Olympiapark (Munich)

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The Olympiapark (English: Olympic Park) in Munich, Germany, is an Olympic Park which was constructed for the 1972 Summer Olympics.[1] Located in the Oberwiesenfeld neighborhood of Munich, the Park continues to serve as a venue for cultural, social, and religious events, such as events of worship. It includes a contemporary carillon. The Park is administered by Olympiapark München GmbH, a holding company fully owned by the state capital of Munich. The Olympic Park Munich was also considered to be an architectural marvel during the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany.

TypeUrban park
LocationMunich, Bavaria, Germany
Coordinates48°10′N 11°33′E / 48.17°N 11.55°E / 48.17; 11.55
Area0.85 km2 (0.33 sq mi)
Created1972 (1972)
Operated byOlympiapark München GmbH
StatusOpen year round

Location and structure edit

Olympic Park Munich

Olympic Park Munich
Olympic Stadium
Olympic Hall
Aquatic Center
Small Olympic Hall
Olympic Tower
Olympic Ice Sports Center
Olympic Village
SAP Garden
Olympic Mountain

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.

The general area comprises four separate sub-areas:[2]

  • 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 Aquatic Center and Olympic Event Hall.
  • Olympic Village, comprising two villages, one for male and one for female athletes.
  • Olympia-Pressestadt, today the home of the Olympia Shopping Center. Strictly speaking, this portion belongs to the area of the Moosach district.
  • Olympic Park, adjoining the Olympic Area to the south, it includes the Olympic Hill and Olympic Lake.

The park is located in the Milbertshofen-Am Hart borough near BMW Group headquarters and the "Uptown" skyscraper of O2. Georg-Bräuchle-Ring divides the area into two halves: Olympic Village and Olympia Pressestadt to the north and Olympic Area and Olympic Park to the south.[2]

History edit

Third Reich edit

Up until 1939, Oberwiesenfeld was largely used as an airfield.

Post-WWII years edit

After 1945, the Oberwiesenfeld area remained fallow, and was known as a "Trümmerberg," which in German refers to a hill erected from the rubble resulting from the destruction caused by bombings during the war.

Following the war, the US Army occupied this area and had facilities at the Oberwiesefeld. In October 1957, the Army housed most of the refugees from the Hungarian Revolution in a camp at this facility.

Apart from infrastructure projects such as the Oberwiesenfeld Ice Rink, the area remained largely vacant during the post-war decades and presented an ideal site for the construction of the Olympic Stadium and complex.

Preparing for the 1972 Summer Olympics edit

The International Olympic Committee awarded Munich the 1972 Summer Olympic Games on 26 April 1966.The proposed plans for the urban redevelopment of the Oberwiesenfeld area were solidified.Something that was seen as innovative at the time and that decades later would be commonplace in major sporting events.

The old airfield, intensely used up until 1939,when lost its importance as the Munich-Riem airport was opened that year and was expanded during the next thirty years until it was decommissioned in May 1992. As a result, Oberwiesenfeld airfield area remained largely idle.

Detail of the tensile membrane roof
Olympia Park, Munich, Germany

When bidding for the 1972 Summer Games,West Germany used the arguments and the concept about an idea of "green and sunny Olympic Games", with an emphasis on democratic and liberty values. Officials sought to integrate optimism toward the future with a positive attitude toward technology and modernist ideals,and in so doing set aside memories of the past, such as the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin under Hitler. The architecture firm of Günther Behnisch and its partners developed a comprehensive and avant-garde master plan for the sports and recreation areas, which was under construction from 1968 until 1972. The landscape layout was designed by Günther Grzimek. The eye-catching tensile structure that covers much of the park was designed by German architect and engineer Frei Otto with Behnisch. At the end, the project cost 1.35 billion German marks to complete.

The name "Olympiapark" was related to the city's administrative commission practice for naming metro stations along the city's public transport system.As U and S-system (subway and metropolitan railroad) routes in the city area. On 3 November 1969, they chosen the name "Olympiapark" for the new subway station inside Olympic village, set on the U3 line of the Munich U-Bahn. This naming decision was based on the idea that the name "Olympiapark" was related to the central theme of a "green and sunny Olympic Games". It was also related to the central function of the U-Bahn station, which, together with the bus system,served all the area logistic needs at the area during the games and after their end. The term quickly entered into quasi-official common parlance, and consequently into the international media use. In most situations, the meaning established by the administrative commission is used to describe the entire area, not just the U-Bahn station,unlike was originally intended.[3]

Transportation edit

Using public transportation, the Munich U-Bahn's U3 line provides a direct route: From Münchner Freiheit (one of Munich Main Plazas,at the 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 station near the northern end of the Olympic Village buildings and Olympia-Einkaufszentrum mall for the most far areas of the Park. The continuation to Moosach Station, where the line connects to the S1 S-Bahn line, was finished during 2010. Olympiazentrum U-Bahn station is a central stop for the MVG bus line. The southern and western portions of the Olympiapark were now also be connected via Munich tram lines 12, 20, 21, and 27. As these areas are remote from the northern part of Olympiapark, they are primarily of interest for the annual Tollwood music festival held there each summer.

After the 1972 Summer Olympic Games, the Olympic Stadium Station was disconnected from regular lines. It was used for some events, but the station was closed in 1988 and the tracks taken up in 2003.Since this,the station is it is completely deactivated and has since been abandoned and unused.

The Olympiapark is accessible by car via Mittlerer Ring motorway. The Olympic Village area is actually closed off from car traffic.

Olympic Area in detail edit

Public viewing during FIFA World Cup 2006

The Olympic Area lies south of Georg-Brauchle-Ring and north of the Olympiasee lake; it is the smallest portion of the entire Olympiapark area. It comprises the following competition sites:[2]

Olympic Stadium edit

Olympic Stadium, Munich, Germany
Supporters assisting at the opening match of the finals tournament of 2006 FIFA World Cup

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 75,000 visitors, this number was reduced at the end of the 1990s to 69,000 due to security concerns. After the Olympic Games, the Stadium was used primarily for football matches and served as the home stadium for the football teams FC Bayern München and TSV 1860 München. Since the opening of the Allianz Arena in 2005, the site is used almost exclusively for cultural events.

Partial view of The Olympiapark (a view down of the Olympiaturm to the Olympic Stadium, on the right: Olympia Halle, left: Schwimmhalle)
General view of the Aquatic Center, park, pond and communication tower (Olympiaturm)

Olympic Hall edit

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 12,500 with seats, or 15,700 without seats.

Small Olympic Hall edit

Smaller event facility at the Olympic Hall for up to 1,000 seated individuals, according to stage size.

Aquatic Center edit

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. 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 Sports Center edit

The Olympic Icestadion was built from April 1965 by the plans of Rolf Schütze and opened on 12 February 1967 with the ice hockey game between FC Bayern Munich and SC Riessersee. After using it for the 1969 World Table Tennis Championships, the Icestadion was used for the Olympic Summer games 1972 for the Boxsports. The stadium has a capacity for 6,142 visitors[4] and is used for the games of the team of EHC Red Bull München at the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.

On the left site of the Icestadion stands an open air ice skating rink. In 1980 it was decided to build a roof over the open air rink in order to have it operational during the whole year independent of the weather conditions.[5] The German architectural firm Ackermann und Partner designed an elegant light-weight tensile structure spanning 100 meters length-wise.[6] The building was completed in 1983. In 2004 the ice skating rink was closed and is now used to play Indoorsoccer.

On the right side of the Icestadion 1991 the new training hall for the Icesport world championship was built over the parking area after the plans of Kurt Ackermann[7]

Velodrome edit

Olympic Tower edit

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 cabin. The travel time from the ground to the viewing platform is about 30 seconds.

East-West Peace Church edit

The East-West Peace Church, which Munich's former mayor Christian Ude described as "Munich's most charming black building," dates back to pre-Olympic times. The Russian hermit Timofej Wassiljewitsch Prochorow built the church in 1952, along with his wife, without a building permit, from remains of a nearby rubble mountain. Upon completion, Timofej offered his church building to both the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church in Munich as a place of worship. However, those in charge of each rejected the offer, as the Catholics saw too many elements of the Orthodox in the building, and the Orthodox in turn saw too many Catholic elements. As a result, Timofey himself celebrated the liturgy. The East-West Peace Church was completely destroyed by fire on June 11, 2023. According to BR24 from June 11, 2023, the former mayor of Munich, Christian Ude, publicly advocated the reconstruction of the East-West Peace Church as a symbol of hope for peace.[8][9]

Olympic Village edit

This was the site of the Munich massacre in the second week of the Games, when eleven of the Israeli team and a West German policeman were murdered by Black September Palestinian terrorists.

  • Olympic Village
  • Student District

Olympia Pressestadt edit

The Olympia Pressestadt lies west of the Olympiapark between Landshuter Allee in the east and Riesstraße in the west. It is the site of the former media center and today provides regular housing.

Carillon edit

The carillon, built in 1972, was one of five carillons in Bavaria. Rather than occupying a traditional bell tower, it was set on an open framework with the bells exposed to view. It was built for the 1972 Summer Olympics on Coubertinplatz, the central square in the Olympic Park. It was made by the Dutch bell foundry Royal Eijsbouts and has a range of 50 bells (originally 49 bells, 1991 retrofit a Cis bell).

In 2007, the Olympic Carillon was dismantled due to restructuring measures in the Olympic Park. It was reinstalled in 2012, with American carillonneur Jim Saenger "ringing in" the rebuilt carillon with a concert on April 16, 2012.[10]

Munich Olympic Walk Of Stars edit

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. Celebrities leave their hand- and footprints behind in the concrete. Singer Howard Carpendale was the first to do so, and since then roughly 30 personalities from culture and sport have left impressions of themselves behind.

Regular events (apart from concerts) edit

Summer Festival
Red Bull Crashed Ice 2010
Musikfireworks show at the Münchner Sommernachtstraum 2018

The Olympiapark host a number of regular events on a yearly basisː[11]

Olympic Hall edit

Olympic Swim Hall edit

  • 24-Hour-Swim (since 2000)
  • Munich Triathlon (since 2003, always at the end of May)

They opened at 17 January 1970

Open-Air Theatron edit

  • Summer Music Theatron (since 1972)
  • Open-Air Pentecost Theatron (since 2001)

Others edit

Public establishments edit

Education and learning edit

  • Elementary school on Nadistrasse (known as "Nadischule")
  • Zentrale Hochschulsportanlage, joint central sports facility of Munich's universities and colleges.
  • Department of Sport and Health Sciences at Technical University of Munich.
  • Olympiastützpunkt Bayern

Health edit

  • Outpatient department for sport orthopedics at TU Munich's Rechts der Isar teaching hospital.

Sport edit

  • Olympic staging post of Bavaria

Memorials edit

Memorial for the victims of the massacre at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972 (1995)
Erinnerungsort Olympia-Attentat

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Matthias Hell: München ’72. Olympia-Architektur damals und heute. Gespräche mit prominenten Zeitzeugen und Akteuren. MünchenVerlag, München 2012. ISBN 978-3-937090-63-4
  2. ^ a b c Otto Haas, Wolfgang Kösler (Red.): Offizieller Olympiaführer der Spiele der XX. Olympiade München 1972. Organisationskomitee für die Spiele der XX. Olympiade München 1972. Atlas Verlag, München 1972. ISBN 3-920053-00-1
  3. ^ j, m. "mr". Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  4. ^ "EHC Red Bull München".
  5. ^ Tensinet "Ice skating rink (Olympic Park Munich) - TensiNet". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Ackermann und Partner project description" (in German). Ackermann Architekten BDA. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Leistungszentrum für Eiskunstlauf im Olympiapark" (in German). Ackermann Architekten BDA. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  8. ^ Schleicher, Michael (11 June 2023). "Feuer im Olympiapark: Friedenskirche von Väterchen Timofej komplett niedergebrannt". www.abendzeitung-muenchen.de (in German). Retrieved 12 June 2023.
  9. ^ "München: Väterchen Timofejs Ost-West-Friedenskirche abgebrannt". BR24 (in German). 11 June 2023. Retrieved 12 June 2023.
  10. ^ "Apr. 16, 2012 - Carillon at Olympic Park in Munich/ West Germany: Rung in: Was now in the Munich Olympia-Park the new carillon season! American Jim Saenger, living in the Federal Republic of Germany, played the musical instrument for the first time since years - and gave pleasure to a lot of auditors by this. The carillon, composed of 49 bronze-bells and about five metres tall, has been set up in connection with the Olympic Summer-Games in 1972. Sorry - only a short time later the mechanism of the cylinder got broken and it would have been too expensive to repair it Stock Photo - Alamy". www.alamy.com. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  11. ^ Katrin Schulze: Der Park als Spiellandschaft – zum Spielkonzept von 1972 für den Olympiapark München. In: Die Gartenkunst 28 (1/2016), S. 127–136

External links edit