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Rathaus and Marienplatz from Peterskirche - August 2006.jpg
Flag of Munich
Coat of arms of Munich
Munich is located in Germany
Coordinates 48°8′0″N 11°34′0″E / 48.133333°N 11.566667°E / 48.133333; 11.566667
Country Germany
State Bavaria
Admin. region Upper Bavaria
District Urban district
City subdivisions 25 boroughs
Basic statistics
Area 310.43 km2
Elevation 519 m  (1703 ft)
Population 1,330,440 (31 December 2009)[1]
 - Density 4,286 /km2 (11,100 /sq mi)
 - Urban 2,606,021
 - Metro 5,991,144[2] 
Founded 1158
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate M
Postal codes 80331–81929
Area code 089

Munich (German: München) is the ancient capital of Bavaria and Germany's third largest city. The Munich Metropolitan Area is home to around 2.6 million people (2006). The Greater Munich Area (including Augsburg, Ingolstadt, Rosenheim, Landshut and Landsberg) is home to almost 6 million people. Munich is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps.


The city's motto was for a long time "Die Weltstadt mit Herz" (The global city with a heart), but has recently been replaced by "München mag dich" (Munich loves you). Its native name, München, stems from an Old German word predating the word "Mönche" of today's High German, meaning "Monks". Therefore, the figure on Munich's coat-of-arms is a monk, and is referred to as the Münchner Kindl, the child of Munich. Black and gold - the colors of the Holy Roman Empire - have been the city's official colors since the time of Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor.

Munich, or München (“Home of the Monks”), traces its origins to the Benedictine monastery at Tegernsee, which was probably founded in 750 CE. 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 1255 Munich became the home of the Wittelsbach family, which had succeeded to the duchy of Bavaria in 1180. For more than 700 years the Wittelsbachs would be closely connected with the town’s destiny. In the early 14th century the first of the Wittelsbach line of Holy Roman emperors, Louis IV (Louis the Bavarian), expanded the town to the size at which it remained up to the end of the 18th century. Under the Bavarian elector Maximilian I (1597–1651), a powerful and effective ruler, Munich increased in wealth and size and prospered until the Thirty Years’ War. It was occupied by the Swedes under Gustav II Adolf (Gustavus Adolphus) in 1632, and in 1634 a plague epidemic resulted in the death of about one-third of its population. The third Wittelsbach who left his mark on the community was Louis I, king of Bavaria from 1825 to 1848. Louis planned and created modern Munich, and his architects established the city’s characteristic appearance in the public buildings they designed. The 19th century was Munich’s greatest period of growth and development. Protestants became citizens for the first time in what had been until then a purely Roman Catholic town. The city’s population of 100,000 in 1854 grew to 500,000 by 1900. Munich’s cultural importance in Europe was enhanced when Louis II, by his championing of the composer Richard Wagner, revived its fame as a city of music and the stage. The rule of the Wittelsbach dynasty finally ended with the self-imposed exile of Louis III in November 1918, and, in the aftermath of World War I, Munich became a hotbed of right-wing political ferment. It was in Munich that Adolf Hitler joined the Nazi Party and became its leader. The beer cellar where he held meetings that led to the Beer Hall Putsch (“uprising”) against the Bavarian authorities in November 1923 can still be seen. In World War II Munich suffered heavily from Allied bombing raids, which destroyed more than 40 percent of its buildings.[3]

Historical populations

Year Population
1500 13447
1600 21943
1750 32000
1880 230023
1890 349024
1900 499932
1910 596467
1920 666000
1930 728900
1940 834500
1950 823892
1955 929808
1960 1055457
1965 1214603
1970 1311978
1980 1298941
1990 1229026
2000 1210223
2005 1259584
2010 1353186
2011 1364920
2012 1388308
2013 1402455
2015 1450381
2018 1471508
2020 1488202
2021 1487708

See also