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) is the capital and the most populated city in the German state of Bavaria, on the banks of the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps.Munich is also the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, and the 12th largest city in the European Union, with a population of around 1.5 million.He strengthened the city's position by granting it the salt monopoly, thus assuring it of additional income.In the late 15th century, Munich underwent a revival of gothic arts: the Old Town Hall was enlarged, and Munich's largest gothic church – the Frauenkirche – now a cathedral, was constructed in only 20 years, starting in 1468.
Once Bavaria was established as a sovereign kingdom in 1806, it became a major European centre of arts, architecture, culture and science.
During the 16th century, Munich was a centre of the German counter reformation, and also of renaissance arts.
Duke Wilhelm V commissioned the Jesuit Michaelskirche, which became a centre for the counter-reformation, and also built the Hofbräuhaus for brewing brown beer in 1589. In 1623, during the Thirty Years' War, Munich became electoral residence when Maximilian I, Duke of Bavaria was invested with the electoral dignity, but in 1632 the city was occupied by Gustav II Adolph of Sweden.
The city is a major centre of art, technology, finance, publishing, culture, innovation, education, business, and tourism in Germany and Europe and enjoys a very high standard and quality of living, reaching first in Germany and fourth worldwide according to the 2015 Mercer survey.
The name of the city is derived from the Old/Middle High German term Munichen, meaning "by the monks".