The Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast. With an area of 70,548 square kilometres (27,200 sq mi), it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20 percent of the total land area of Germany. Bavaria is Germany's second most populous state (after North Rhine-Westphalia), with 12.5 million inhabitants. Bavaria's capital and largest city is Munich, the third largest city in Germany.
Bavaria is one of the oldest continuously existing states in Europe; it was established as a stem duchy in the year 907. In the 17th century, the Duke of Bavaria became a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.