Located close to the Bavarian Alps, on the banks of the Isar River, the German city of Munich looks back at a history almost 900 years long. It was granted city status in 1175 and was one of the most important and most prosperous commercial centers of the times. It became the capital of the reunited Bavaria in 1506 and it developed into a very important haven of arts and culture as well, being the center of the Counter Reformation movement during the 16th century. It maintained its leading position for centuries.
The city was heavily bombed during World War I, and then, after the war, it suffered from political unrest. Before World War II, Hitler chose Munich as one of his strongholds. After the war, Munich was rehabilitated and it hosted important world events such as the Olympic Games, in 1972, and it continues to thrive as a cultural and economic center today.