Munich (; German: München, pronounced [ˈmʏnçn̩] ( listen), Austro-Bavarian: Minga [ˈmɪŋ(ː)ɐ]) 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. The Munich Metropolitan Region is home to 6 million people. 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. According to the Globalization and World Rankings Research Institute Munich is considered an alpha-world city, as of 2015. The name of the city is derived from the Old/Middle High German term Munichen, meaning "by the monks". It derives from the monks of the Benedictine order, who ran a monastery at the place that was later to become the Old Town of Munich; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat of arms. Munich was first mentioned in 1158. Catholic Munich was a cultural stronghold of the Counter-Reformation and a political point of divergence during the resulting Thirty Years' War, but remained physically untouched despite an occupation by the Protestant Swedes. Once Bavaria was established as a sovereign kingdom in 1806, it became a major European centre of arts, architecture, culture and science.
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