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To this day: Napoleon has marked the Bavarian culture and its administration



Bonaparte franchissant le Grand-Saint-Bernard, by Jacques Louis David | Château de Malmaison

As per the wedding of King Maximilian I's daughter with Napoleon's step-son in 1806, the alliance with the French Emperor was sealed and confered Bavaria the royal crown, a unified territory which exists to this day, and the first liberal constitution.

That's why Maximilian I. is regarded as the creator of the modern State of Bavaria. He had an efficient State administration introduced for its enlarged territory, dividing the land into 8 administrative districts each managed by a newly established corps of civil servants. He also had compulsory education introduced, measures, weights and currency standardized, internal trade tariffs abolished, thus creating a single economic space. In 1808 the first Bavarian constitution was introduced, named Konstitution (instead of the German word Verfassung), which derives from the French constitution.

At Napoleon’s time, the French influence on Bavaria was so strong that it has left its mark in the Bavarian language, and can still be felt to this day. French was considered the fashion language per se: anyone who would think highly of themselves would speak French.

In everyday life in Bavaria, there are terms like Parapluie (umbrella), Visasch (from visage: face), Spektakel (from spectacle: drama or noise) and lescher (from légère: relaxed, casual). The staff's tasks are always pressant (urgent) and you can get beer at the tavern vis-à-vis (on the opposite side). The Böfflamott, a kind of marinated beef roast, is considered a typical Bavarian dish, but it goes back to the French boeuf à la mode (beef after the fashion). Even the Bavarian swearword Sakradi! has its origins in the French language (from sacre dieu: curse the gods), similar to the still very popular word of thanks mersse (from merci). Common verbs of French origin like schikanieren (from chicaner: to bully), blamieren (from blamer: to blame or to expose) and tratzen (from tracasser: to tease or to torment) are further examples. A Gendarm (from gendarme: police officer) will stop a speeding Chauffeur (driver) driving on the Allee (from allée: tree-lined street), or remind pedestrians to walk on the Trottoir (sidewalk)...

Some words even grew roots so deep, they changed meaning over time. A Bagasch (from bagage: luggage) is not a suitcase anymore, but a group of untrustworthy people. And a Kuvert (from couvert) now means an evelope in German -- but in French, it is either cutlery, or a shady spot, or a shelter.

More: Bayerische Landesausstellung 2015, www.hdbg.de/napoleon/
Source:
www.sueddeutsche.de