Germany has had a long and complicated history marked by wars, conquests, victories, defeats, recession and growth. The history of Germany can be traced back to the establishment of the nation from Ancient Roman times. At its largest extent, the territory of this empire included what today is Germany, Austria, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, western Poland, the Low Countries, eastern France, Switzerland and most of northern Italy.
Munich has had a history that’s both rich and plagued with turmoil. In 1806, Munich became the capital of the new Kingdom of Bavaria. Many of the city's finest buildings belong to this period and were built under the reign of King Ludwig I. The railways reached Munich in 1839, followed by trams in 1876 and electric lighting in 1882. Munich also became a center of the arts and literature as many prominent figures lived and worked there.
Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, life in Munich became very difficult. During French air raids in 1916 three bombs fell on Munich. In the aftermath of the war, Munich became a hotbed of right-wing politics, among which Adolf Hitler and the Nazis rose to prominence.
In 1923 Hitler and his supporters, who at that time were concentrated in Munich, staged the Beer Hall Putsch, an attempt to overthrow the Weimar Republic and seize power. The revolt failed, resulting in Hitler's arrest and the temporary crippling of the Nazi Party, which was virtually unknown outside Munich. The city would once again become a Nazi stronghold when the Nazis took power in Germany in 1933. The Nazis created the first concentration camp at Dachau, 10 miles north west of the city. Because of its importance to the rise of Nazism, the Nazis called Munich the Hauptstadt der Bewegung ("Capital of the Movement"). The NSDAP headquarters were in Munich and many Führerbauten ("Führer-buildings") were built around the Königsplatz some of which have survived to this day.
The city was very heavily damaged by allied bombing during World War II - it was hit by 71 air raids over a period of six years.
After American occupation in 1945, Munich was completely and meticulously rebuilt. In 1957 Munich's population passed the 1 million mark. Munich 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 in the 1974 World Cup and the 2006 World Cup were also held in Munich. In December 2007 the German Olympic Committee unanimously agreed to support Munich's bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.
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