Olympiapark in München
The Olympiapark in Munich, Germany, is an Olympic Park which was constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics. Found in the area of Munich known as the "Oberwiesenfeld" ("upper meadow-field"), the Park continues to serve as a venue for cultural, social, and religious events such as events of worship. The Park is administered by Olympiapark München GmbH, a holding company fully owned by the state capital of Munich.
Location and structure
The use of the term Olympiapark to designate the overall area has prevailed as a semiofficial practice, but no official name for the entire area exists: Rather, the general area comprises four separate sub-areas:
- Olympic Area: Includes the Olympic sports facilities such as the Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Hall with Olympic Tower. Also in this area are the Olympic Swim Hall and Olympic Event Hall.
- Olympic Village, comprising two villages, one male and one female.
- Olympic Media City ("Pressestadt"), today the home of the Olympic Shopping Center. Strictly speaking, this portion belongs to the area of district of "Moosach."
- Olympic Park: Adjoining the Olympic Area to the south, this park includes the Olympic Mountain and Olympic Lake.
The park is located in the modern skyline near BMW and the "Uptown" skyscraper of O2. The borders of the area are the Lerchenauer Straße to the east, the Moosacher Straße to the north and the Landshuter Allee up to the bank of the Willi-Gebhard to the west. The southern boundary of the Area first proceeds down the Ackermannstraße and subsequently around the Kleingarten grounds to the Winzererstraße. Finally the Winzererstraße up to the Lerchenauer Straße closes off the last portion of the eastern border. The Georg-Brauchle-Ring serves as the dividing line of the area into two halves: Olympic Village and Olympic Media City to the north and Olympic Area and Olympic Park to the south.
After the International Olympic Committee in 1966 awarded Munich the Olympic Games, plans were solidified for the urban redevelopment of the Oberwiesenfeld area. Up until 1939, Oberwiesenfeld had largely been used as an airfield; however, the then-recently-opened Munich-Riem airport left the Oberwiesenfeld area largely idle. Under Nazi plans for the development of Munich into the "Capital of the Movement," this area was supposed to have served as the central slaughterhouse and marketplace. The Second World War, however, hindered the implementation of this plan. After 1945, the Oberwiesenfeld area remained fallow, and was known as a "Trümmerberg," which in German refers to a hill erected from the ruins caused by the destruction caused by bombings during the war. In October 1957, since the US Army had facilities at the Oberwiesefeld, most of the refugees from the Hungarian Revolution were camped at this facility. Apart from infrastructure projects such as the "Ice Stadium at Oberwiesenfeld," Oberwiesenfeld remained largely vacant, and as such was an ideal place for the construction of the Olympic Stadium.
The concept of a "green Olympic Games" was chosen, and so too was the orientation toward the ideals of democracy. Officials sought to integrate optimism toward the future with a positive attitude toward technology, and in so doing set aside memories of the past, such as the Olympic Games of 1936 in Berlin. The architectural firm of Günther Behnisch and its partners developed a comprehensive masterplan for the sports and recreation area, which was under construction from 1968 until 1972. The landscape layout was designed by landscape architect Günther Grzimek. The eye-catching tensile structure that covers much of the park was designed by German architect and engineer Frei Otto. In all, the project spent 1.35 billion German Marks to complete.
The name "Olympiapark" itself arose from the city's administrative commission for the naming of Bahn stations along the U- and S-Bahn routes in the city area, which on November 3, 1969 had chosen the name "Olympiapark" for the name of the Olympic station's stop along the U3 line of the Munich U-Bahn. This naming decision was based on the idea that the name "Olympiapark" related well to the central theme of a "green Olympic Games" and also to the central function of the U-Bahn station, which, in conjunction with the bus station, serviced all sports venues and important sectors of the area. Thereafter, the term quickly entered into quasi-official common parlance, and consequently into media coverage, so that in most situations, the meaning established by the administrative commission is used to describe the entire area, not merely the U-Bahn station, as was originally intended.
Using public transportation, the Munich Undergrounds's Olympic Line (U3) provides a direct route: From Münchner Freiheit (a plaza in the Munich district of Schwabing, located on Leopoldstraße), the line connects to Olympiapark via Schwabing and the midtown area. In 2007, the U3 line was extended to continue on to Oberwiesenfeld Bahn station at the northern end of the Olympic Village and Olympic shopping village at the far areas of the Park. The continuation until Moosach, where the line connects to the S-Bahn S1 line, was completed in 2010. Olympiazentrum U-Bahn station is a central stop for the MVG bus line. The southern and western portions of the Olympiapark will also be connected via Munich tram lines 12, 20, 21, and 27, which, given their remoteness from the northern part of Olympiapark, are primarily of interest for the yearly Tollwood Festival of music held there each summer.
Between 1972 and 1988 the S-Bahn Olympiastadion Station existed, which was oft-snubbed at events. Currently, the station remains and continues to decay. The station is expected to be demolished over the course of building the Transrapid system to the airport.
The Olympiapark is located by the motorway Mittleren Ring. The Olympic Village itself is closed off from car traffic.
The Olympic Area in detail
The Olympic Area lies south of the Georg-Brauchle-Ring and north of the Olympic See; it is the smallest portion of the entire Olympiapark area. It comprises the following competition sites:
The central Stadium, constructed from 1968 to 1972, was designed by the architecture firm of Behnisch and Partners. It is currently home to the highest number of staged national and international competitions in Germany. Originally constructed to hold 80,000 visitors, this number was reduced at the end of the 1990s to 69,000 due to security concerns. Following the close of the Olympic Games, the Stadium became used primarily for football matches, and served as the home stadium of the FC Bayern München and TSV 1860 München teams. Since the opening of the Allianz Arena in 2005, the site is used almost exclusively for cultural events.
Also designed by the architecture firm of Behnisch and Partners, Olympic Hall is a sport- and recreational facility located northeast of the Olympic Stadium. Its capacity is 12,150 with seats, or 14,000 without seats.
Small Olympic Hall
Smaller event facility at the Olympic Hall for up to 1,000 seated individuals, according to stage size.
Olympic Swim Hall
This venue became an integral part of Olympic History when the US Swimmer Mark Spitz won 7 Gold Medals there during the 1972 Munich Games. This amounted to a remarkable comeback for Mark Spitz, who had fallen short of the 5 Gold Medals expected of him at the 1968 Mexico Olympics. Less edifyingly, the venue also saw significant success by the young Women's Team of the GDR, which was later found - albeit, the matter was essentially an open secret - to be the result of an extensive Doping Programme.
One notable feature of the Munich Schwimmhalle is the way in which the cobbled paths leading to the venue continue under the canopy as far as the top of the seating area, thus creating the genuine impression of walking in off the street to one's seat. The venue is available both to Swimming Teams and also to the public.
Olympic Ice Rink
Olympic Tennis Facility
Olympia Cycle Center
The Olympiaturm has an overall height of 291 m and a weight of 52,500 tonnes. At a height of 190 m there is an observation platform as well as a small rock and roll museum housing various memorabilia. Since its opening in 1968 the tower has registered over 35 million visitors (as of 2004). At a height of 182 m there is a revolving restaurant that seats 230 people. A full revolution takes 53 minutes. The tower has one Deutsche Telekom maintenance elevator with a speed of 4 m/s, as well as two visitor lifts with a speed of 7 m/s which have a capacity of about 30 people per car. The travel time is about 30 seconds.
- Olympic Village
- Student District
Olympic Media City
The Olympic Media City lies west of the entire Olympiapark between Landshuter Allee in the east and Riesstraße in the west. The center was the building at 50 Riesstraße.
The "Sea Stage"
The carillon, built in 1972, is one of five carillons in Bavaria.
Munich Olympic Walk Of Stars
In 2003 the Munich Olympic Walk Of Stars was constructed as a path from the Olympic Sea, als Weg am Olympiasee, in the style of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The famous leave their hand- and footprints behind in the concrete. Howard Carpendale was the first to be memorialized here, and since then roughly 30 personalities from culture and sport have left impressions of themselves behind.
Regular events (apart from concerts)
- Six-Day-Run (since 1972)
- Munich Indoors (since 1998)
- Supercross-Cup (since 1999)
- Holiday on Ice (since 1975)
- Night of the Proms (since 1995)
- International Exhibition (since 1972)
- Watchtower-Congress of the Jehovah's Witnesses (since 1973)
Olympic Swim Hall
- 24-Hour-Swim (since 2000)
- Munich Triathlon (since 2003, always at the end of May)
They opened at 17.1.1970
- Summer Music Theatron (since 1972)
- Open-Air Pentecost Theatron (since 2001)
- Tollwood Festival (summer music festival)
- Summerfest in Olympiapark
Education and learning
- Elementary school on the Nadistrasse (known as "Nadischule")
- Central high school sports facility
- Sports center for the Technical University of Munich.
- Outpatient department for sport orthopedics at the Rechts der Isar clinic of TU München
- Olympic staging post of Bavaria
- Memorial for the civilian victims of the Second World War (Olympiaberg)
- Memorial plaque for the victims of the attack on the Israeli Olympic team of 1972
- Tensile architecture
- Tensile and membrane structures
- Olympiapark München GmbH
- www.olypark.de (a student project of the tum/dept Architecture)
- Olympiapark München - Interactive Panorama
- ganz-muenchen.de: Veranstaltungskalender für das Olympiagelände
- Internetauftritt des Theatron
- muenchen.de: Olympiapark
- Webcam Olympiastadion
- Olympiapark and Stadion, Photos
- GigaPan ultra-high-resolution interactive panorama