Munich is Germany's third largest city and one of Europe's most prosperous cities. The city has a population of about 1.3 million (as of 2005) and the Munich metropolitan area is home to around 2.6 million people. The city is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps.
Munich's motto was "Die Weltstadt mit Herz" ( The world city with a heart ) for a long time and has been recently replaced by "Munchen liebt Dich" ( Munich loves you ). The figure on Munich's coat-of-arms is a monk referred to as the Mi¼nchner Kindl, the child of Munich.
Munich was founded in 1158 next to an already existing settlement of Benedictine monks Munichen (Latin Monacum, Monachium) by the Welf Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria. But the settlement in the Munich area dates even back to Roman
times, before the 8th-century monks were putting the St.Peter church on the maps. The village then grew around St.Peter next to the bridge, that Henry initially built over the river 'Isar'. To force traders to use his bridge (and, of course charge them for doing so) he destroyed a nearby bridge owned by bishop Otto von Freising (Freising). Therefore the bishop and Henry quarreled about the city before the emperor at a Imperial Diet held in Augsburg in 1158. Henry's spoliation was finally sanctioned with a yearly compensation for the bishop, Munich's trading-and currency rights were confirmed by Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa.
When Bavaria was reunited in 1506 Munich became capital of the whole of Bavaria. The arts and the policy were more and more dominated by the court. During the 16th century Munich was a center of German counter reformation but also of renaissance arts. Duke Wilhelm V created the Hofbri¤uhaus for brewing brown beer in 1589.
Many of the city's finest buildings belong to this period and were built under the reign of the king Ludwig I. These neoclassical buildings include the Ruhmeshalle with the "Bavaria" statue by Ludwig Michael von Schwanthaler and those on the magnificent LudwigstraÃƒÆ’Ã…Â¸e and the Konigsplatz, built by the architects Leo von Klenze and Friedrich von Gi¤rtner. Under king Max II the MaximilianstraÃƒÆ’Ã…Â¸e was constructed in Perpendicular style.
In 1923 Hitler and his supporters, who at that time were concentrated in Munich, staged the Beer Hall Putsch, an attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic and seize power. The revolt failed, resulting in Hitler's arrest and the temporary crippling of the Nazi Party, which was virtually unknown outside Munich.
Also in the period of the Weimar Republic Munich remained a center of cultural life as names like Lion Feuchtwanger, Bert Brecht and Oskar Maria Graf indicate.
Munich however would once again become a Nazi stronghold when they took power in Germany in 1933. Because of its importance to the rise of Nazism, the Nazis called it the Hauptstadt der Bewegung (" capital of the movement "). The NSDAP headquarters were in Munich and many Fuhrerbauten (" Fuhrer-buildings ") were built around the Konigsplatz, some of which have survived to this day.
In 1938, the Munich Agreement, Neville Chamberlain's famous act of appeasement to Hitler, was signed in the city. It ceded the mostly German-speaking regions of Czechoslovakia called Sudetenland to Germany. It was signed by representatives of Germany, Italy, France and Britain. One year later, in 1939, Georg Elser failed with his attempt to assassinate Hitler while the latter was giving his annual speech to commemorate the Beer Hall Putsch in the Bi¼rgerbri¤ukeller in Munich.
Munich was very heavily damaged by allied bombing during World War II, the city was hit by 71 air raids over a period of five years.
Postwar Munich :
After American occupation in 1945, Munich was completely rebuilt following a meticulous and, by comparison to other war-ravaged German cities, a rather conservative plan which preserved its pre-war street grid.
Munich was the site of the 1972 Summer Olympics, during which Israeli athletes were assassinated by Palestinian terrorists (see Munich massacre), when terrorist gunmen from the Palestinian "Black September" group took hostage members of the Israeli Olympic team. A rescue attempt by the West German government was unsuccessful and resulted in the deaths of the Israeli hostages, five of the terrorists, and one German police officer.
Several games of the 1974 World Cup were also held in the city. It was the stage of the German triumph against the Netherlands in a legendary final. In 2006 it will again be host to several games, including the opening match of the next FIFA 2006 World Cup.
In 1992 Munich's new airport was inaugurated and the inauguration of the Neue Messe, the new exhibition centre on the site of the former airport of Riem, took place in 1998.
The current Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising on June 29, 1951. Ratzinger served as Archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982.
Munich has several important art museums, most of which can be found in the Kunstareal, such as the Alte Pinakothek, the Neue Pinakothek, and the Pinakothek der Moderne. Alte Pinakothek's rather monolithic structure contains a treasure trove of the works of European masters between the 14th and 18th centuries. The collection reflects the rather eclectic tastes of the Wittelsbachs over four centuries, and is sorted by schools over two sprawling floors. Major displays include Albrecht Di¼rer`s Christ-like Self-Portrait, his Four Apostles and Peter Paul Rubens two-storey-high Judgment Day. This museum houses, in fact, one of the world`s most comprehensive Rubens collections. Before World War I, the Blaue Reiter group of artists worked in Munich; many of their works can be seen at the Lenbachhaus. A profound collection of Greek and Roman art is provided by the Glyptothek and the Staatliche Antikensammlung. The State Museum of Ethnology is the second largest in Germany of artifacts and objects from outside Europe, the Bavarian National Museum is one of Europe's major art and cultural history museums.
Other famous tourist attractions include the Deutsches Museum, one of the oldest and largest science museums in the world.
Modern Munich :
Munich features a wide and diverse array of modern architecture, although strict height limitations for buildings have limited the construction of skyscrapers. Most high-rise buildings are clustered at the northern edge of Munich, like the Hypohaus, the Arabella High-Rise Building, the Highlight Towers, Uptown Munich and the BMW Headquarters next to the Olympic Park. Several other high-rise buildings are located near the city center and on the Siemens campus in southern Munich.
In November 2004, a referendum was held to decide whether the construction of high-rise buildings in the inner city should be prohibited; as a result of the referendum, several building projects, among them the planned new office building of Si¼ddeutscher Verlag, had to be changed substantially or given up completely. However, as of 2006, due to the very close result of the referendum and due to the fact that the referendum's result was binding only for one year, there is an ongoing discussion in the city council on how to proceed with future building plans.
Olympic Park and Allianz Arena :
The Olympic Park with its stadium was built for the 1972 Summer Olympics which were held in Munich. The Olympic buildings are famous for their design, which was inspired by dew-covered cobwebs. Visitors can be elevated on top of the Olympic Tower (Olympiaturm), which commands a great panorama view of Munich and the Alps and is also used as a radio and TV broadcasting tower.
The 2006 World Cup, however, will not take place in the traditional Olympic Stadium, but in Munich's new football stadium, the Allianz Arena, located in the northern quarter of Fri¶ttmanning. Nearby is the oldest church within the city borders, Heilig Kreuz, known for its romanesque fresco.
Munich is a green city with numerous parks: Beside the modern Olympic Park, the parks of Nymphenburg Palace and Schleissheim Palace are a worthwhile sight. The Hirschgarten, a traditional park near Nymphenburg, houses the largest traditional beer garden in Munich. The Englischer Garten is a public park situated roughly in the center of the city and contains a nudist area, jogging tracks and bridle-paths. With an area covering 3.7 sq km the Englischer Garten is one of the world's largest urban public parks. The oldest park of the city is the Hofgarten, near the Residenz, which was established in the 16th century.
Munich is one of the centers of the German new economy as a center for biotechnology, software and other service industries. The city is home to the global headquarters of German insurance companies Allianz and Munich Re, the car manufacturer BMW, the truck manufacturer MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, the aircraft engine manufacturer MTU Aero Engines, the space and defence contractor EADS (headquartered in the suburban town of Ottobrunn), the injection molding machine manufacturer Krauss-Maffei, the manufacturer of desktop-monitors NEC Displays, the camera and lighting manufacturer Arri, the technology firms Siemens and Infineon Technologies (headquatered in the suburban town of Neubiberg), as well as the German headquarters of McDonald's and Microsoft.
Lufthansa has opened a second hub at Munich's Franz Josef Strauss International Airport, the second-largest airport in Germany, after Frankfurt International Airport.
In addition to this, Munich is home to many publishing houses, second only to New York City. The Si¼ddeutsche Zeitung, one of the largest German-language daily newspapers, is published in Munich.
Public Transportation :
Munich has a large public transport system including Subways, Suburban trains, trams and buses. For its population, Munich has one of the most comprehensive systems in the world. The local transportation is supervised by the Munich Transport and Tariff Association.
There are three main train stations, Munich Hauptbahnhof (Central Station), located in the city centre, Pasing Station, in the western part of the city, and Munich East Station, in the eastern part. All three are connected to the public transport system and serve as transportation hubs. This article is licensed under the [GNU Free Documentation License]. It uses material from Wikipedia
Munich Image : dertravel.co.uk