Many people encounter the word "Bavaria" and the products that are attributed to this geographical region but not many people know where it is actually located even if someone tries to find it in the map. The reason for this is simple -- Bavaria is not a country but the largest of Germany's 16 states.
Bavaria's location is at the southeast portion of Germany and is near the borders of Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Austria. The southern border that defines Bavaria, which is near Austria, is traced by the Bavarian Alps. Munich is the capital city of Bavaria and is the place where the famous Oktoberfest Is held yearly. Some of the other Bavarian cities of particular importance are Nuremburg, Ausgberg, and Regensburg. The Danube and Main rivers also flow through the Bavarian region.
Bavaria is part of what is considered the three Free States in Germany. This is more of just a historical term though. During the Middle Ages, Bavaria was actually duchy. In 1808, the duchy became a kingdom. Bavaria was an independent state until 1871 when it finally became a part of unified Germany after it was defeated in the Austro-Prussian war.
Bavaria, just like the rest of Germany, is predominantly Roman Catholic. Pope Benedict XVI is actually a native of Bavaria. The State also has its own political party. The Christian Social Union is considered the majority party within Bavaria since 1957. Other famous people who came from Bavaria include Richard Wagner, Richard Strauss, Werner Herzog, Thomas Mann and Albrecht Durer.