Bavaria is a state in Germany. Located in the southeast corner of the country, the state is made up of 70,548 square kilometers of land, making it the largest of the German states in terms of area as it its land area also translates to nearly 20% of the total land area of the country. But while the state is the largest in Germany, it is only the second most populous with about 12.5 million residents. This number though totals more compared to the population of the sovereign states along the Bavarian borders.
With Munich as its capital, Bavaria is one of the oldest European states. Established in the mid first millennium as a duchy, the Bavarian Duke became the Prince-elector for the Holy Roman Empire in the 17th century. The Bavarian Kingdom was in existence between 1806 and 1918, becoming a free state ever since. Predominantly Catholic, the state has a distinct culture and includes today historical portions of Swabia and Franconia.
Food and drink: the Bavarian culture
Residents of Bavaria like to eat and drink although there are a lot of Bavarian food items and beverages that are considered to be unusual to other parts of Germany, like the Weisswurst (white sausage). During festivals, beers are typically served by liter and Bavarians are proud of their beer, having established a purity law for the beverage. According to the purity law, only three ingredients are allowed to be used: hops, barley, and water. The purity law remained in effect until the EU abolished it because it does not suit common markets in Europe. German breweries though stuck to the purity law to produce some of the best beers in the world. Because of the deep-rooted love for beer in their culture, Bavarians are some of the most beer-loving people in the world, with estimated figures of 170 liters consumed every year per person. The Bavarian state is also where the Franconia wine region is located, producing wine now for more than 1,000 years. As wine making is also an integral part of the culture in the region, many cities and villages hold local wine festivals throughout the year.
Some of the landmarks and attractions that Bavaria is known for include the Johannisburg Castle, Wurzburg Residence, Fortress Marienberg, Plassenburg Castle, Cathedral in Bamberg, Imperial Castle in Nuremberg, Basilica of the Vierzehnheiligen, the Old Stone Bridge, Kastell Biriciana, Linderhof Palace, Trausnitz Castle, and of course the Neuschwanstein Castle near Füssen.