Munich (Ger. Munchen), the capital of Bavaria, in a barren plain, 1700 feet above sea-level, chiefly on the west bank of the impetuous Isar, a tributary of the Danube. By rail it is 440 miles SSW. of Berlin, 272 W. of Vienna, and 867 SE. of London. The elevated site and the nearness of the Alps render the city liable to sudden changes of temperature, sometimes ranging over 20° in twenty-four hours. Pop. (1801) 48,885 ; (1880) 230,023; (1900) 499,959, of whom 84 per cent. were Catholics. Munich is one of the handsomest cities in Germany, and the richest in art-treasures, while itself famous for its school of painting. Especially under Louis I. (1825-48), who spent £1,000,000 in beautifying the city, it was decorated with buildings of almost every style of architecture ; wide and handsome streets have been constructed ; and the squares and gardens adorned with statues and other monuments. Among the imposing edifices are the Glyptothek (1816-30), with its magnificent collection of ancient and modern sculpture, including the famous Aegine-tan marbles; the Old Pinakothek (1826-36), containing paintings by the old masters, besides engravings, drawings, and antique vases; the New Pinakothek (1846-53), devoted to the works of modern painters; the Royal and National Library, with over 1,400,000 volumes and 30,000 MSS. ; and the Bavarian National Museum. The New Palace includes an older palace and chapel, the Konigsbau (1826-35), in the style of the Pitti Palace at Florence, with Schnorr's frescoes of the Nibelungenlied, and the sumptuous Banqueting Hall. Other public structures are the Court Theatre; the old and the new town-house; the Temple of Fame, a Doric colonnaded building containing busts of illustrious Bavarians, in front of which rises the colossal statue of Bavaria, 65 feet high ; the Generals' Portico (1844), a copy of the Loggia dei Lanzi at Florence ; and the Maxi-milianeum, on its terrace on the right bank of the Isar, a college for civil servants. The Gate of Victory was designed after Con-stantine's triumphal arch in the Forum; the old Isar gate has elaborate frescoes; and the PropylAea (1862) commemorates the Greek war of independence. The oldest church is St Peter's (1294). The huge brick cathedral of Our Lady (1468-88) is remarkable for its two unfinished towers (325 feet), now capped with cupolas; in the interior is the elaborate tomb of the Emperor Louis the Bavarian. St Michael's, or the Jesuits' church (1583-91), contains a monument by Thor-waldsen to Eugene Beauharnais; the Theatine Church (1767) contains the royal burial-vault; the Louis Church (1830-44) is embellished with Cornelius' fresco of the ' Last Judgment;' the beautiful church of Mariahilf (1831-39) is noted for its gorgeous painted glass and fine wood-carvings ; and the basilica of St Boniface (1835-50) for its sixty-six monoliths of gray Tyrolese marble and resplendent interior decoration. The Court Chapel is a perfect casket of art-treasures. The university, removed from Landshut to Munich in 1826, has 200 professors and teachers, and some 4100 students; its library contains over 400,000 volumes. Munich's stained-glass works, iron, brass, and bell foundries, lithographing and engraving works, and manufactories of optical and mathematical instruments, and various artistic articles are deservedly noted. Still more famous are the enormous breweries of Bavarian beer, which annually produce about 50,000,000 gallons, of which 37,000,000 are consumed in the city itself.
In 1158 Henry the Lion established here a mint and a salt-emporium. In the 13th century the dukes of the Wittelsbach dynasty selected Munich for their residence and fortified the town. In 1327 it was nearly destroyed by fire, and was rebuilt by the Emperor Louis the Bavarian ; and when the fortifications were razed at the close of the 18th century, the limits of the town were enlarged. Identified with Munich are Klenze and Gartner the architects, Schwanthaler the sculptor, and Cornelius, Kaulbach, Piloty, and Diez, the painters. See Mrs Howitt-Watts' Art-student in Munich (2d ed. 1879).