Having become one of the most modern cities in post-war Germany, Munich was founded by Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria in 1158, although the first settlers were Irish and Scottish Benedictine monks some time round the seventh and eighth centuries. The city’s original full name, Zie den Munichen, means ‘with the monks’.
Munich became capital of the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1806 and over the next 100 years became a cultural and artistic centre under kings Louis I, Maximilian II and Louis II. During this time Munich played a very significant role in the development of 19th and 20th century German painting.
World War II took its toll on Munich in the mid-1940’s. It wasn’t for 30 years later that the city seemed to be fully restored and it was offered the chance of hosting the 1972 Olympic Games. Today Munich is a leading city in high-tech industries and is also home to media production and a growing number of internet businesses.
Funnily enough, even though the city is such an industrial centre in Germany, it is also in Munich that you will find all the best known German stereotypes – huge beer halls, traditional German ‘oompah’ bands and people wearing lederhosen. This is the perfect German city to visit if you want to experience the old and the new.