The name of the city is derived from the Old/Middle High German term Munichen, meaning "by the monks". The monks in question belonged to the Benedictine order and ran a monastery at the place that was later to become the Old Town of Munich.
Munich was first mentioned in 1158. Catholic Munich was a cultural stronghold of the Counter-Reformation and a political point of divergence during the resulting Thirty Years' War, but remained physically untouched despite an occupation by the Protestant Swedes. Once Bavaria was established as a sovereign kingdom in 1806, it became a major European centre of arts, architecture, culture and science.
In 1918, during the German Revolution, the ruling house of Wittelsbach, which governed Bavaria since 1180, was forced to abdicate in Munich and a short-lived Socialist republic was declared. During World War II, Munich was heavily bombed and more than 50% of the entire city and up to 90% of the historic centre were destroyed. After the end of postwar American occupation in 1949, there was a great increase in population and economic power during the years of the so called "economic miracle".
Munich is the capital and the most populated city in the German state of Bavaria, on the banks of the River Isar, north of the Bavarian Alps. Munich is also the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, and the 12th largest city in the European Union, with a population of around 1.5 million.The Munich Matropolitan Region is home to 6 million people.
Address: Marienplatz 8, 80331 Munich
Munich has a strong economy and very low unemployment rate. The city is a financial centre and a global city and holds the headquarters of Siemens AG (electronics), BMW (car), MAN AG (truck manufacturer, engineering), Linde (gases), Allianz (insurance), Munich Re (re-insurance), and Rohde & Schwarz (electronics). Munich is also a centre for biotechnology, software and other service industries.
Munich is the largest publishing city in Europe and home to the Suddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany's largest daily newspapers. The city is also the location of the programming headquarters of Germany's largest public broadcasting network, ARD, while the largest commercial network, Pro7-Sat1 Media AG, is headquartered in the suburb of Unterfohring. The headquarters of the German branch of Random House, the world's largest publishing house, and of Burda publishing group are also in Munich.
Oktoberfest is one of the most famous attraction of Munich. The Hofbrauhaus am Platzl, arguably the most famous beer hall worldwide, is located in the city centre. Every year, for two weeks, the Oktoberfest attracts millions of people visiting its beer tents ("Bierzelte") and fairground attractions. The Oktoberfest was first held on 12 October 1810 in honour of the marriage of crown prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.
The Viktualienmarkt is Munich's most popular market for fresh food and delicatessen. A very old feature of Munich's Fasching (carnival) is the dance of the Marktfrauen (market women) of the Viktualienmarkt in comical costumes.