baseball and softball association , is one of the largest in Germany.

    In American football , too , Bavaria is represented by some teams in the top divisions. In the Bundesliga, called GFL ( German Football League ), the Munich Cowboys , the Ingolstadt Dukes and the Allgäu Comets from Kempten play. In the second highest division, GFL2 , three Bavarian teams are represented, the Kirchdorf Wildcats , the Straubing Spiders and the Fursty Razorbacks . In women's football, the Munich Cowboys Ladies and the Munich Rangers Ladies are represented in the Bundesliga, as well as the Allgäu Comets Ladies, the Nürnberg Rams Ladies and the Regensburg Phoenix Ladies in the second division.

    Netball is mainly played in Franconia, but also in the Allgäu. Schweinfurt has been the center of basketball since 1937. More than 80 clubs take part in matches in the region.

    Winter sports

    Schattenbergschanze in Oberstdorf at the opening jump of the Four Hills Tournament on December 30th, 2006

    Winter sports have traditionally been of great importance, especially in the Alpine region. Favorable conditions for ski racing can be found in the Bavarian Alps. The outstanding representatives of this sport are Mirl Buchner , Heidi Biebl , Rosi Mittermaier , Marina Kiehl , Christa Kinshofer , Martina Ertl-Renz , Hilde Gerg , Maria Höfl-Riesch , Franz Pfnür and Markus Wasmeier . Numerous winners of international competitions emerged from the Biathlon National Competence Center in Ruhpolding , the best-known among them are Fritz Fischer , Michael Greis , Uschi Disl , Martina Glagow and Magdalena Neuner . Tobias Angerer and Evi Sachsenbacher-Stehle achieved significant results in cross-country skiing .

    In Bavaria there are five ice hockey clubs in the German Ice Hockey League ; the Augsburger Panther , the ERC Ingolstadt , the EHC Red Bull Munich , the Nürnberg Ice Tigers and the Straubing Tigers . The teams from EHC Bayreuth , EV Landshut , ESV Kaufbeuren and Tölzer Löwen play in the DEL2 . In the Oberliga Süd all 12 teams are from Bavaria, although the southern group theoretically also includes Baden-Württemberg and southern Saxony. Other clubs that are particularly well-known for their youth work are the Starbulls Rosenheim and EV Füssen .

    Above all in the area of Oberstdorf in Oberallgäu and in Garmisch-Partenkirchen , numerous sporting events take place, such as the first two competitions of the Four Hills Tournament . The 1936 Winter Olympics took place in Garmisch . Numerous world and European championships, for example in the area of luge , figure skating , curling and ski flying , took place there

    See also: Ice hockey in Bavaria

    Other sports

    Not least because of the documentary Am Limit , the sport climbers Thomas and Alexander Huber became known to a larger audience. Bavaria was also among the world's best summiteers in the past, including Johann Grill , Josef Enzensperger , Otto Herzog , Anderl Heckmair and Toni Schmid .

    In Bavaria, some traditional sports such as finger wrestling and ice stock sport , which are practiced in organized leagues, have been preserved. The Sautrogrennen is also one of the traditional Bavarian sports. This sport is particularly popular in southern Bavaria on the Danube , Iller , Isar and Lech rivers . In Franconia, this sport is honored on the occasion of folk festivals in the mostly still existing local village or extinguishing water ponds . Serious regional and national championships are contested to the greatest amusement of the spectators , since 2010 even real world championships in Schwarzenbach an der Saale .

    The Nuremberg Norisring

    In the field of motorsport, there are the annual touring car races for the DTM at the Norisring in Nuremberg-Dutzendteich. There are speedway races in Landshut, Pocking, Abensberg and Olching, as well as sand track races in Mühldorf am Inn, Pfarrkirchen, Vilshofen, Dingolfing and Plattling. There are international ice speedway races in Inzell . Target shooting is practiced throughout the country in the rifle, pistol, bow, clay target, running target and crossbow disciplines. With the Bayerischer Sportschützenbund (BSSB), the sport shooters represent the fourth largest sports association in the state. Many Bavarian participants in the Olympic Games have already achieved success.

    In dance sport , the Latin and the standard formation of the RGC Nuremberg dance in the second Bundesliga. There are many successful dancers in the field of individual dance. Many gymnastics clubs have a long tradition in Bavaria. The state performance center was in Nuremberg , but was merged with the federal performance center in Frankfurt am Main . The centers are Augsburg, Würzburg, Schweinfurt, Nuremberg, Landshut, Passau and Rosenheim. Bavarian gymnasts often took top positions worldwide in the 1920s.

    Since 2000 there has been a "Bavarian Children's Gymnastics Olympiad" for children. The venue was five times in Neumarkt in the Upper Palatinate , in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016. In 2012, the 31st Youth Gymnastics Festival also took place in Neumarkt as part of the Children's Gymnastics Olympiad. The next Children's Gymnastics Olympiad will be held in 2020.

    Statistics and Studies

    Crime rate

    In a Germany-wide comparison, Bavaria has a very low crime rate. In 2017 there were 4868 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the police crime statistics. That was the lowest value among all federal states.

    Personal bankruptcies

    In 2017, Bavaria had the lowest rate of personal bankruptcies of all federal states. Calculated for every 100,000 citizens, only 86 were insolvent. The nationwide average is 123 private bankruptcies per 100,000 inhabitants. In Bremen it was the most with 212.

    See also

    Portal: Bavaria  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Bavaria


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    Individual evidence

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    Coordinates: 48 ° 57 '  N , 11 ° 24'  E