Munich: The Capital of Bavaria
Facts About Munich
Munich is the capital city of Bavaria, Germany. It is located on the River Isar, just a little north of the Bavarian Alps. It is the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg. Around 1.35 million people live here.
The motto of the city is "München mag Dich" (Munich likes you). the German name of the city, München, comes from the old Germanic language and it means 'by the monks place.' The city's colors have been black and gold (the colors of the Holy Roman Empire) ever since the time period of Ludwig the Bavarian.
Today, Munich is a center for finance and publishing, as well as being ranked continually on many best places to live lists. Despite this, Munich is often considered the most expensive city in Germany. This is not what tourists want to hear, but it does show that the demand for living there is very high.
Origin and Medieval Town
The city was founded in 1158. This date has been chosen because it was the first time the name of the city appeared in a document. 20 years after its founding Munich was given the status of being a city. Otto I Wittelsbach was the first Duke of Bavaria and his descendents would be the rulers Bavaria until 1918.
In medieval times, the Duke Louis IV was made the Holy Roman Emperor and he strengthened the city's position by granting it a salt monopoly, thus giving it of additional income and increasing the position of the city. During the 15th century, Munich underwent a gothic revival. During this time the Old Town Hall was enlarged, and the largest gothic church in Munich, the Frauenkirch was built in 1468.
The City Center
After World War II, 80% of the city was destroyed by Allied bombing, but it has since then been carefully restored to pre-war status. The locals really take pride in the beauty of the city and it's architecture. They did such a good job with the restoration that its hard to tell what was destroyed and what was not. The City Museum of Munich has very interesting displays that show the devastation as well as the reconstruction process.
The Hofbräuhaus and Oktoberfest: BEER!
The history of the Oktoberfest goes back to the 12th October 1810. It was held in honour of the marriage of Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. This party included a horse race, and in some twist of events the horse race tradition turned into a tradition of beer drinking. Despite the name of the festival, Oktoberfest mostly takes place in September. It always finishes on the first Sunday in October unless the German national holiday on 3 October ("Tag der deutschen Einheit" meaning the Day of German Unity) is a Monday or Tuesday. If this is the case, then Oktoberfest remains open for a few more days.