A Brief History of Munich
Munich was founded in the ninth century as a small village near a Benedictine monastery. The name is derived from the old German term for monk. In 1225, Munich became a ducal seat and from 1504 the undisputed capital of Bavaria. It remained the primary residence of the ruling Wittelsbach family up to the abolition of the monarchy in 1918. They were avid builders and created palaces and churches, as well as structures that filled whole city blocks. Bavaria was elevated to a kingdom in 1806 and the kings were generally enlightened rulers who attracted artistic talent to the city.
After the First World War, Munich briefly fell into the hands of revolutionaries and also saw the foundation of the National Socialist German Labor Party – commonly known later simply as the Nazis. In 1923, its leader, Adolf Hitler, unsuccessfully attempted a coup d’état. Once he was in power, Munich became the “Capital of the Movement” and several buildings were erected or altered to reflect the Nazi views. In 1938, the infamous meeting where Britain, France, and Italy sold out Czechoslovakia took place in Munich.
The city suffered terrible bombardments during the war but rebuilt quickly afterwards. On December 15, 1957, it officially became a city of a million inhabitants. In 1972, it hosted the summer Olympic Games and two years later Germany won the soccer world cup in the Olympic stadium. Munich’s wealth is built on modern industries.
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