An Introduction to Bavaria

Bavaria is a state located in the south east of the Federal Republic of Germany. Bavaria has its own unique history and is a wonderland for visitors attracted by such diverse attractions such as the Bavarian Alps, the Munich Octoberfest, Bavarian architecture and cathedrals.

The capital of Bavaria is Munich, one of Europe’s major cities. Munich, in common with the rest of Bavaria, often conjures up visions of men in lederhosen drinking steins of German beer. But there is much more to both the city and region than that. Munich has wonderful examples of Gothic and baroque architecture, as well as being the home of renowned museums and art treasures.  But Munich is not just concerned about its past. This thriving city is a centre for hi-tech industries and is the home of the world famous vehicle manufacturer BMW.

The Bavarian Alps, within easy reach of Munich, provide visitors with breath taking views. At the foot of the Alps is the Bavarian town of Fussen close by to two wonderful castles, Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein. Neuschwanstein castle is an excellent example of a Gothic-revival palace. Indeed, Neuschwanstein provided the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty castle.

One of the top Bavarian skiing resorts is Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The resort was the base for the 1936 Winter Olympics and will host the 2011 Alpine skiing Champions. The area includes the highest peak in Germany, the Zugspitze.

Another area associated with winter sports in Bavaria is Berchtesgaden. Close to Berchtesgaden is Mount Watzmann, the third highest mountain in Germany. On its eastern face is the enchanting glacial lake Koningssee. The area is also home to the Berchtesgaden National Park, which continues to be a major tourist attraction.

Bavaria is home to some of the continent’s most beautiful cathedrals. The 13th century Bamberg Cathedral was built in late Romanesque style. Its contains the marble tomb of cathedral’s founder  Emperor Henry II and his wife Empress Cunigunde, as well as the statue of the Bamberg Horseman. The cathedral is also the burial place of Pope Clement II, the only pope not have been buried in Italy or France.

For those wanting to gain an overall view of what Bavaria has to offer, the region boasts its own tourist trail – the Romantic Road. The Romantic Road, an important trading route during the Middle Ages, is now a haven for tourists seeking to appreciate the region’s architecture and culture. The trail runs from Wurzburg in the North to Fussen in the south and is ideal for anyone wanting to spend a Bavarian sightseeing holiday.

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