Friday, February 15, 2008

Munich, Germany

Munich (German: München, pronounced [ˈmʏnçən] listen ; Austro-Bavarian: Minga[2]) is the capital of the German state of Bavaria and a Gamma World City. There are, in fact, three locations in Bavaria known as "München" - the one referred to as "Munich", one northeast of Nuremberg, and one north of Passau.[3] Munich is located on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps.

Munich is Germany's third largest city after Berlin and Hamburg. The city has a population of 1.5 million and the Munich Metropolitan Region is home to around 6 million people.[4]

The city's motto was "Die Weltstadt mit Herz" ("The world city with heart") from 1972 to 2005, when it was replaced by "München mag dich" ("Munich likes you"). Its native name, München, stems from an Old German word predating the word Mönche of today's High German, meaning "Monks". Therefore, the figure on the city's coat-of-arms is a monk, and is 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 Ludwig the Bavarian.


Munich lies on the elevated plains of Upper Bavaria, about 50 km north of the northern edge of the Alps, at an altitude of about 520 m. The local rivers are Isar and 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 by morainic hills. In between there are fields of fluvio-glacial out-wash, like 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 has a continental climate, strongly modified by the proximity of the Alps. The city's altitude and proximity to the northern edge of the Alps mean that precipitation is rather high. Rain storms often come violently and unexpectedly. The range of temperature between day and night or summer and winter can be extreme. A warm downwind from the Alps (a föhn wind) can change the temperatures completely within a few hours, even in the winter.

Winters last from December to March. Munich experiences rather cold winters, but heavy rainfall is rarely seen in the winter. The coldest month is January with an average temperature of −2 °C (30 °F). Snow cover is seen for at least a couple of weeks during winter. Summers in Munich city are fairly warm with average temperature of 19 °C (70 °F) in the hottest month of July. The summers last from May until September.




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