A region of rich, softly rolling hills, it is drained by several rivers (notably the Main, Danube, Isar, and Inn) and is bounded by mountain ranges (especially the Bavarian Alps and the Bohemian Forest). Bavaria is divided into seven administrative districts: Upper and Lower Bavaria; Upper, Middle, and Lower Franconia; Swabia; and the Upper Palatinate. Until the early 19th cent. Bavaria did not include Swabia and Franconia, which have separate histories. Upper Bavaria, with Munich as its capital, rises to the Bavarian Alps, along the Austrian border, and culminates in the Zugspitze, Germany's highest peak. Between the Alps and the Bohemian Forest, which forms the border with the Czech Republic, lies the Franconian Jura plateau, traversed by the Danube. Lower Bavaria comprises part of this plateau and part of the Bohemian Forest. Franconia, in N Bavaria, includes the Frankenwald, the Fichtelgebirge, and the Main valley. Swabia, in SW Bavaria, is part of the Danubian plateau. The Upper Palatinate, in NE Bavaria, is separated from the Czech Republic by the Bohemian Forest.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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