Margraviate in the Holy Roman Empire, in Bavaria.
The town, which is now the administrative centre of the Bavarian Landkreis of Cham, is northeast of Regensburg and stands just below the confluence of the River Cham with the Regen, a tributary of the Danube.
Its Counts became known as the Margraves of Cham in the mid-11th century. Their lands lay in the region bordering upon Bohemia (the River Cham rises in the Böhmerwald), and were sometimes called the Mark of Bohemia. The Margraves also held Vohburg, which is on the Danube beyond Regensburg. Through marriage they became for a short time the Counts Palatine of Bavaria, an office that was intended as a royal counterweight to the power of the Duke. The Margraviate of the whole of the Bavarian Nordgau, which extended along the Bohemian border to the Egerland, also came to the family after the extinction of the Babenberg Margraves in 1057.
In 1204, with the death of the last Margrave without heir, Cham passed to the Duke of Bavaria, became part of Lower Bavaria in 1255, and in 1352 was pawned to the Electors Palatine, who held much of the old Nordgau. After the defeat of the Elector Frederick V’s claims to be King of Bohemia in 1620, the Duke of Bavaria seized Cham in 1621 and with the rest of the Upper Palatinate it was granted to Bavaria in 1628.