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 Geschichte Bayerns > Land and People > Bavaria - a Land at the Heart of Europe
Bavaria - a Land at the Heart of Europe

Bavaria is located in the south-eastern part of the German Federal Republic. In terms of surface area it is the largest of the country's 16 federal states, and the second-largest in terms of population (12 million).

Bavaria also lies at the heart of Europe. Several very important European east-west and north-south traffic routes intersect in the state.

Bavaria has its own representation at the European Union in Brussels. Furthermore, it maintains ties with numerous states both inside and outside the European Union. It is an active member of several bilateral and also four multilateral special partnerships, including the "Alpine Countries Special Partnership" (ARGE ALP) with 11 members from four states, as well as the "Danube Countries", "Lake Constance" and "Alps-Adriatic" special partnerships, in which Bavaria's geographical neighbours are represented respectively.

When the borders opened in 1989/90, Bavaria seized the opportunity for close political, economic and cultural cooperation with its eastern and south-eastern neighbours. Since that time it has maintained firm contacts with the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine, Slovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, and the city of Moscow.

Bavaria also has well-established ties worldwide. It is represented in 10 states: Brazil, China, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Ukraine and the United States.

As a high-technology region and an important exporter, Bavaria also considers it important to maintain a market presence in the future markets of Asia and America: it has partnerships with California/USA, Quebec/Canada, São Paulo/Brazil and the province of Shandong in the People's Republic of China. To contribute to the stabilisation of the economic and political situation in the Republic of South Africa, Bavaria has also established relations with the provinces of Western Cape and Gauteng.