In 2018, Bavaria celebrates a double anniversary, commemorating 200 years of its first Constitution and 100 years of "Freistaat"


A constitution had been elaborated in 1808 but could not be implemented due to the Napoleonic Wars. In 1818, Bavaria became a constitutional monarchy: Henceforth, the Bavarian kings were not crowned upon ascending the throne but instead had to swear on the constitution. The latter guarantees equality before the law, freedom of faith, freedom of opinion and access to all public offices according to qualification instead of social status. The two chambers of the Bavarian assembly of the estates limited the king’s power and were the precursor of the Bavarian Landtag.

When, in November 1918, the Great War was drawing to a close, the socialist movement led by Kurt Eisner overthrew the monarchy with the aid of armed soldiers. King Ludwig III fled. The “Free State of Bavaria” was first founded thena “Free State” as opposed to a state ruled by monarchs, therefore a Republic – before monarchist, German-nationalist and right-wing extremist forces regained power during the 1920s, under the influence of the counter-revolution and the Treaty of Versailles.

"Bavaria and Munich in particular have been democratic long before Germany started to discuss the word “democracy” in a revolutionary sense. It was and is democratic in the folklike-traditional meaning, hence conservative in spirit." Thomas Mann in the New York magazine The Dial, 1923.

Numerous activities related to the anniversaries are planned throughout Bavaria this year: for more information, please visit www.wir-feiern.bayern/. The instagram account @wirfeiernbayern, supported by citizens from across Bavaria, aims to show Bavaria from different perspectives, ranging from the “typically Bavarian” to “Bavaria unexpected”. It has been online since October 2017 and can be followed at www.instagram.com/wirfeiernbayern/.

Moreover, until March this year, the people in Bavaria are asked to share their views and hopes for the future in a citizens’ survey entitled “Bürgergutachten 2030. BAYERN, DEINE ZUKUNFT”.  Their political suggestions will be summarized and handed to the Minister-President at a citizens summit.  More information at www.2030-deine-zukunft.bayern.