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Bavaria

From Academic Kids

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Rautenflagge (flag, lozengy variant)
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Statistics
Capital: Munich (Mnchen)
Area: 70,553 km
Inhabitants: 12.401.000 (08/2003)
pop. density: 164 inh./km
Homepage: bayern.de (http://www.bayern.de/English/)
ISO 3166-2: DE-BY
Politics
Minister-president: Edmund Stoiber (CSU)
Ruling party: CSU
Map
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Federal states of Germany: Bavaria

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With an area of 70,553 km (27,241 square miles) and 12.4 million inhabitants, the Free State of Bavaria (German Bayern or Freistaat Bayern) forms the southernmost of the 16 states of Germany. Its capital is Munich.

Contents

Geography

Bavaria shares international borders with Austria and the Czech Republic. Neighbouring states within Germany are Baden-Wrttemberg, Hessen, Thuringia and Saxony. Two major rivers flow through the state, the Danube (Donau) and the Main.

The major cities in Bavaria are Munich, Nuremberg, Augsburg, Regensburg, Wrzburg, Ingolstadt, Frth and Erlangen.

See also: List of places in Bavaria.

Politics

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

Bavaria has long been a bastion of conservative politics in Germany, with the CSU having almost a stranglehold on power since its inception in 1946. Every Minister-president since 1957 has been a member of this party.

In the 2003 elections the CSU won more than two thirds of the seats in Landtag. No party in post-war German history had achieved this before.

Administration

Bavaria is divided into 7 administrative regions called Regierungsbezirke

Image:Bavarian_Admin_Districts.jpg

  1. Oberfranken (Upper Franconia)
  2. Mittelfranken (Middle Franconia)
  3. Unterfranken (Lower Franconia)
  4. Schwaben (Swabia)
  5. Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate)
  6. Oberbayern (Upper Bavaria)
  7. Niederbayern (Lower Bavaria)

These administrative regions consist of 71 districts (called Kreise) and 25 independent towns:

Map of Bavaria

Districts:

  1. Aichach-Friedberg
  2. Alttting
  3. Amberg-Sulzbach
  4. Ansbach
  5. Aschaffenburg
  6. Augsburg
  7. Bad Kissingen
  8. Bad Tlz-Wolfratshausen
  9. Bamberg
  10. Bayreuth
  11. Berchtesgadener Land
  12. Cham
  13. Coburg
  14. Dachau
  15. Deggendorf
  16. Dillingen
  17. Dingolfing-Landau
  18. Donau-Ries
  19. Ebersberg
  20. Eichsttt
  21. Erding
  22. Erlangen-Hchstadt
  23. Forchheim
  24. Freising

  1. Freyung-Grafenau
  2. Frstenfeldbruck
  3. Frth
  4. Garmisch-Partenkirchen
  5. Gnzburg
  6. Haberge
  7. Hof
  8. Kelheim
  9. Kitzingen
  10. Kronach
  11. Kulmbach
  12. Landsberg
  13. Landshut
  14. Lichtenfels
  15. Lindau
  16. Main-Spessart
  17. Miesbach
  18. Miltenberg
  19. Mhldorf
  20. Munich (Mnchen)
  21. Neuburg-Schrobenhausen
  22. Neumarkt
  23. Neustadt (Aisch)-Bad Windsheim
  24. Neustadt (Waldnaab)

  1. Neu-Ulm
  2. Nrnberger Land
  3. Oberallgu
  4. Ostallgu
  5. Passau
  6. Pfaffenhofen
  7. Regen
  8. Regensburg
  9. Rhn-Grabfeld
  10. Rosenheim
  11. Roth
  12. Rottal-Inn
  13. Schwandorf
  14. Schweinfurt
  15. Starnberg
  16. Straubing-Bogen
  17. Tirschenreuth
  18. Traunstein
  19. Unterallgu
  20. Weilheim-Schongau
  21. Weienburg-Gunzenhausen
  22. Wunsiedel
  23. Wrzburg

Independent towns:

  1. Amberg
  2. Ansbach
  3. Aschaffenburg
  4. Augsburg
  5. Bamberg
  6. Bayreuth
  7. Coburg
  8. Erlangen
  9. Frth

  1. Hof
  2. Ingolstadt
  3. Kaufbeuren
  4. Kempten
  5. Landshut
  6. Memmingen
  7. Munich (Mnchen)
  8. Nuremberg (Nrnberg)
  9. Passau

  1. Regensburg
  2. Rosenheim
  3. Schwabach
  4. Schweinfurt
  5. Straubing
  6. Weiden
  7. Wrzburg

Dialects

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village chapel in Franconia

Several German dialects are spoken in Bavaria. In the administrative regions to the north the Franconian dialect is prevalent, in Swabia the local dialect is Swabian, a thread of the Alemannic dialect family. In the Upper Palatinate people speak the Northern Bavarian dialect that can vary regionally. In Upper and Lower Bavaria (Middle) Austro-Bavarian is the predominant dialect.

History

Main article: History of Bavaria

The first known mention of the Bavarian name was made by the Franks ca. 520. Saint Boniface completed the people's conversion Christianity in the early 8th century. Bavaria resisted the Protestant Reformation, and remains strongly Roman Catholic.

Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor gave Bavaria to the Wittelsbach family, which ruled from 1180 to 1918. It became a kingdom in 1806, and in 1815 the Rhenish Palatinate was annexed to it. It managed to preserve its independence by playing off the rivalries of Prussia and Austria, but defeat in the 1866 Austro-Prussian War led to its incorporation into the German Empire. In the early 20th century Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Henrik Ibsen, and other notable artists were drawn to Bavaria, notably to the Schwabing district of Munich, but the region was devastated by World War I.

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Socialist premier Kurt Eisner, who deposed Ludwig III, was assassinated in 1919 leading to a violently suppressed communist revolt. Extremist activity on the right also increased, notably the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, and Munich and Nuremberg became Nazi strongholds under the Third Reich. As a manufacturing center, Munich was heavily bombed during World War II and occupied by U.S. troops.

Since World War II, Bavaria has been rehabilitated into a prosperous industrial hub. A massive reconstruction effort restored much of Munich's historic core, and the city played host to the 1972 Summer Olympics. More recently, state minister-president Edmund Stoiber was the CDU/CSU candidate for chancellor in the 2002 federal election, and native son Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.

See also: List of rulers of Bavaria, List of Premiers of Bavaria

Miscellaneous

The many famous Bavarians include:

The motorcycle and automobile makers BMW (the name stands for Bayerische Motoren-Werke, or "Bavarian Motor Works") and Audi, Grundig (consumer electronics) and Siemens AG (electricity, telephones, informatics, medical instruments) have a Bavarian industrial base.

A famous annual festival is called Oktoberfest or October Festival. It is the largest public beer festival in the world, celebrated since 1811 during the two weeks leading up to the first Sunday in October.

Population and area

Regierungsbezirk    population(2003)    area (km)     municipalities
Lower Bavaria ....   1,162,972   9.6%   10,330  14.6%     258  12.5%
Lower Franconia ..   1,329,399  11.0%    8,531  12.1%     308  15.0%
Upper Franconia ..   1,113,790   9.2%    7,231  10.2%     214  10.4%
Middle Franconia .   1,678,535  13.9%    7,246  10.3%     210  10.2%
Upper Palatinate .   1,069,121   8.8%    9,690  13.7%     226  11.0%
Swabia ...........   1,773,688  14.4%    9,992  14.2%     340  16.5%
Upper Bavaria ....   3,996,043  33.1%   17,530  24.8%     500  24.3%
------------------  ---------- ------   ------ ------    ---- ------
BAVARIA ..........  12,086,548 100.0%   70,549 100.0%    2056 100.0%ar:بافاريا

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