Stadtbild München.jpg
Schloss Nymphenburg Münich.jpg
Englischer Garten München.jpg
BMW Welt Night cropped.jpg
Feldherrnhalle - Odeonsplatz.jpg
Allianz arena golden hour Richard Bartz.jpg
Location of Munich
Munich is located in Germany
Munich is located in Bavaria
Coordinates: 48°08′N 11°34′E / 48°08′N 11°34′E / 48.133; 11.567
Admin. regionUpper Bavaria
DistrictUrban district
First mentioned1158
 • Lord MayorDieter Reiter (SPD)
 • Governing partiesSPD / CSU
 • City310.43 km2 (119.86 sq mi)
520 m (1,710 ft)
 • City1,471,508
 • Density4,700/km2 (12,000/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Metro
Time zoneCET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Postal codes
Dialling codes089
Mariensäule at Marienplatz
Aerial view of Munich
Alps behind the skyline of Munich
Lion sculptures by Wilhelm von Rümann at the Feldherrnhalle

Munich (k/ MEW-nik; German: München [ˈmʏnçn̩] (About this soundlisten);[3] Austro-Bavarian: Minga [ˈmɪŋ(ː)ɐ]; Latin: Monachium) is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria, the second most populous German federal state. With a population of around 1.5 million,[4] it is the third-largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, and thus the largest which does not constitute its own state, as well as the 12th-largest city in the European Union. The city's metropolitan region is home to 6 million people.[5] Straddling the banks of the River Isar (a tributary of the Danube) north of the Bavarian Alps, it is the seat of the Bavarian administrative region of Upper Bavaria, while being the most densely populated municipality in Germany (4,500 people per km²). Munich is the second-largest city in the Bavarian dialect area, after the Austrian capital of Vienna.

The city is a global centre of art, science, technology, finance, publishing, culture, innovation, education, business, and tourism and enjoys a very high standard and quality of living, reaching first in Germany and third worldwide according to the 2018 Mercer survey,[6] and being rated the world's most liveable city by the Monocle's Quality of Life Survey 2018.[7] According to the Globalization and World Rankings Research Institute Munich is considered an alpha-world city, as of 2015.[8] Munich is a major international center of engineering, science, innovation, and research, exemplified by the presence of two research universities, a multitude of scientific institutions in the city and its surroundings, and world class technology and science museums like the Deutsches Museum and BMW Museum.[9] Munich houses many multinational companies and its economy is based on high tech, automobiles, the service sector and creative industries, as well as IT, biotechnology, engineering and electronics among many others.

The name of the city is derived from the Old/Middle High German term Munichen, meaning "by the monks". It derives from the monks of the Benedictine order, who ran a monastery at the place that was later to become the Old Town of Munich; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat of arms. Munich was first mentioned in 1158. Catholic Munich strongly resisted the Reformation and was a political point of divergence during the resulting Thirty Years' War, but remained physically untouched despite an occupation by the Protestant Swedes.[10][citation needed] 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 had governed Bavaria since 1180, was forced to abdicate in Munich and a short-lived socialist republic was declared.

In the 1920s, Munich became home to several political factions, among them the NSDAP. The first attempt of the Nazi movement to take over the German government in 1923 with the Beer Hall Putsch was stopped by the Bavarian police in Munich with gunfire. After the Nazis' rise to power, Munich was declared their "Capital of the Movement". 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 Wirtschaftswunder, or "economic miracle". Unlike many other German cities which were heavily bombed, Munich restored most of its traditional cityscape and hosted the 1972 Summer Olympics. The 1980s brought strong economic growth, high-tech industries and scientific institutions, and population growth. The city is home to major corporations like BMW, Siemens, MAN, Linde, Allianz and MunichRE.

Munich is home to many universities, museums and theatres. Its numerous architectural attractions, sports events, exhibitions and its annual Oktoberfest attract considerable tourism.[11] Munich is one of the most prosperous and fastest growing cities in Germany. It is a top-ranked destination for migration and expatriate location. Munich hosts more than 530,000 people of foreign background, making up 37.7% of its population.[12]


Munich city large coat of arms

Origin of medieval town

Munich in the 16th century
Plan of Munich in 1642

The first known settlement in the area was of Benedictine monks on the Salt road. The foundation date is not considered the year 1158, the date the city was first mentioned in a document. The document was signed in Augsburg.[13] By then, the Guelph Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria, had built a toll bridge over the river Isar next to the monk settlement and on the salt route. But as part of the archaeological excavations at Marienhof in advance of the expansion of the S-Bahn from 2012 shards of vessels from the eleventh century were found, which prove again that the settlement Munich must be older than their first documentary mention from 1158.

In 1175 Munich received city status and fortification. In 1180 with the trial of Henry the Lion, Otto I Wittelsbach became Duke of Bavaria, and Munich was handed to the Bishop of Freising. (Wittelsbach's heirs, the Wittelsbach dynasty, ruled Bavaria until 1918.) In 1240, Munich was transferred to Otto II Wittelsbach and in 1255, when the Duchy of Bavaria was split in two, Munich became the ducal residence of Upper Bavaria.

Duke Louis IV, a native of Munich, was elected German king in 1314 and crowned as Holy Roman Emperor in 1328. He strengthened the city's position by granting it the salt monopoly, thus assuring it of additional income. In the late 15th century, Munich underwent a revival of gothic arts: the Old Town Hall was enlarged, and Munich's largest gothic church – the Frauenkirche – now a cathedral, was constructed in only 20 years, starting in 1468.

Capital of reunited Bavaria

Marienplatz, Munich about 1650
Banners with the colours of Munich (left) and Bavaria (right) with the Frauenkirche in the background

When Bavaria was reunited in 1506, Munich became its capital. The arts and politics became increasingly influenced by the court (see Orlando di Lasso and Heinrich Schütz). During the 16th century, Munich was a centre of the German counter reformation, and also of renaissance arts. Duke Wilhelm V commissioned the Jesuit Michaelskirche, which became a centre for the counter-reformation, and also built the Hofbräuhaus for brewing brown beer in 1589. The Catholic League was founded in Munich in 1609.

In 1623, during the Thirty Years' War, Munich became electoral residence when Maximilian I, Duke of Bavaria was invested with the electoral dignity, but in 1632 the city was occupied by Gustav II Adolph of Sweden. When the bubonic plague broke out in 1634 and 1635, about one third of the population died. Under the regency of the Bavarian electors, Munich was an important centre of baroque life, but also had to suffer under Habsburg occupations in 1704 and 1742.

In 1806 the city became the capital of the new Kingdom of Bavaria, with the state's parliament (the Landtag) and the new archdiocese of Munich and Freising being located in the city. Twenty years later, Landshut University was moved to Munich. Many of the city's finest buildings belong to this period and were built under the first three Bavarian kings. Especially Ludwig I rendered outstanding services to Munich's status as a centre of the arts, attracting numerous artists and enhancing the city's architectural substance with grand boulevards and buildings. On the other hand, Ludwig II, known the world over as the fairytale king, was mostly aloof from his capital and focused more on his fanciful castles in the Bavarian countryside. Nevertheless, his patronage of Richard Wagner secured his posthumous reputation, as do his castles, which still generate significant tourist income for Bavaria. Later, Prince Regent Luitpold's years as regent were marked by tremendous artistic and cultural activity in Munich, enhancing its status as a cultural force of global importance (see Franz von Stuck and Der Blaue Reiter).

World War I to World War II

Unrest during the Beer Hall Putsch

Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, life in Munich became very difficult, as the Allied blockade of Germany led to food and fuel shortages. During French air raids in 1916, three bombs fell on Munich.

After World War I, the city was at the centre of substantial political unrest. In November 1918 on the eve of German revolution, Ludwig III and his family fled the city. After the murder of the first republican premier of Bavaria Kurt Eisner in February 1919 by Anton Graf von Arco auf Valley, the Bavarian Soviet Republic was proclaimed. When Communists took power, Lenin, who had lived in Munich some years before, sent a congratulatory telegram, but the Soviet Republic was ended on 3 May 1919 by the Freikorps. While the republican government had been restored, Munich became a hotbed of extremist politics, among which Adolf Hitler and the National Socialists soon rose to prominence.

Bombing damage to the Altstadt. Note the roofless and pockmarked Altes Rathaus looking up the Tal. The roofless Heilig-Geist-Kirche is on the right of the photo. Its spire, without the copper top, is behind the church. The Talbruck gate tower is missing completely.

In 1923, Adolf Hitler and his supporters, who 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 (NSDAP). The city again became important to the Nazis when they took power in Germany in 1933. The party created its first concentration camp at Dachau, 16 kilometres (9.9 miles) north-west of the city. Because of its importance to the rise of National Socialism, Munich was referred to as the Hauptstadt der Bewegung ("Capital of the Movement"). The NSDAP headquarters were in Munich and many Führerbauten ("Führer-buildings") were built around the Königsplatz, some of which still survive.

The city is known as the site of the culmination of the policy of appeasement by Britain and France leading up to World War II. It was in Munich that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain assented to the annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland region into Greater Germany in the hopes of sating the desires of Hitler's Third Reich.

Munich was the base of the White Rose, a student resistance movement from June 1942 to February 1943. The core members were arrested and executed following a distribution of leaflets in Munich University by Hans and Sophie Scholl.

The city was heavily damaged by Allied bombing during World War II by 71 air raids over five years.


After US occupation in 1945, Munich was completely rebuilt following a meticulous plan, which preserved its pre-war street grid. In 1957, Munich's population surpassed one million. The city continued to play a highly significant role in the German economy, politics and culture, giving rise to its nickname Heimliche Hauptstadt ("secret capital") in the decades after World War II.

Munich was the site of the 1972 Summer Olympics, during which Israeli athletes were assassinated by Palestinian fedayeen in the Munich massacre, when gunmen from the Palestinian "Black September" group took hostage members of the Israeli Olympic team.

Most Munich residents enjoy a high quality of life. Mercer HR Consulting consistently rates the city among the top 10 cities with the highest quality of life worldwide – a 2011 survey ranked Munich as 4th.[14] In 2007 the same company also ranked Munich as the 39th most expensive in the world and most expensive major city in Germany.[15] Munich enjoys a thriving economy, driven by the information technology, biotechnology, and publishing sectors. Environmental pollution is low, although as of 2006 the city council is concerned about levels of particulate matter (PM), especially along the city's major thoroughfares. Since the enactment of EU legislation concerning the concentration of particulate in the air, environmental groups such as Greenpeace have staged large protest rallies to urge the city council and the State government to take a harder stance on pollution.[16] Today, the crime rate is low compared with other large German cities, such as Hamburg or Berlin. For its high quality of life and safety, the city has been nicknamed "Toytown"[17] among the English-speaking residents. German inhabitants call it "Millionendorf", an expression which means "village of a million people". Due to the high standard of living in and the thriving economy of the city and the region, there was an influx of people and Munich's population surpassed 1.5 million by June 2015, an increase of more than 20% in 10 years.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: München
Alemannisch: München
አማርኛ: ሙኒክ
Ænglisc: Mynecen
العربية: ميونخ
aragonés: Múnich
asturianu: Munich
Avañe'ẽ: Múnich
Aymar aru: München
azərbaycanca: Münhen
تۆرکجه: مونیخ
বাংলা: মিউনিখ
Bân-lâm-gú: München
башҡортса: Мюнхен
беларуская: Мюнхен
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Мюнхэн
български: Мюнхен
Boarisch: Minga
bosanski: München
brezhoneg: München
буряад: Мюнхен
català: Munic
Чӑвашла: Мюнхен
čeština: Mnichov
chiTumbuka: Munich
Cymraeg: München
dansk: München
davvisámegiella: München
Deitsch: München
Deutsch: München
dolnoserbski: München
डोटेली: म्युनिख
eesti: München
Ελληνικά: Μόναχο
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Mònag 'd Bavéra
эрзянь: Мюнхен ош
español: Múnich
Esperanto: Munkeno
estremeñu: Múnich
euskara: Munich
فارسی: مونیخ
føroyskt: München
français: Munich
Frysk: München
Gaeilge: München
Gaelg: München
Gàidhlig: München
galego: Múnic
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: München
한국어: 뮌헨
Hausa: München
Hawaiʻi: Munike
հայերեն: Մյունխեն
हिन्दी: म्यूनिख
hornjoserbsce: Mnichow
hrvatski: München
Ilokano: Munich
Bahasa Indonesia: München
interlingua: München
Interlingue: München
Ирон: Мюнхен
íslenska: München
עברית: מינכן
Jawa: München
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಮ್ಯೂನಿಕ್
Kapampangan: Munich
ქართული: მიუნხენი
қазақша: Мюнхен
Kiswahili: München
Kongo: Munich
kurdî: Munîh
Кыргызча: Мюнхен
кырык мары: Мӱнхен
latgaļu: Minhene
Latina: Monacum
latviešu: Minhene
Lëtzebuergesch: München
лезги: Мюнхен
lietuvių: Miunchenas
Limburgs: München
Lingua Franca Nova: München
lumbaart: Münegh
magyar: München
македонски: Минхен
മലയാളം: മ്യൂണിക്ക്
მარგალური: მიუნხენი
مصرى: ميونيخ
Bahasa Melayu: Munich
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: München
монгол: Мюнхен
မြန်မာဘာသာ: မြူးနစ်ချ်မြို့
Dorerin Naoero: Munich
Nederlands: München
नेपाली: म्युनिख
नेपाल भाषा: म्युनिख
日本語: ミュンヘン
Napulitano: Monaco 'e Baviera
нохчийн: Мюнхен
Nordfriisk: München
norsk: München
norsk nynorsk: München
Novial: München
occitan: Munic
олык марий: Мюнхен
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Munhen
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਮਿਊਨਿਖ਼
Pälzisch: München
پنجابی: میونخ
Papiamentu: München
Picard: München
Piemontèis: Mùnich
Plattdüütsch: München
polski: Monachium
português: Munique
Qaraqalpaqsha: Myunxen
Ripoarisch: München
română: München
romani čhib: Menix
rumantsch: Minca
Runa Simi: München
русиньскый: Мнихів
русский: Мюнхен
саха тыла: Мүнхэн
Scots: Munich
Seeltersk: München
shqip: Mynihu
Simple English: Munich
سنڌي: ميونخ
slovenčina: Mníchov
slovenščina: München
ślůnski: München
Soomaaliga: München
کوردی: میونشن
српски / srpski: Минхен
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: München
Sunda: München
suomi: München
svenska: München
Tagalog: Munich
தமிழ்: மியூனிக்
татарча/tatarça: Мүнхен
tetun: Munike
тоҷикӣ: Мюнхен
Türkçe: Münih
Türkmençe: Mýunhen
удмурт: Мюнхен
українська: Мюнхен
اردو: میونخ
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: Myunxén
vepsän kel’: Münhen
Tiếng Việt: München
Volapük: München
文言: 慕尼黑
West-Vlams: München
Winaray: Munich
吴语: 慕尼黑
ייִדיש: מינכן
Yorùbá: Munich
粵語: 慕尼黑
Zazaki: Munix
žemaitėška: Mionchens
中文: 慕尼黑