Originally two separate towns, Garmisch and Partenkirchen were merged to host the 1936 Winter Olympic Games; a merger that was not particularly popular with residents at the time. Since hosting the final pre-war winter games, the town has grown, and the area remains a world class-ski resort - the leading winter resort in Germany. Garmisch-Partenkirchen hosts one of the leading downhill events on the annual skiing world cup programme on its famously tricky Kandahar course.
Bavaria's first cable-car was built in Garmisch in 1929, and four years later the cog railway to the Zugspitz glacier was constructed. Garmisch-Partenkirchen is much more than a ski resort - it attracts visitors throughout the year, with hikers, cyclists, mountain-climbers and ramblers flocking to the town during the warmer summer months. The town has some fine Baroque churches and beautiful historic houses, decorated with traditional frescoes.