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Munich

MUNICH

MUNICH. Although settlement along the Isar River, south of the Danube, dates from Roman times, this city owes its German name München (meaning 'monks') to the brothers of the Benedictine abbey of Tegernsee, who first nurtured an agricultural outpost in the region in Carolingian times. In 1158, the Saxon duke Henry the Lion granted the town its first market charter, allowing the fledgling settlement to compete commercially against the rival trade and diocesan capital of Freising, about thirty miles north of the modern city center. Despite fits and starts, Munich's role as a commercial outpost developed from its control of an important bridgehead on the Isar and its strategic location on the trade route between Salzburg and the north. Its commerce in Bavarian salt, gold, and other commodities grew in the later Middle Ages, although its population lagged far behind the other great cities of the German south, including Augsburg (which by the sixteenth century had a population of around forty thousand), Nuremberg (with around twenty thousand), and Regensburg (fifteen thousand). The city's fourteenth-century defensive walls proved largely sufficient to hold Munich's population until the eighteenth century, and the town's inhabitants probably numbered around five thousand in 1500. Despite its modest size, Munich's prosperity is attested to by the surviving monuments of the late fifteenth century, including the imposing Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady; 14681488) and the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall; 14701480). During the sixteenth century the city rose to prominence as a center of government, of Catholic reform, and of art. As a result of the brief Landshuter Erbfolgekrieg (Bavarian Succession War; 15031505), several previously separate Bavarian possessions in the region were joined into a single duchy, and in the course of the century that followed, the Wittelsbach dynasty increasingly identified Munich as their capital. In the city a lavish building program began in the 1560s with the expansion of the ducal palace, the Residenz. Its Antiquarium or library, completed between 1569 and 1571, was hailed in the early modern period as the "eighth wonder of the world." Other additions to the Residenz followed, including the rococo-era Cuvilliés Theater (constructed between 1746 and 1777). Although minorities of Protestant artisans were present in Munich during the mid-sixteenth century, the building program also expressed the attachment of the Wittelsbachs and the city's burghers to Catholicism. These included the massive Michaelskirche (Church of St. Michael; completed 1597), the first structure in northern Europe to be modeled on the famous Roman church of the Jesuit order, Il Gesú; the seventeenth-century Theatinerkirche (Church of the Theatines), which was decorated for more than a century by a succession of Italian and French artists and architects; and the fantastically ornate Church of St. Johann Nepomuk (also known as the Asamkirche), designed by the brothers Cosmas and Aegidius Asam and built between 1733 and 1746. The role of architecture was considerable in establishing a Catholic confessional identity in early modern Munich. At the same time, the Wittelsbach dynasty pioneered governmental innovations that were mimicked elsewhere and were designed to rid the city and the surrounding territory of Protestant sympathizers and to foster a new purified culture of Catholic religious practice. In the late sixteenth century Munich became home to the duchy's Clerical Council, an institution of both clerical and secular officials that supervised the Catholic clergy and all aspects of religious practice in the duchy for more than two centuries. Music was yet a third prong of the Wittelsbach's counteroffensive against Protestants. In 1556 Duke Albrecht V recruited the Franco-Flemish musician Orlando di Lasso (15321594) to serve in his court chapel, elevating him to the status of musical director in 1562. During his more than thirty years in this position, Lasso reigned as the greatest composer of the Catholic Reformation in Europe, with hundreds of his compositions being printed in France, the Netherlands, and Italy. The alliance between the Wittelsbach dukes and artists deepened in the seventeenth century, although the city's fortunes fell into a decline for a time during the Thirty Years' War, especially during the years between 1632 and 1634, when occupation by the Protestant King Gustavus II Adolphus of Sweden and an outbreak of the plague decreased the town's population by as much as a third. Munich's staunchly Catholic allegiances softened somewhat during the eighteenth century, as the Wittelsbach dukes adopted an enlightened despotic stance similar to that of the Habsburgs in Austria or the Hohenzollern in Brandenburg-Prussia. The more worldly sensibilities of the age are displayed in the monuments of that time, including the suburban pleasure palaces of Schloss Nymphenburg and the Amalienburg on Munich's outskirts, as well as the grand, but naturalistic Englischer Garten (English Garden) first laid out in the city in 1789. While the great monuments of the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries show that Munich was an important early modern provincial capital, its rise to the status of a major international city occurred only in the nineteenth century as the town's population increased fivefold in the half century after 1850. During the early modern centuries Munich displayed traits typical of many German provincial capitals, including local autonomy, guild dominance, concerns for confessional purity, and grand dynastic pretensions.

See also Bavaria ; Palatinate ; Wittelsbach Dynasty (Bavaria) .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Nöhbauer, Hans F. Munich, City of the Arts. Translated by Peter Green. Munich, 1994.

Spindler, Max, ed. Handbuch der bayerischen Geschichte. 4 vols. Munich, 1967.

Philip M. Soergel

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Munich

Munich (myōō´nĬk), Ger. München (mün´khən), city (1994 pop. 1,255,623), capital of Bavaria, S Germany, on the Isar River near the Bavarian Alps. It is a financial, commercial, industrial, transportation, communications, and cultural center. Its industries produce precision and optical instruments, electrical appliances, clothing, chemicals, motor vehicles, and beer. Munich is also a major center for film production and book publishing, and is home to one of Europe's largest wholesale produce markets. The city is a major tourist and convention center; a new airport handling both domestic and international flights was opened in 1992.

Points of Interest

Among the city's chief attractions are the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), a twin-towered cathedral built from 1468 to 1488; the Renaissance-style St. Michael's Church (1583–97); the Theatinerkirche (17th–18th cent.), a baroque church; Nymphenburg castle (1664–1728), with a porcelain factory (founded 1747) and the nearby Amalienburg (1734–39), a small rococo hunting château; the new city hall (1867–1908); Propyläen (1846–62), a monumental neoclassic gate; and the large English Garden (laid out 1789–1832). The city also has several leading museums, including the Old Pinakothek (built 1826–36), the reconstructed New Pinakothek, and the Modern Pinakothek, which house distinguished collections of art; the Bavarian National Museum (built 1894–99); the Schack-Galerie; the Glyptothek (built 1816–30); and the German Museum, which has wide-ranging exhibits on science, technology, and industry. The seat of an archbishop, Munich has a famous university (founded 1472 at Ingolstadt; transferred in 1802 to Landshut and in 1826 to Munich) in addition to a technical university, a conservatory of music, an opera, numerous theaters, and many publishing houses. Other educational institutions include academies of art, music, military studies, philosophy, film, and television. Munich is also noted for its lively Fasching (Shrove Tuesday) and Oktoberfest (October festival) celebrations. The 1972 Olympic summer games were centered at Munich, and the striking Allianz Arena, with its diamond-patterned polymer skin, is on the city's northern edge.

History

Situated near a settlement (Munichen) that was established in Carolingian times, Munich was founded (1158) by Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony and of Bavaria. In 1255 it was chosen as the residence of the Wittelsbach family, the dukes of Bavaria; it later became (1506) the capital of the dukedom. During the Thirty Years War, Munich was occupied (1632) by Gustavus II of Sweden. In 1806 the city was made capital of the kingdom of Bavaria. Under the kings Louis I (1825–48), Maximilian II (1848–64), and Louis II (1864–86), Munich became a cultural and artistic center, and it played a leading role in the development of 19th- and 20th-century German painting.

After World War I the city was the scene of considerable political unrest. National Socialism (Nazism) was founded there, and on Nov. 8, 1923, Adolf Hitler failed in his attempted Munich "beer-hall putsch" —a coup aimed at the Bavarian government. Despite this fiasco, Hitler made Munich the headquarters of the Nazi party, which in 1933 took control of the German national government. Michael Cardinal Faulhaber, the archbishop of Munich, was one of the few outspoken critics of the National Socialist regime. In Sept., 1938, the Munich Pact was signed in the city; in 1939 Hitler suppressed a Bavarian separatist plot there. Munich was badly damaged during World War II, but after 1945 it was extensively rebuilt and many modern buildings were constructed.

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Munich

Munich (München) City in s Germany, on the River Isar; capital of Bavaria. Founded in 1158, Munich became the residence of the Dukes of Bavaria in 1255. Occupied by the Swedes in 1632 and the French in 1800, it developed rapidly in the 19th century, when its population grew to more than 100,000. From the early 1920s, Munich was the centre of the Nazi Party. It sustained heavy bomb damage in World War II. Industries: chemicals, brewing, pharmaceuticals, motor vehicles, precision instruments, tourism. Pop. (1999) 1,193,600.

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Munich

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