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.
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.
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.
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.