Munich (/ˈmjuːnɪk/; German: München, pronounced [ˈmʏnçən] ( ), Bavarian: Minga) is the capital and largest city of the German state of Bavaria. It is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps. Munich is the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg. About 1.5 million people live within the city limits. Its inhabitants are sometimes called Munichers in English.
The city's native name, München, is derived from the combined Late Latin and Old High German term ad Munichen, meaning "by the monks(' place)". It derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who ran a monastery at the place that was later to become the Old Town of Munich; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat of arms. Munich was first mentioned in 1158. From 1255 the city was seat of the Bavarian Dukes. Black and gold — the colours of the Holy Roman Empire — have been the city's official colours since the time of Ludwig the Bavarian, when it was an imperial residence. Following a final reunification of the Wittelsbachian Duchy of Bavaria, previously multiply divided and sub-divided for more than 200 years, the town became the country's sole capital in 1506. Catholic Munich was one cultural stronghold of Counter-Reformation and a political point of divergence during the resulting Thirty Years' War, but remained physically untouched despite an occupation by the Protestant Swedes; the townsfolk would rather open the gates of their beautiful town than risk siege and almost inevitable destruction. Like wide parts of the Holy Roman Empire the place only slowly recovered economically. In the meantime having turned from a duchy's capital into that of an electorate (1623) and later even a sovereign kingdom's (1806), Munich was a stronghold of arts, culture and science latest since the 19th century. The city became the Nazi movement's infamous Hauptstadt der Bewegung (lit.: "capital of the movement") and after its post-war reconstruction was the host city of the 1972 Summer Olympics.
Modern Munich is home to many national and international authorities and major universities, major museums and theaters. Its numerous architectural attractions, international sports events, exhibitions and conferences and the Munich Oktoberfest combine to attract considerable tourism. Since 2006, the city's motto has been "München mag dich" ("Munich loves you"). Munich is a traffic hub with excellent international, national and local connections, running a fast and reliable public transportation system. It is a centre of finance, publishing and advanced technologies. Munich is one of the economically most successful and fastest growing cities in Germany and the seat of numerous corporations and insurance companies, as well as a frequently top-ranked destination for migration and expatriate location in livability rankings, despite being the municipality with the highest density of population (4.500 inh. per km²) in Germany. Munich achieved 4th place in frequently quoted Mercer livability rankings in 2011 and 2012. For economic and social innovation, the city was ranked 15th globally out of 289 cities in 2010, and 5th in Germany by the 2thinknow Innovation Cities Index based on analysis of 162 indicators. In 2013, Monocle ranked Munich as the world's most livable city with the highest quality of life.
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