International glamour and proud provincialism nestle side by side in this city, located to the north of the Bavarian Alps, on the River Isar. Munich (München) was founded by Duke Henry the Lion, in 1158. Within a century, the city had become the seat of the Wittelsbach dynasty, who ruled the duchy, electorate and kingdom of Bavaria until the end of World War I.
The influence of the Wittelsbach dynasty is evident in the concentration of grand Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and neo-classical architecture adorning Munich's streets. Perhaps most importantly, the Wittelsbach's patronage of the arts and extensive collections provided the basis for Munich's world-class museums and galleries.