Munich (German: München, Bavarian: Minga) is the capital and largest city of the German state of Bavaria. It is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps. Munich is the third largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg. About 1.5 million people live within the city limits. Its inhabitants are sometimes called Munichers in English.
Its native name, München, is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat of arms. Black and gold — the colours of the Holy Roman Empire — have been the city's official colours since the time of Ludwig the Bavarian. Munich was first mentioned in 1158. From 1255 the city was seat of the Bavarian Dukes, it was an imperial residence from 1328 and in 1506 became the sole capital of Bavaria. Munich was the host city of the 1972 Summer Olympics. Munich is home to many national and international authorities and major universities, major museums and theaters. Its numerous architectural attractions, international sports events, exhibitions and conferences and the Munich Oktoberfest combine to attract considerable tourism. The city's motto is "München mag dich" (Munich loves you). Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" (Cosmopolitan city with a heart).
Modern Munich is a financial and publishing hub, and a frequently top-ranked destination for migration and expatriate location in livability rankings. Munich achieved 4th place in frequently quoted Mercer livability rankings in 2011 and 2012. Munich is one of the economically most successful and fastest growing cities in Germany and the seat of numerous corporations and insurance companies. For economic and social innovation, the city was ranked 15th globally out of 289 cities in 2010, and 5th in Germany by the 2thinknow Innovation Cities Index based on analysis of 162 indicators. In 2010, Monocle ranked Munich as the world's most livable city (in 2012, Munich was ranked fifth in Monocle's ranking, yet remained the highest ranked city in Germany).
Munich lies on the elevated plains of Upper Bavaria, about 50 km (31.07 mi) north of the northern edge of the Alps, at an altitude of about 520 m (1,706.04 ft) ASL. The local rivers are the Isar and the Würm. Munich is situated in the Northern Alpine Foreland. The northern part of this sandy plateau includes a highly fertile flint area which is no longer affected by the folding processes found in the Alps, while the southern part is covered with morainic hills. Between these are fields of fluvio-glacial out-wash, such as around Munich. Wherever these deposits get thinner, the ground water can permeate the gravel surface and flood the area, leading to marshes as in the north of Munich.
Munich's city climate lies between the humid continental climate (Köppen classification: Dfb) and between the oceanic climate (Köppen classification: Cfb).
The city center lies between both climates, while the airport of Munich has an humid continental climate. The warmest month of the year, on average, is July. The coolest month of the year, on average, is January.
Showers and thunderstorms bring the highest average monthly precipitation totals in late spring and throughout the summer. June, on average, records the most precipitation of any month. The winter months tend to bring lower precipitation, on average, and February averages the least amount of monthly precipitation for the year.
The higher elevation of Munich and the proximity of the Alps play a significant role on the climate, causing the city to have more rain and snow than many other parts of Germany. The Alps affect the city's climate in other ways too: the warm downhill wind from the Alps (föhn wind), which can raise temperatures sharply within a few hours even in the winter is but one example.
Being at the center of Europe, Munich is subject to many climatic influences, so that weather conditions there are more variable than in other European cities, especially those further west and south of the Alps.
At Munich's official weather station, the highest and lowest temperatures ever measured are 37 °C (99 °F), on August 13th, 2003, and −31.6 °C (−24.9 °F), on February 12th 1929.