Bavaria (German: Bayern) is a State (Bundesland) of Germany. The territory of this state is the largest of the 16 German states. The state capital is Munich with 1.3 million people. About 12.5 million people live in Bavaria. Like many German states, Bavaria was once independent. Ludwig II of Bavaria was its last independent king.
Bavaria has seven parts: Oberbayern (Upper Bavaria), Niederbayern (Lower Bavaria), Schwaben (Swabia), Mittelfranken (Middle Franconia), Unterfranken (Lower Franconia), Oberfranken (Upper Franconia) and Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate). Bavaria has 71 districts and 25 free cities.
The highest point is the Zugspitze, which is also the highest mountain in Germany. Munich is the largest city, the second biggest city is Nuremberg (Nürnberg), which is famous for its gingerbread, a kind of Christmas bread that is often shaped like a Christmas tree, a snowman or Santa Claus.
Pope Benedict XVI was born in Bavaria.