Bavaria's History

Bavaria has always had a central place in Europe: at the meeting point between North and South, East and West, Bavarians can take pride in a long and varied historical past. Southern Bavaria was part of the Roman Empire. Cities like Augsburg and Regensburg were founded 2,000 years ago.

The Duchy of Bavaria endured from the High Middle Ages to the modern era, yet several Bavarian territories were also governed directly by the German emperor (Kaiser), such as the “Free Imperial City” (freie Reichsstadt) of Nuremberg.
Modern Bavaria developed from 1806, year it became a kingdom. The most renowned king of Bavaria is without any doubt Louis II of Bavaria, the “fairy tale king”, who had many buildings constructed, including the world-famous Neuschwanstein castle.
In 1871, Bavaria became part of the newly created German Empire (Deutsches Reich), and thus for the first time became a federal state in the modern sense.
After World War II, Bavaria quickly developed from a mainly agricultural to an industrialized region. Today, Bavaria is a major innovation and research centre, with over 12.5 million inhabitants, and has considerable economic weight in Germany and Europe.
Bavarians care deeply about their history and traditions. Great events such as the Landshut Marriage, the Passio Festival in Oberammergau and the Munich Oktoberfest bear witness to Bavaria's past.
But Bavaria is also a precursor in environmental protection and the fight against climate change: it was the first Land to create a Ministry of the Environment.