Bavaria ( Bavarian and German: Bayern [ˈbaɪɐn]), officially the Free State of Bavaria (German: Freistaat Bayern [ˈfʁaɪʃtaːt ˈbaɪɐn]), is a landlocked federal state of Germany, occupying its southeastern corner. With an area of 70,550.19 square kilometres (27,200 sq mi), Bavaria is the largest German state by land area. Its territory comprises roughly a fifth of the total land area of Germany. With 12.9 million inhabitants, it is Germany's second-most-populous state (after North Rhine-Westphalia). Bavaria's capital and largest city, Munich, is the third largest city in Germany. The history of Bavaria stretches from its earliest settlement and formation as a duchy in the 6th century CE (AD) through the Holy Roman Empire to becoming an independent kingdom and finally a state of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Duchy of Bavaria dates back to the year 555. In the 17th century CE (AD), the Duke of Bavaria became a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire. The Kingdom of Bavaria existed from 1806 to 1918, when Bavaria became a republic. In 1946, the Free State of Bavaria re-organised itself on democratic lines after the Second World War.
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