Munich is the capital of the German Federal State of Bavaria (German: Freistaat Bayern).
Munich is Germany's third largest city and one of Europe's most prosperous. The city has a population of about 1.3 million (as of 2006) and the Munich metropolitan area is home to around 2.7 million people. The city is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps.
The city's motto was "Die Weltstadt mit Herz" (The world city with a heart) for a long time and has been recently replaced by "München mag dich" (Munich likes you). The figure on Munich's coat-of-arms is a monk referred to as the Münchner Kindl, the child of Munich. Black and gold - the colours of the Holy Roman Empire - have been the city's official colours since the time of Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor.
After American occupation in 1945, Munich was completely rebuilt following a meticulous and - by comparison to other war-ravaged German cities - rather conservative plan which preserved its pre-war street grid.
In 1957 Munich's population passed the 1 million mark.
Munich's Olympiapark from bigfotoMunich was the site of the 1972 Summer Olympics, during which Israeli athletes were assassinated by Palestinian terrorists (see Munich massacre), when terrorist gunmen from the Palestinian "Black September" group took hostage members of the Israeli Olympic team. A rescue attempt by the West German government was unsuccessful and resulted in the deaths of the Israeli hostages, five of the terrorists, and one German police officer.
Several games of the 1974 World Cup were also held in the city, including the German triumph against the Netherlands in a legendary final.
In 1992 Munich’s new airport was inaugurated and the inauguration of the Neue Messe, the new exhibition centre on the site of the former airport of Riem, took place in 1998.
The current Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising on June 29, 1951. Ratzinger served as Archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982.