History of Munich

Munich traces its origins back to a Benedictine monastery at Tegernsee, founded in the 8th century. The year 1158 is assumed to be the foundation date of Munich, which is only the earliest date the city is mentioned in a document. In 1157 Henry the Lion, Duke of Bavaria, granted the monks the right to establish a market where the road from Salzburg met the Isar River. A bridge was built across the Isar the following year, and the marketplace was fortified.

In 1175 Munich was granted city status and fortified. In 1180, Otto I Wittelsbach became Duke of Bavaria and Munich was handed over to the bishop of Freising. The Wittelsbach dynasty ruled over Bavaria until 1918.

In 1806, Munich became the capital of the new Kingdom of Bavaria and the new archdiocese of Munich and Freising being located in the city.

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.

hitler

During WW II Munich was heavily bombed and the population of the city sank from some 800’000 to 500,000 (during the years of WW II people moved out of Munich). Munich was completely rebuilt following a meticulous and - by comparison to other war-ravaged German cities - rather conservative plan which preserved its pre-war street grid (Wikipedia). Munich’s population passed 1 million in 1957. In 1972, the Olympic Games were held in Munich.

Munich Today

In the past Munich suffered economically because of its distance from seaports and from the coal mines of the Ruhr region. But this situation improved when fuels other than coal came into general use. Munich shifted from heavy to light industry, to the manufacture, for example, of precision instruments, optical and electrical appliances, and aerospace and other high-technology products, as well as to the production of food, cosmetics, and clothing. The city has several of the largest breweries in Germany (Munich’s breweries) and is famous for its beer and its annual Oktoberfest celebration. Munich is also a major tourist destination and a convention centre. Book publishing and printing (Süddeutscher Verlag, etc.), and television production (SevenOne, Arena, Constantin, etc.) are also important. BMW, Allianz, Siemens (Berlin/Munich), Linde are some of the most important employers.

bmw

Today, the Bavarian capital (population of 1.4 million) is the third biggest German city behind only Berlin and Hamburg, but Munich is economically the strongest city of the country, and it is unlikely that this is going to change anytime soon. Despite the high cost of living and rents, many young entrepreneurs are starting new businesses.

A modern, cosmopolitan city with a big heart and a long heritage, as suave as it is easy-going, buzzing and yet tranquil. Munich is Germany's lifestyle capital. The people of Munich are also proud of the city's art and music scene and the museums, such as the Deutsches Museum, the world's biggest science and technology museum, the Alte Pinakothek, the Neue Pinakothek (photo below), the Pinakothek der Moderne, the Lenbachhaus Museum and others.

neue pinakothek

Review:
Paul Bradbury

After 12 years living on the most gorgeous island in the world, Hvar in Dalmatia, I have begun to wonder if there is still life beyond its shores. Prior to discovering Paradise in 2002, I was a world traveller, living and working in Japan, Georgia, Somalia, Rwanda, Russia... and Munich.

After 95 countries and some 25 years have passed, the memories of my year in the hotel industry in the Bavarian capital (fired by the Sheraton for losing our pet snake, the first male chambermaid at Hotel Arabella, and a truly eye-watering introduction to five-star living in  my days as a bellboy in luxury Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten) are strong, and the call of Munich has been a constant theme over the last quarter century. 

And so here I am, answering the call some 25 years later. Twelve years of island living have changed me for sure, but also left me curious about life in a big city, and whether or not I could adapt to it after such an insular decade. 

I was surprised to see that for such a magnificent multi-cultural city, English-language blogs and regularly updated information are not that available. Static tourism information, such as that provided by the excellent tourist board website yes, but accounts of daily life delivered daily? Hard to find.

And so I have decided to take a break from my idyllic island and see if I could live in a city again. And what better way to try than to discover modern Munich in all its facets after so many years. It is a journey of discovery which I am relishing, and I hope the site proves to be of interest for Munich residents and its numerous visitors.

About Paul Bradbury

Author of Lebanese Nuns Don't Ski, Lavender, Dormice and a Donkey Named Mercedes and Hvar's first comprehensive guidebook, Hvar: An Insider's Guide to Croatia's Premier Island, as well as co-author of Split: An Insider's Guide with Mila Hvilshoj, I have lived in Dalmatia full time since 2003. In addition to running Total Munich, I also run Total Split (www.croatia-split.com), Total Hvar (www.total-hvar.com) and Total Inland Dalmatia (www.total-inland-dalmatia.com), as well as being an accredited Google News journalist for Digital Journal in Canada.

I also have various blogging clients, including the Central Dalmatia Tourist Board, European Coastal Airlines, Touristar TV and Andro Tomic Wines, and print clients include Qatar Airways inflight magazine, Out! magazine from New York, and Croatian Hotspots. 

In December 2014 I was delighted to receive the Marko Polo 2014 Award from FIJET Croatia (Federation of International Travel Writers and Journalists)  at a ceremony for the Croatian Journalists Society for the best international tourism promotion of Croatia. More here.

Ongoing writing projects:

A History of Hajduk Split, co-author with Frane Grgurevic - in 2015

Around the World in 80 Disasters - out in 2015

Total Hvar in the Media:

Interview of the Month, Croatian Embassy in Washington (May 2013)

Special Feature in Globus Magazine (May 2013)

Featured on Croatian TV show, More (2012) - watch the report here

Interviews in Slobodna Dalmacija, Dalmacijanews, Radio Split

I am available for writing services. Please contact me on info@total-munich.com or visit my main writing website, www.bossandblogger.com 

Website: total-hvar.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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