Munich A Brief History of Munich
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Munich A Brief History of Munich

History is certainly not lacking in Munich. You can sense it almost everywhere. To give you an idea, we will take you on a small historical trip around – from its founding, through the dark ages, to the 20th century.

Ever wonder where the name “Munich” comes from? It is derived from Bei den Mönchen (among the monks). The words “forum apud Munichen were also mentioned in the document of Augsburger Schied, 14.06.1158 for the first time. The Bavarians call their capital “Minga”, and to the Italians, Munich is known as “Monaco di Baviera”. But no matter what you call it, the history is unchanging and everywhere.


Let’s start with the town foundation in 1158 at the place where the Ludwigsbrücke (Ludwig bridge) can be crossed today. Heinrich (Henry) the Lion established a junction of the important Salzstrasse (via the Isar River) and immediately afterwards founded a market. This was also the time when Munich was documented for the first time. From there you have an ideal view of the Isar, the Isartor, the Gasteig, the Müller’sche Volksbad and the German Museum.

Munich had, of course, to be defended against enemies. One remaining part of the fortress can be found right at the Rindermarkt. The Löwenturm (lion tower) is one of the remnants of the old wall, named after Henry the Lion.

Middle Ages

In the 14th century, the Alte Hof (Old court) was the seat of the dukes, but after the uprisings of the population they had to move their government seat to city outskirts.

Late Gothic

In 1482, the foundation stone was laid for the construction of the church of the Virgin Mary, also known as the Frauenkirche. The construction took about 20 years. Did you know that the towers have different heights? It’s only marginal, with the northern tower at 98.57 meters and the southern tower at 98.54… but now that you know, do not believe people who say it is a difference of one meter! For a better look, the southern tower can be visited from April to October. These towers are the benchmark for all surrounding buildings which is why no new construction is higher than 100 metres within the central ring.


The St. Michael’s Jesuit Church is located in the pedestrian zone between Karlsplatz and Marienplatz and represents the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque. If you look more closely, you will see that the builders have copied many parts from its mother church, The Church of Gesu in Rome. This church was also severely damaged during the Second World War.

The state-owned Hofbräuhaus belongs to the cultural heritage of Munich. Duke William founded it in 1589 and the construction works were completed in 1591. In the early years, brown breed was brewed exclusively and later, there were experiments with white beer and then Bockbier was produced. Today, it is the starting point for all beer lovers.


Asamkirche on Sendlinger Straße is somewhat hidden, but an unmistakable showpiece of the late baroque. What makes it special? It was built privately by the Asam brothers and the altar is not in its usual eastern position, but instead in the west. In addition, the crucifix for a baroque church is much too low.

20th century

As historically known, the Nazi period had a great influence on everyday life in Munich. Especially at the Feldherrnhalle. There were two SS posts and everyone who wanted to pass by had to show the Hitler salute to the two soldiers. However, many people of Munich refused to do so and instead chose to take a different path, behind the hall and down the Viscardasse pedestrian street, also called “Drückebergergasse” (shirkers alley). As a symbol of the silent resistance of the population, a bronze track was laid on the ground in 1995.

Oberpollinger Since its inauguration in 1903, this department store has been selling both local and global products. It holds seven floors, a luxury boulevard that unites the great international brands, a beauty-spa lounge for treatments, and several restaurants.
The Storey A new space at Oberpollinger that has begun hosting underground designers and contemporary artists – uniting global and local fashion and art, shopping and culture.