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Bavaria, federal state in the southeast of the Federal Republic of Germany, borders in the north on the federal states of Thüringen and Sachsen, in the north-east to the Czech republic, in the southeast and south in Austria as well as in the west to the federal states of Baden-Wurtemberg and Hessen. Is the capital and at the same time the biggest city of the free state. Other big cities are Nürnberg, Augsburg and Regensburg.

Bavaria is the biggest federal state of Germany with 70 553 square kilometers. In the south it has interest in the Northern lime Alps. Near Garmisch-Partenkirchen the highest mountain of Germany, Zugspitze lies with 2 962 meters of height.

To the north of the lime Alps follow the foothills of the Alps which was stamped in the Pleistocene by Alpine glaciers and their(her) Schmelzwässern. Between moraine hills lie numerous moorlands and seas(lakes), how the Starnberger sea(lake), Ammersee and Lake Chiemsee. In the northern approach of the moraine trains became from the Schmelzwässern of the glaciers in the run of the ice age partly big even surfaces, how the level(plain) of Munich, aufgeschottert.

The grit surfaces joins to the Danube there the fertile tertiary hill country with the Hallertau, the Danube moss and the Danube thatch. To the north of the Danube is Bavaria Mittelgebirgsland. Along the border to the Czech republic lie the Bavarian Forest (with heights up to 1 456 meters), the high Palatines forest and the Fichtelgebirge. In the north the federal state has interest in the Rhön and in the Spessart.

Between these low mountain ranges and the Danube is the eastern part of the Schwäbisch-Fränkischen steps country with the Franconia height, the pit foreman's forest, Hassbergen and the Frankish Alb. From the Fichtelgebirge direction west the Main the north of Bavaria flows through, the south is drained about the Danube and their(her) tributaries (first of all Inn, Isar, Lech, Altmühl and Naab).

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Castle Schleißheim
Monastery Ettal
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Castle Neuschwanstein
Castle Neuburg
Castle Bayreuth
Kaiserburg Nürnberg

"Learn to know & to love bavaria at a half- or full day round trip."

Bavaria has approximately 11,9 million inhabitants. The population density of the country(land) is relatively low: about 168 people(persons) live on square kilometers. The region was a settlement area the Baiern, Franken and Schwaben. After the 2nd world war the population structure of the federal state was affected by the immigration of numerous home driven and refugees.

The country constitution was dismissed in 1946. The country(land) is divided into seven governmental districts Lower Unterfranken, Mittelfranken, Oberfranken, Oberpfalz, Schwaben, Niederbayern und Oberbayern as well as into 71 districts and 25 free of a circle cities.

In February, 1998 the Bavarian citizens with a popular vote with 70 per cent of the voices decided the abolition of the Bavarian senate. With this popular vote there was also a majority of 75 or 73,9 per cent for a Bavarian constitutional reform and parliament reform. Accordingly a passage is painted in the constitution(condition) which demanded the agreement of the state government to the death penalty. Again there were taken(accepted) confessions to Europe which should protect the self-sufficiency of the regions, and to the equal rights of the genders. From 2005 in the number of the representatives of the Bavarian Landtag of 204 is reduced to 180 and her of the ministries of 21 on 18; Then the legislative period is extended from four for five years.








In Bavaria there are universities in Munich, Augsburg, Erlangen,Nürnberg, Eichstätt, Passau, Regensburg, Bamberg, Bayreuth and Würzburg. Professional schools in Augsburg, Freising, Kempten, Landshut, Munich, Nürnberg, Regensburg and Rosenheim. Academies of the Forming arts in Munich and Nürnberg, colleges for music in Munich and Würzburg as well as a college for film and television in Munich and a Theological college in Benediktbeuern.

World-wide there is known Bavaria for the fairy tale locks king Ludwigs II. (new swan stone, balmy court and man's Lake Chiemsee), the October party annually taking place in Munich and the Bavarian customs and traditions. With his(its) art galleries, museums and theaters Munich is a supraregional important cultural centre. The German museum created in 1903 is the biggest Technical museum of Europe.

In Bayreuth take place annually in summer festivals which were created in 1872 by Richard Wagner to the performance of his(its) music dramas. Known writers of the free state are Oskar Maria Graf and Ludwig Thoma. First of all around the turn of the century Munich was a center of attraction for many known German artists, among other things studied here Berthold Brecht, Rainer Maria Rilke, Vassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Walter Gropius.

Thomas Mann lived here from 1894 to 1936, Richard Strauss, Carl Orff, Franz Marc and Carl Spitzweg were born here. The most famous son of the city of Nürnberg is Albrecht Dürer.

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Rothenburg ob der Tauber

In Bavaria are cultivated with priority grain (wheat and silo corn in the south, rye in the north), sugar beets, potatoes, hops and bunches. Breadbaskets of the country(land) are the Dungau (the Danube valley between Regensburg and Passau), the tertiary hill country and the Frankish Gäulandschaft around Würzburg. In the Hallertau first of all hop, in the Main valley becomes a wine and vegetable cultivated.

Bovine animals, pigs and horses are bred in which Gebirgsausläufern of the Bavarian Alps (first of all in the Allgäu) is spread the dairy cattle attitude. In the Upper Palatinate are diminished among other things brown coal and iron ore, near Passau graphite and in the Berchtesgadener country(land) rock salt. In the high-Frankish industrial district mainly textiles, glass, china and metal goods become produced. Munich, Augsburg and Nuremberg are centres of the microelectronics and the machine-building industry.

In Ingolstadt, Munich, Regensburg and Dingolfing autos are produced. Moreover, in the space of Munich entreprises(operations) of the air industry and space industry concentrate; in the so named chemistry triangle, between the rivers of Inn, Alz and Salzach, entreprises(operations) of the chemical industry. Bavaria is the favorite vacation country within the Federal Republic of Germany. First of all the regions the Bavarian Forest, Allgäu, the Alps and the foothills of the Alps, with his(its) monasteries, baroque churches and royal castles, draw numerous tourists.


Dr. h. c. Franz Josef Strauß "For a people to know where it stands and whither its road shall take, it must know whence it comes.
This is true both of the general historical background and of its cultural and spiritual roots. "


(Dr. h. c. Franz Josef Strauß, deceased to 10 / 03 / 1988)

Bavaria is one of the oldest European states. It dates back to about 500 A.D., when the Roman Empire was overcome by the onslaught of Germanic tribes. According to a widespread theory, the Bavarian tribe had descended from the Romans who remained in the country, the original Celtic population and the Germanic invaders.
The Tribal Duchy At the foothills of the Alps, during the later half of the 6th century A.D., a powerful Bavarian duchy arose under the Agilolfingers and later in the 10th century under the Guelphs. In 1158, Duke Henry the Lion (Lion Heart) founded a new settlement on river Isar, which is the Munich of today. Until the middle of the 13th century Regensburg served as capital.

The Wittelsbachs After the fall of Henry the Lion, Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa in 1180 gave the Duchy to the Bavarian Count Palatine Otto von Wittelsbach, without the territory of the Bavarian Ostmark (Austria). In 1214, the Wittelsbachs acquired also the Palatinate, which remained linked with the destiny of Bavaria for the next 700 years.

The following centuries of Bavarian history were marked by the efforts of the Wittelsbach Dukes to expand their domain. These developments peaked under Ludwig the Bavarian (1302 - 1347), who as the German King and Emperor added Brandenburg, Tyrol, Holland and the Hennegau to his empire. But as far as the 20th century Bavaria remained an agrarian country, despite its many cities and market towns.

Along with the bishoprics of Salzburg, Passau and Regensburg, monasteries like Tegernsee, Niederalteich and St. Emmeram were established as spiritual and cultural outposts. In the 14th and 15th centuries the House of Wittelsbach was weakened by the partition of its lands through inheritance. Finally, Albrecht IV the Wise (1467-1508) reunited the Duchy of Bavaria and laid the foundations for its durability by introducing the Law of Primogeniture.

In Franconia and Swabia, however, after the end of the royal line of the Salier and Staufer in the 12th and 13th centuries, numerous ecclesiastical holdings and secular territories sprang into being. The courts of Bamberg, Würzburg, Ansbach and Bayreuth, as well as the cities of Nuremberg, Augsburg, Schweinfurt, Rothenburg and Nördlingen developed cultural and scientific centres of European renown.

Although the Reformation was entrenched in many regions and free cities of Swabia and Franconia, Olden Bavaria stayed faithful to Catholicism.

Under Albrecht V (1550 - 1579) and Wilhelm the Pious (1579 - 1597), the State became a centre of the Counter-Reformation. Luther's famous adversary, Johannes Eck, taught in Ingolstadt at the university founded by Duke Ludwig the Rich in 1472. Under Albrecht V the ducal capital of Munich flourished for the first time as a centre of science and the arts.

The Thirty-Year War brought agony and suffering to the Franconians, Swabians and Bavarians, but also raised Bavaria to the status of an Electorate (1623). Maximilian I (1597-1651), the first Bavarian Prince Elector, added Oberpfalz to the territory of the State. One of his successors, the "Blue Prince Elector" Max Emmanuel (1662 - 1726), was a great patron of the Baroque art and culture. He distinguished himself in the Turkish wars and entertained greater-state ambitions, thwarted when Karl Albrecht became the German Emperor in 1742/1745. Until Max III Joseph (1745 - 1777), the last Prince Elector of the Wittelsbachs, Bavaria witnessed a flowering of cultural life.

Stimulating New Constitutions:
After coming to power, Prince Elector Max IV Josef of the Palatinate Zweibrücken line (1799 - 1825) was faced by difficult tasks: there was no hope of aid from the Reich, Prussia was elbowed to the side, and Austria still claimed Bavarian territories. So the Prince put his State under the protection of Napoleon. In exchange for territories surrendered along the Rhine and in compliance with the decision of the Reichstag Extraordinary Commission (Reichsdeputationshauptschluss ) in 1803, Bavaria received the bishoprics of Würzburg, Bamberg, Freising and Augsburg, parts of the eparchies of Eichstätt and Passau, twelve abbeys and 15 imperial towns. On 1 January 1806 Max IV Josef became King Max I and joined the Rhine Confederation.

His Minister, Montgelas, laid the foundations of well-ordered government organization. The Constitution of 1808 provided for the first time for equality of all before the law, for personal protection and protection of property, for freedom of consciousness and independence of the judiciary. The Constitution of 1818 is regarded as the first step towards parliamentary democracy in Bavaria. The newly founded Landtag consisted of two chambers: of the Councillors and of the Deputies. Because of its powers to distribute the funds accumulated from taxes, it soon acquired a crucial role in politics and legislation.

Between Reform and Revolution:
During the Wars of Liberation, Bavaria allied itself with the enemies of Napoleon. It had to return its Austrian possessions, but at the 1815/16 Congress in Vienna was finally awarded Würzburg, Aschaffenburg and part of the Palatinate on the left side of the Rhine. Bavaria joined the German Customs Union in 1833. During the reign of Ludwig I (1825 - 1848), Munich became a cultural centre of Germany. Poets, painters, architects and scientists were summoned to the capital from all over Germany.

The King also vigorously promoted trade and industry. His reign witnessed the construction of the railway network, starting in 1835 with the Nürenberg-Fürth line. The Revolution of 1848 imposed considerable restrictions on the power of the monarchy with the implementation of the "March Demands" (ministerial responsibility, freedom of the press, electoral reform) and drove Ludwig I to abdicate in favour of his son. Maximilian II (1848 - 1864) continued the work of his father as a patron of the arts, but he also initiated social and political reforms, and was a great promoter of the sciences.

War, Art and Kings:
Under King Ludwig II (1864-1886), Bavaria was involved in the wars against Prussia and France. In 1866, Bavaria fought on the side of Austria against Prussia, but in 1870-1871 it sided with Prussia against France. After the German-French War Bavaria joined the newly founded Reich. Ludwig II, who is still known all over the world as the "Fairy-Tale King", was withdrawing increasingly from the politics and devoting himself to castle-building and to the captivating world of Wagner's music. He died in 1886 on the shore of Lake Starnberg. His uncle, the capable Prince Regent Luitpold (1886 - 1912), and his son, King Ludwig III (1912 - 1918), were the last rulers of the House of Wittelsbach, which had reigned over Bavaria for 738 years.

The New Bavaria:
After the First World War a provisional National Council elected Kurt Eisner (USDP – the Independent Social Democratic Party) a Minister-President; on 8 November 1918 he declared Bavaria a Republic. His assassination sparked a wave of violence. A Communist-ruled "Raterepublik of Bavaria" was proclaimed on 6th April 1919. It was obliterated by the so-called Freikorps. During the times of unrest the Landtag, elected on 12th January 1919, had moved to Bamberg and on 12th August 1919 adopted the Constitution.

Right from the start, right-oriented extremist forces fought the new republican order. Although the coup attempted by Hitler with his "March on the Feldherrenhalle" on 9th November 1923 was crushed by the Bavarian police, his mild sentence of incarceration did not weaken National Socialism. After Hitler took power in 1933, Bavaria, like the other states, was "streamlined" and lost its state government.

The National Socialist terror started its reign in Bavaria. Already in 1933 the first concentration camp was built in Dachau. Political opponents were mercilessly persecuted. The Jewish people, who had been living for centuries in the Bavarian towns and villages, were driven out, abducted and murdered. Other minorities like the Sinti and Roma also fell victim to the tyranny.

But even during these gloomiest times in German history, there were signs of resistance in Bavaria. A vivid example was the circle of the "White Rose" and the university students Hans and Sophie Scholl, Christopher Probst, Alexander Schmorell and Prof. Kurt Huber. During the Second World War Bavarian towns were very much affected by the bombings, especially Munich, Nuremberg and Würzburg. After the end of the war Bavaria fell into the American Occupation Zone. The rapid rebuilding of the cities was accompanied by a revival of the democratic order.

On 1 December 1946, the Bavarian people adopted the Constitution of the Free State of Bavaria with overwhelming majority.

Although the Bavarian Landtag initially rejected the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany on the grounds that federalism was not sufficiently strongly expressed in it, it nevertheless decided to concede to the basic law, provided the majority of the other states accept it. The Free State of Bavaria has been a state of the Federal Republic of Germany since 1949.

Political Life and Administration:
"Bavaria is perhaps the only German province which, owing to its material wealth, the marked originality of its constituent tribes and the talented rulers governing it, has succeeded in creating a genuine national feeling supporting self-content."
(Otto von Bismarck)

The state administration (the executive government) in Bavaria, as a rule, is a three-tier system:
  supreme authority of the Federal Province;
  provincial bodies on high and medium level;
  lower administrative bodies and special services.

The Bavarian State Government is the supreme political authority, which heads the executive administration.
It consists of the Minister-President, State Ministers and State Secretaries. The only independent institutions are the Bavarian Auditor-General's Office and the Bavarian Commissioner for the Protection of Information.

The high-level provincial authorities (e.g. the Statistics and Data Processing Office, the Environmental Protection Office, the Monuments Maintenance Office) are subordinate to the different Ministries and are responsible for the whole of Bavaria.

The medium-level authorities are positioned between the Ministries, lower administration and special services and are responsible only for specified parts of the Sate's territory. Such medium-level authorities include, for example, the different administrations, the police prefectures (regional police departments), the chief financial office or the forestry offices.

The seven Regional Governments in Upper Bavaria, Lower Bavaria, Upper Palatinate, Upper Franconia, Middle Franconia, Lower Franconia and Swabia are subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior, but also undertake special functions within the scope of responsibilities of almost all other State Ministries. In conformity with the principle of unity of administration, the Regional Governments carry out joint functions and represent the State Government at the level of their region.

The low-level authorities are subordinate to the medium-level authorities and are responsible only for small territories. They are, so to speak, classical general internal administrative bodies (e.g. district offices, police departments), as well as branch offices (e.g. forestry offices, financial departments, road-construction offices).

The Regional Office is a dual authority: it is a state body ("a body of regional administration"), insofar as it performs tasks of the State, and a district body, insofar as it implements tasks of the District. Regional Office is headed by the Regional Administrator, directly elected by the citizens of the Region.
Many important tasks in Bavaria fall to local government. It is structured on three levels: the Municipality, the District and the Region. These local administrations implemented the assigned tasks. They undertake the responsibility of taxation. The people also elect directly the representative bodies. Since the end of territorial reform, Bavaria has had large and efficient administrative units, which perform their duties in close contact with the people.

The Free State is divided into seven regions, 71 districts, 25 district towns, and 2031 district municipalities. Of these municipalities, 1028 have their own administration (unified municipalities). The other 1003 municipalities are organized into 319 administrative communities (member-municipalities).

Bavaria is a Free State:
On 1st December 1946, the Bavarian people adopted by a 2 090 440 : 870 135 vote their Constitution, drafted in the summer of 1946 at the instruction of the US Military Government by a Constitutional Committee under the then Minister- President Dr. Wilhelm Hoegner. On 26th October 1946 the Constituent Assembly of the province approved the draft by a 136:14 vote. The proposal to create the office of a Bavarian State President was rejected by a majority of only one vote.

The 188 articles of the Constitution regulate the structure and functions of the State and uphold the basic rights and obligations of the citizens. They also establish the principles governing the most important aspects of communal life (marriage and family, schooling, religious communities) and the economy.

"Bavaria is a Free State," reads Art. 1, paragraph 1, of the Constitution. This clearly testified to the end of the monarchy. The title "Free State" was only chosen to avoid the foreign word "Republic". The Bavarian Landtag has 180 members. They are elected every five years under an improved law of proportional representation (first applied on 13 September 1998).
Along with the Landtag, the citizens can also directly pass laws by referendum, if one-tenth of the eligible voters are willing to apply this particular procedure.

Parties and State Government:
The Minister-President determines the political guidelines, presides over the State Government and manages its work. With the approval of the Landtag he appoints and dismisses the State Ministers and State Secretaries and represents Bavaria within and outside its borders.
In contrast to the Federation and other federal states, every State Secretary in Bavaria holds a seat and has a vote in the State Government.
In implementation of their tasks, however, the State Secretaries shall abide by the instructions of their Ministers. Whenever a Minister is prevented to fulfil his duties for one or another reason, the State Secretary shall act at his own discretion, bearing full responsibility for his actions before the Landtag.

The tasks of the State Government are distributed between the following spheres: the State Chancellery, state ministries of the Interior; of Justice; of Education and Religious Affairs; of Science, Research and the Arts, of Finance; of Economics, Infrastructure, Transport and Technology; of Agriculture and Forestry; of Labour and Social Order, Family and Women; of Enviromental Affairs, Health and Costumer Affairs.

There are two separate ministers in charge of the State Chancellery; one of them is the leader of the state Chancellery and responsible for Federal Affairs and the Reform of state administration. The other minister is responsible for European Affairs and Regional Relations.

The ministers manage their departments in accordance with the guidelines determined by the Minister-President and are fully responsible to the Landtag.

The State Budget:
Maintaining Financial Strength to Guarantee the Future
In Bavaria, the state receipts and expenditures are laid down in biannual budgets. The 2000/2002* biannual draft budget provides for the year 2001 the sum of 33 billion euro and for the year 2002 the sum of 33.7 billion euro. These figures cover the 15 annual budgets of the Landtag, the State Ministries and the Auditor-General's Office.

As a result of its stable financial policy in the course of decades, the Free State of Bavaria has long rated first in investments and last in public debt of all the Federal States. The investment quota for 2001 amounted to 15.5%, and with the proceeds from privatisation even to 16.6% (11.4% is the average for all states). Per capita debt by 31st December 1999 amounted to 1552 euro (3977 euro is the average for the western provinces).

The aim of Bavaria's well-established financial policy is high investment, restraint in public borrowing and tax cuts. Within the framework of the Future for Bavaria Action and the High-Tech Future for Bavaria Action Programmes, a total of 4.1 billion euro have been allocated for revitalization of Bavarian economy, development of Bavaria as a technological and economic centre, as well as for social projects.

In 2001 and 2002 alone some 1 billion euro have been planned to be expended, to be covered by the proceeds from privatisation. High investment is a good precondition for jobs and social security. The Free State can afford substantial investments on the grounds of prudent economic development and refraining from new debts. Fulfilment of the Maastricht criteria presents no problems to the Free State of Bavaria. Careful financial planning enables the Free State to bear without hardship the costs for reunification of Germany, which run to billions euro. In 2001 Bavaria (including its municipalities) shall contribute about 2.7 billion euro to the build-up of the new federal provinces.

Fiscal Policy in the name of the Citizens:
It is not the only task of Bavarian fiscal policy to ensure the state income. It now fulfils some important economic and socio-political functions.

Bavaria does not want its society to depend totally on the State, which shall take ever more money and shall deprive its citizens of responsibility. The object of the Free State's fiscal policy is to provide every individual with an opportunity for unrestricted, mature and responsible self-fulfilment within the framework of a free and social state ruled by the law.

The main allocations in Bavaria's budget are education, science and advanced technologies, environment protection, retaining the small-scale agriculture, creation of new and secure jobs, strengthening of the family, housing construction and internal security. One out of every five euro of the state budget goes to the municipalities, where the bulk of it goes for revenue sharing to compensate the communities with lower tax incomes.

In 2001 the Government shall allocate to education and schooling 10.9 billion euro: over 30% of the overall spendings. The highest share will go to schooling, 6 billion euro, including preschool education. Some 2.9 billion euro will go to the higher education establishments. In recent years enrolment in higher and other schools has marked an increase. Bavaria owes its leading place in advanced technologies to the great significance it attaches to scientific research.

An important line in Bavaria´s policy is to retain the existing and to create new jobs. The economic budget is well over 0.5 billion euro per year, excluding the outlays for short-distance rail transport. Basic highlights in the economic assistance programmes are the regional support programmes and grants to small and medium-size businesses.
In recent years special significance has been attached to promotion of innovations, new technologies and applied scientific research.
Along with budget allocations for scientific research, these contributions lay a good foundation for the successful development of advanced technologies in Bavaria.

The Free State of Bavaria offers many extra incentives under the Future for Bavaria Action Programme.
The aim of Bavaria's agricultural policy is to keep its small-scale farming.
The 2001 agricultural budget amounts to about 1.2 billion euro.
In 2001 a total of 416 million euro is earmarked for different Bavarian support programmes (e.g. renovation of villages, renewable resources, preservation of man-made landscapes, agrarian credit). One of the major tasks of the state is to guarantee public safety and order.

In 2001 this shall cost Bavaria 3 billion euro, legal protection included. Since the early 1990s the number of jobs in the police and justice departments has increased; furthermore during the past years possibilities for a great number of policemen to gain promotion have been created.
Spendings on equipment have also increased in order to wage a more effective combat against the terrorists and criminals.
For years Bavaria has been a pioneer in environment protection. Spendings in this sphere are rising at above-the-average rate, amounting to 1 billion euro a year.

The Free State spends an average annual 307 million euro for waste water treatment.
In 2001 a total of 37 million euro are allocated to waste disposal and soil maintenance and about 69 million euro to environment protection and landscape management.

Bavaria is a social state. It supports the family, the young people, the elderly and the disabled.
About 1.7 billion euro are intended in 2001 for family-related programmes alone.
Another traditional allocation is investment promotion amounting to over 3.9 billion euro in 2001, while the new allocations for housing and urban construction amount to over 460 million euro.

Emigration from Bavaria to America since 1683.   Sites of the Germany Staates.   Romantic Road.   360° Alpen Panoramas.
Map of Bavaria.Map of Bavaria   Best restaurants in Bavaria. Best restaurants in Bavaria   Constitution of the Free State of Bavaria.   Romantic gardens and parks.

Bavaria, the precursor to paradise.
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