Munich Historical Timeline
Munich Historical Timeline
Helpful Historical Timeline of Munich:


Munich’s rich history has helped to define Europe.  Here is a very easy to follow historical timeline to guide your through it all.


Settlement of Munich 100 BC-1155 AD:

Celts and Germanic groups begin settling in the area 100s of year BC, but is takes until 548 AD until the lands are united under one flag.

  • 548 A.D. The King of the Franks establishes the lands of Bavaria under one flag and starts appointing Dukes to rule it.
  • 700’s A.D. Group of Monks stop by the current location of Munich to have some water.  They thought the water tasted so good that they decided to build a church here.  Munich remains not much more than a group of Monks and a toll bridge on the Old Salt Road from Salzburg, Berchtesgaden & Hallstatt to the rest of Europe.
  • 788 A.D. The King of the Franks Charlemagne, who was also the Holy Roman Emperor, assumes direct power over Bavaria without an official Duke.
  • 817 A.D. King of the Franks upgrades the title Duke of Bavaria to King of Bavaria and starts appointing rulers. The region remains under the control of France.
  • 911 A.D. With Frank influence falling Arnulf Luitpold, who came from a powerful Bavarian family is recognized by the King of German as the new Duke of Bavaria.
  • 947 A.D. The King of German rolls Bavaria officially under his control passes it on to future Kings of Germany.
  • 900’s A.D. Area becomes known as Monch which means Monk which later transforms in Munich (München) as the Monk Settlement.


Founding Of Munich 1156 AD-1179 AD:

Celts and Germanic groups begin settling in the area 100s of year BC, but is takes until 548 AD until the lands are united under one flag.

  • 1156 A.D. The Duke of Bavaria, Heinrich II of Babenberg is ousted from power an leaves the capital Regensburg to develop the city of Vienna.  Henry the Lion builds a new toll bridge after destroying Bishop of Freising’s bridge near Oberföhring.  This rerouted the Salt Road from Bad Reichenhall and Hallein on its way to Augsburg through Munich.
  • 1158 A.D. The City of Munich is formally founded by Henry the Lion when he grants the Monks a rights to hold an official market.
  • 1070 A.D. German King Henry IV puts Bavaria under the control of an Italian family a couple years after becoming the Holy Roman Emperor.  This temporarily makes Munich the most Northern town in Medieval Italy.
  • 1075 A.D. First city wall is finished and Munich has a population of roughly 2000 people


Early Wittelsbach Dynasty 1180 AD-1805 AD:

The powerful Wittelsbach family controlled chucks of Europe as early as 1180 A.D. and they produced a Holy Roman Emperor twice in both 1314 & 1742.  The family also controlled the Kingdom of Sweden from the 1400-1700s.  After being given Duke titles over the lands of Bavaria in 1180 which they go on to rule for almost 1000 years.

  • 1180 A.D. Because of their close tie to the Holy Roman Empire the Wittelsbachs are given control of Bavaria under the title Duke after Henry the Lion refuses to fight for the Emperor.  Wittelsbach Royal home built at Alter Hof Square in Munich.  The 1st St. Peter’s Church is also built in the center of Munich at this time.
  • 1180s A.D. Wittelsbachs build a small Royal Castle residence in Munich in the middle of today’s Alter Hof Square although the capital was in Regensburg.
  • 1239 A.D. The  Münchener Kindl (Child Monk) becomes the symbol of the city although the Lion is also well liked.
  • 1255 A.D. Bavaria gets split into two halves, Upper and Lower.  Duke Ludwig II takes over Upper Bavaria re-builds and expands the family’s Royal Castle in Alter Hof Square as a royal court.  This is considered the  point when the capital of Bavaria officially moved from Regensburg to Munich.
  • 1285 A.D. Medieval wall is completed over the originally fortifications, but the city quickly out grows it and needs to expand the wall toward the River in 1377.
  • 1300s A.D. Munich’s Old Town Hall is completed in the city center.
  • 1328 A.D. Duke Ludwig IV becomes the Holy Roman Emperor.
  • 1330’s A.D.  City wall is expanded outward with a new moat surrounding it.
  • 1385 A.D. The moated Neuveste Castle is built on the North edge of Munich after a failed citizen.
  • 1474 A.D.  The Royal family starts splitting more time between Alter Hof and Neuveste Castles.
  • 1505 A.D. Upper & Lower Bavaria are reunited and Munich becomes its official capital.
  • 1508 A.D. Neuveste Castle takes over for Alter Hof as the Wittelsbachs’ official Royal Court and the castle is added onto for hundreds of years morphing into a palace known as today’s Munich Residenz.
  • 1588 A.D. Saint Michael’s Church is built as the largest Renaissance church North of the Alps.
  • 1592 A.D. Our favorite beer hall the  Hofbräuhaus is opened by Duke Wilhelm V as the Royal Beer Hall.
  • 1600’s A.D. Work on the Royal summer house Nymphenburg Palace begins and it is great expanded in the 1700’s.
  • 1613-17 A.D. Hofgarten Park laid out for the Royal Court.
  • 1616 A.D. The Schleißheim Royal summer house from 1597 is expanded then super sized in 1680.
  • 1618 A.D. With the 30 Years War underway, a double wall fortification is built around the city wall complete with star turrets and a second moat.
  • 1735 A.D. Our favorite Church in Munich St. Johann Nepomuk Church is built by the Asam Brothers with an amazing Baroque interior.
  • 1750 A.D.  A fire ruins that last parts of the Nueveste Castle section of the Munich Residenz.
  • 1780 A.D. Hofgarten becomes Munich’s 1st public park.


Kingdom Of Bavaria 1806 AD-1918 AD:

After the fall of the Holy Roman Empire the Wittelsbach Family is upgraded Dukes to rulers of the new Kingdom of Bavaria.

  • 1806 A.D. Holy Roman Empire is abolished under Napoleon and Maximilian I of the Wittelsbach family becomes the 1st King of the new Kingdom of Bavaria.
  • 1806-1860’s A.D. The population of Munich booms from 40,000 to over 120,000.
  • 1810 A.D. Marriage reception for Maximilian I’s son King Ludwig I becomes such a huge hit it is repeated and becomes the 1st Oktoberfest.
  • 1832 A.D. King Ludwig I’s son Otto becomes the King of Greece.
  • 1833 A.D. Ludwig I’s other son Maximilian II starts building Hohenschwangau Castle over a previous castle from the 1200s.
  • 1836 A.D. King Ludwig I builds the 1st of the  Pinakothek Museums to house the family’s huge collection of art and it becomes the largest museum in the World when it opens.
  • 1848 A.D. Maximilian II takes over as King of Bavaria and raises his son Ludwig II at Hohenschwangau Castle.
  • 1864 A.D. King Ludwig II, known as Mad King Ludwig becomes King of Bavaria and works on huge building projects including his fairytale castles.  Is declared insane in 1886 mainly because of his spending and power given to his brother.
  • 1871 A.D. German Empire is formed after the end of the German-Franco War with Bavaria as its 2nd most powerful land behind Prussia.
  • 1889 A.D. Mad King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein is finally completed after 22 years of building.
  • 1908 A.D. The New Town Hall finally opens after 41 years of construction.
  • 1918 A.D.  Ludwig III lost his throne in the German Revolution of 1918–1919 at the end of WW1.


Post Monarchy 1918 AD-Today:

A struggling post WW1 Munich struggle to get back on its feet, becomes a Nazi center, and must rebuild after yet another World War.

  • 1918 A.D. Post WW1 German lands including Munch & Bavaria struggle to make a comeback.
  • 1923 A.D.  Beer Hall Putsch is the 1st event which leads to Munich and Bavaria becoming a stronghold for the Nazi Party.
  • 1928 A.D. The first Jewish Museum is opened in Munich and remains slightly tucked away.
  • 1933 A.D.  Nazi’s officially take power of all of Germany in 1933 and Dachau opens as their first concentration camp.
  • 1945 A.D.  The Allies lead by the American Army frees Munich from the Nazi’s and the city begins to rebuild after being 70% destroyed.
  • 1965 A.D. Dachau turned into a memorial site.
  • 1972 A.D. Munich re-emerges on the World stage by hosting the Summer Olympic Games.
  • 2008 A.D. Our crew from BigBoyTravel.com makes their 1st of many visits to Munich.