Bavaria

Now a free state of the German Republic; area, 29,334 square miles. Christianity was probably introduced into Bavaria in Roman times but it was not until after the barbarian invasions in the 5th century that the evangelization of the country progressed. For an account of the missionary efforts in this region see Germany. Bavaria was settled by the Boiarii (whence the name) and from 555 to 788 was ruled by dukes of the Agilolfing family. The last of these, Tassilo III, who contributed much to the spread of Christianity and civilization in Europe, was deposed by Charlemagne. In 1180 Bavaria was given to Otto of Wittelsbach whose descendants ruled until 1918. William IV repressed the Protestant Reformation and introduced the Jesuits into the University of Ingolstadt (1541), and under two of his successors William V (1579-1598) and Maximilian I (1598-1651), who became an elector of the Holy Roman Empire, Bavaria was a prominent ally of the counter-Reformation and the Catholic League. It remained a wholly Catholic country until 1799 when, with the accession of Maximilian IV, Catholics were oppressed and Lutheranism tolerated. Under Louis I the Church prospered again. In 1871 Bavaria became a part of the German Empire and in 1918 was proclaimed a republican state. The Concordat of 1925 grants the pope greater freedom in appointing bishops and is favorable to the development of religious orders. The public school system provides religious instruction for all schools. The universities at Munich and Wiirzburg have Catholic theological faculties. The Passion Play at Oberammergau, which takes place every ten years, dates from 1633. It attracts an audience from all nations.