The City of Munich, capital of the Free State of Bavaria, is located close to the Bavarian Alps in the south of Germany and the center of Europe. The River Isar runs for approximately 10 miles through the city, which comprises 76,500 acres. Its population is over a million.
The city, rich in Baroque architecture, is the most Italianate of German cities, but also displays its Gothic, Renaissance and Rococo past, with flourishes of Classical, Art Nouveau and Contemporary styles. Marienplatz, the town's center, is dominated by the Neo-Gothic City Hall, and its charming Glockenspiel with 43 bells and moving figurines. The 500-year old Church of Our Lady, the Olympic Park and Tower, the English Garden park, and the Viktualienmarkt outdoor food market are other landmarks
Munich was founded in 1158 and was given the status of a town (civitas) in 1214.
In 1255 Munich became the seat of the Wittelsbach dynasty, which ruled for some 800 years. King Ludwig I of Bavaria, the Prince of the Muses, erected many famous buildings including the Royal Residence, the Glyptothek, the Old and New Pinakothek art museums, and the Triumphal Arch Siegestor. He is credited with turning Munich into a major cultural center of Europe one of the richest museum cities to be found in Germany today.
In 1957 Munich' s millionth inhabitant was born.
In 1972 the Olympic Summer Games were held at Munich.
Munich is a center for trade and industry due to the diversity of its economic structure, wide range of growth industries, and an excellent infrastructure. It is one of the leading high-tech regions in the world, with global players Siemens and BMW both based in Munich. The biotechnology and printing industries are also major employers.
The media industry continues to strengthen - Munich's Media Centre for the World Cup 2006 on the New Trade Fair grounds is the site for some 20,000 journalists filing their reports all over the world.
Munich welcomes 4 million overnight visitors it annually, in addition to some 62 million day visitors. Over 87,000 students are enrolled in the city's11 universities.
Munich has an internatioinal reputation as a metropolis of art and culture. Its 56 theatres include the National Theatre Opera House, and 46 museums and exhibitions present a broad array of fine arts culture.
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