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When Bavaria was reunited in 1506, Munich became its capital.
After the end of postwar American occupation in 1949, there was a great increase in population and economic power during the years of Wirtschaftswunder, or "economic miracle".
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. 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.
In 1918, during the German Revolution, the ruling house of Wittelsbach, which governed Bavaria since 1180, was forced to abdicate in Munich and a short-lived socialist republic was declared.
In the 1920s, Munich became home to several political factions, among them the NSDAP.
It is a top-ranked destination for migration and expatriate location, despite being the municipality with the highest population density in Germany (4,500 people per km²) .