der Freistaat Bayern

The word, “Bavarian,” appears to date back to the AD 400s, to the days of the decaying Roman empire, when it was used to describe the people who lived east of the Swabians but west of historic Bohemia (now the western part of the Czech Republic). The Romans are long gone, but the Bavarians are still there. The name for their land was Baiern until King Ludwig I decreed, in 1825, that it be spelled with a y instead: Bayern. He had just been crowned at the time, and one imagines that he got a real thrill out of this use of his new royal powers. Now the kings are gone, and the German state of Bavaria is der Freistaat Bayern.

Germany resembles Queen Victoria in profile, and Bayern (Bavaria) occupies the entire back of her neck. Oh, you don’t believe me about Germany and the Queen? Just take a look.

Germany looks like Queen Victoria

The Queen’s portrait

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