What is Bavaria?
Bavaria, officially called The Free State of Bavaria, is located on the southeast region of Germany, and holds 13 million people. This is the largest state of Germany, featuring Munich, and the very famous Neuschwanstein “Fairy Tale” Castle. Bavarian people are very proud people, stating they are Bavarian first and foremost, and then German. The word Bavaria itself translates into “Men of Baia”. This comes from an ancient king in the 14th century BC.
Neuschwanstein Castle is in Schwangau, Germany. It was created by the infamous Fairy King. King Ludwig I spent a lot of time and money into his extravagant architectural feats. His advisers begged him to stop. But he refused. This caused him to be declared insane by the ministers of a church. This decision has since been under speculation due to it’s unfair circumstances. During his eccentric lifestyle, he created iconic feats of architecture. He oversaw, designed, and approved of every detail that went into building his giant and beautiful castles. After surviving two World Wars in Germany, this timeless castle is a huge tourist attraction.
During the summertime you can see as many as 6,000 people entering and leaving the famous castle. Over 1.3 million people visit every year. A castle this big, beautiful and whimsical is a must see destination when visiting Europe.
Munich is the bustling and beautiful capital of Bavaria. This is where they hold the world famous Oktoberfest festival every year. One of the biggest cities in Germany, it attracts a wide variety of tourism. Around 1.5 million people live in Munich currently. Munich comes from “Munichen” which means “by the monks”. In conclusion, the Old Town of Munich was started by a monastery of monks, which is why there is a monk on the coat of arms.
Marienplatz: a beautiful square right in the center of Munich, Germany. It features the Mariensäule, which is a religious column that stands in the middle of the square. In addition, this column depicts the Virgin Mary as the protector of Bavarian people. Placed there to celebrate the end of Sweden’s occupation.
Nymphenburg Palace: Built in 1664 for the birth of a son from members of the Prince-Electoral. It’s first building was completed in 1674. In 1701 the heir to Bavaria began the construction of two wing extensions. It features a 490-acre garden, with large fountains and beautiful sculptures put into place in the 1700’s. Subsequently, about 300,000 people visit this beautiful castle every year.
Frauenkirche: This beautiful Gothic-style Cathedral is considered the symbol of Munich. Translating into “Cathedral of Our Dear Lady”, this cathedral is home to the Archbishop of Munich and Freising. With towers 98 meters high, the government passed a law stating that no other building can be built 99 meter or higher. In conclusion, this was to ensure that the church towers will always be standing tall.
The beautiful Eastern Alps rest in Bavaria, Germany. It’s highest peak is the Hochfrottspitze standing at 2,649 meters. For those daring skiers and snow resort lovers. This mountain range features the world famous Zugspitze. A cable car that climbs the highest mountains in Germany. Therefore making you feel as though you have all of Bavaria right at your feet.
This is a 99-acre zoo in Munich, Germany. Almost all of the enclosures are cageless, relying on moats to keep the humans at a safe distance. This was the first zoo in the world to not separate animals by. Subsequently, they separated them by geographical characteristics. With over 2.2 million visitors a year, this park is famous for taking care of it’s animals and preserving endangered species.
Events in Bavaria
Oktoberfest: This is the worlds largest Beer festival, and it takes place every year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. In conclusion, people come from all over the world, wearing Lederhosen and Dirndls to celebrate this event. A world wide tradition started in 1810 to celebrate Bavarian culture.
Christkindlsmarkt: a huge festival held for the last 700 years from November 27th to December 24th. It’s located at the Heart of Bavaria, in the Marienplatz. People come here to enjoy the amazing culinary delights, and enchanting wine. Featuring amazing nativity scenes, that showcase real animals, and real gifts.
“Tracht” derives from the German word “Tragen” which means “to wear”. The classic dirndl and the lederhosen are both trachten. The dirndl is a hand embroidered dress which you add a white blouse underneath. Lederhosen started out as farmers wear. Now made out of handcrafted leather. Therefore, they say one pair can be passed down from generation to generation.
Bavaria has two official flags, both of equal states. This is rare among German states. Anybody, civilian or government, can choose between the two. Designed by Eduard Ege, the current coat of arms features a monk. Actually, the House of Wittelsbach are the inspiration for the current flag designs.
When you ask any American today what they know about Germany, they’ll describe every Bavarian tradition. Bavaria is such a unique place. It is usually the forefront for representing German culture. From the Beer Festivals, to the traditional Tracht outfits, every bit of Bavarian culture is amazing and charming.