Geography and facts of Bavaria


Bavaria, home to 12.5 million inhabitants, is located in the southeast of Germany and is the largest of the 16 federal states of Germany.
Bavaria covers almost one-fifth of the total land area of Germany and has an area of 70,548 square kilometers (27,200 squaremiles).

Bavaria borders Austria, the Czech Republic, Switzerland (across Lake Constance), as well as the neighboring German states of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hesse, Thuringia and Saxony.

The capital city of Bavaria is Munich (München). Other major cities in Bavaria include: Nuremberg (Nürnberg), Augsburg, Würzburg, Regensburg, Ingolstadt, Fürth and Erlangen.

The two major rivers that flow through Bavaria are the Danube (Donau) and the Main. The Bavarian Alps are home to Germany's highest peak, the Zugspitze 2,962 meters / 9,717 feet, and form a natural border with Austria.

The landscape of Bavaria can be subdivided into four major regions:

  • the Alps, with the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany at 2,962 meters;
  • the Alpine foothills with their numerous lakes;
  • the Eastern Bavarian central mountains with the first ever national park in Germany;
  • the Swabian-Franconian cuesta landscape.

Bavaria was the first ever region in Europe to be precisely measured.

Nature conservation and environmental protection are of high importance, and have been an integral part of the Bavarian constitution since 1984. The German Alpine Association has set itself the task of making the Alps accessible while preserving the alpine environment.

Further information about Land and People provided by the House of Bavarian History.


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Topographic map of Bavaria image.enlarge
Topographic map of Bavaria © Landesamt für Vermessung und Geoinformationen Bayern