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Munich
Munich, or 'Munchen' in German, is the capital of Bavaria located in Southern Germany. The name of the city originated from the Old German word meaning "monks" and reminds of Munich's first mentioning in the 8th century as a place of Benedictine monastery. The city is known for its mix of traditional German culture, modern life, and high technology. Modern architecture is accompanied by historical sites, wonderful museums, and palaces.

Munich has a population of 1.2 million inhabitants, and it is the third largest city in Germany after Berlin and Hamburg. The city is located only about 50 kilometers away from the German Alps which makes it important in the context of winter tourism.

A walk along the streets of downtown Munich will present the tourists with a lot of sights and museums, most of them not far from one another.

Staying in Munich is not a problem for the city offers plenty of accommodation, from cheap and modern hostels to charming guesthouses and luxurious hotels. However, visiting Munich during Oktoberfest will make you reserve a room about six months in advance. The annual festival of Oktoberfest first took place in 1810 and since that time it has been a splendid illustration of German history, culture and cuisine.

Marienplatz is the central square of Munich from where one can explore wonderful buildings and landmarks. Marienplatz houses the Marian Column which presents the artistically made golden statue of Virgin Mary. The New Town Hall tower in Munich is topped by the Glockenspiel that is more than 100 years old. Not far from the central square Marienplatz there is the popular farmers Viktualienmarkt with a good selection of fresh and regional food, flowers, honey and spices.

The city's largest church is the Catholic Cathedral of Our Blessed Lady. More than 20,000 people can attend services there. If to ascend the steps of the towers of the Cathedral, one can observe the view of Munich and the Bavarian Alps. The style of the cathedral is late Gothic, and it dates back to the 15th century. Dachau, one of the first concentration camps in Nazi Germany, is not far from Munich. The dreadful place will teach a lesson and make everyone respect life and dignity sympathizing with the innocent victims.

The largest park in Munich is called the English Garden. It gives an excellent opportunity to swim in a paddle boat or stroll along the wooded paths spending some time in a traditional beer garden. When in Munich, many people visit the world's most famous beer hall, the Hofbrauhaus brewery, which was built in 1589. The Hofbrauhaus also serves traditional Munich's snacks such as thick veal sausage, pork, and brewer goulash.

Outside Munich's old town, there is the former Residence of the Bavarian monarchs which hosts a museum of interior decoration. The first buildings of the Residence were constructed in 1385. The museum includes 130 rooms with antique furniture, porcelain, paintings which belong to the Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo periods. Next to the English Garden there is a unique combination of three museums dedicated to different periods of European art: the Alte Pinakothek exhibiting 800 European masterpieces of medieval and Rococo art; the Neue Pinakothek displaying art and sculpture from the 18th century to early 20th century; and the Pinakothek der Moderne which is the largest museum for modern art, photography, and video. The German Museum is among the oldest and largest science and technology museums in the world. The first electric dynamo, the first automobile, and the laboratory where the atom was first split are exhibited here.

Munich is a city with diverse attractions and vast recreational opportunities visited by thousands of tourists every month.