|• Mayor||Karin Bucher (FWG)|
|• Total||80.67 km2 (31.15 sq mi)|
|Elevation||370 m (1,210 ft)|
|• Density||200/km2 (530/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
|Dialling codes||0 99 71|
Cham lies within the Cham-Further lowland, which is bordered on the south by the Bavarian Forest and on the north by the Oberpfälzer Wald. The city lies on the Regen River, which joins the Danube at Regensburg.
The name "Cham" is of Celtic origin and probably means "bend" or "curvature". In fact, a few kilometers from the city, a winding brook called the Chamb flows into the Regen; it probably gave its name to Cham, first settlement at the bend of the larger river. Or, the name may have derived from "Kamm" (comb). The city's coat of arms contains a comb. A partner city, also called "Cham" in Switzerland, is actually pronounced with a first "ch" sound, whereas Bavarian Cham is pronounced with a "k".
Monks from Regensburg founded the Marienmünster, the first and oldest church in the Bavarian forest, at Chammünster in the 8th century. The first reference to Cham as a city appears in 976. An imperial castle stood on the Galgenberg (German: "gallows hill"), providing protection for the trade route into Bohemia. Cham was granted its own currency around 1000, the so-called Cham Denar. The 12th century saw the town's location shifted to its current place. The Hussite Wars of the 15th century inflicted great hardships on the townspeople. In 1742, the Pandur troops of Franz Freiherr von der Trenck overran and destroyed the city.
Cham's first railway connection came in 1861. On April 18, 1945, a British air raid on the western part of Cham caused 63 deaths. The arrival of numerous German war refugees from Silesia and the Sudetenland swelled Cham's population from 5,860 to over 10,000.
Cham, Germany is twinned with:
- Anne of Bohemia (1323–1338), a sister of Emperor Charles IV, later Duchess consort of Austria, Styria and Carinthia
- Christoph Janker (born 1985)- Footballer
- Fritz Zängl (1914–1942), a German skier, was born in Katzbach.
- "Fortschreibung des Bevölkerungsstandes". Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik und Datenverarbeitung (in German). 31 December 2012.
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