Olympiapark

There are many landmarks in Munich, but the tallest has to be the Olympic Tower. Located in Olympiapark, originally built for the 1972 Summer Olympics, the tower stands at an overall elevation of 291.28 metres (955.64 feet). On a good, clear day (a.k.a. not the middle of winter when it has been snowing almost every day), you can go onto outdoor decks and see the Alps. We didn’t quite have that luck, but were able to go into the lower viewing area indoors. Painted on the glass were all the landmarks and cities that direction and whether you could see them from the tower or not.

Right underneath the tower, and the easiest attractions to see are the remnants of the 1972 Summer Olympics. This was where Palestinian terrorists, from the Black September organization, stormed an Olympic Village apartment and kidnapped Israeli hostages. There was an ensuing shootout at the Munich Airport, which left all hostages dead. In total, 17 people died: six Israeli coaches, five Israeli athletes, five of the eight terrorists, and one West German policeman. Where these events took place can be seen from the tower, in addition to the memorial for those who died.

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A view of the Olympic Stadium, the former home of FC Bayern München.
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The Olympic Village from the 1972 games.

Outside the main complex lies BMW World, the BMW Museum, and the BMW Factory.

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BMW World, which was the only one of the three I went to (though I did all three in 2013), was built with the future in mind. The goal was to create a cloud-like impression using steel and glass. The building also focuses on function; solar energy comes from the roof is used to heat the building.

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For a person not into cars, like me, this is a site that can be toured in around 20-30 minutes. There are multiple sections focusing on different brands of cars, such as the Mini Cooper, and different aspects to what a car is all about, such as the BMW i which focuses on sustainability. Motorcycles can be found on the top floor along with a cafe. For those interested in buying, there is a place to test drive. This is also where you come if you wanted to pick up your car and drive it back to wherever you live.

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Even if you are not all that interested in cars, BMW World is a good place to check out, especially as it is free. The factory tour is also interesting and a good way to really see how cars are made and what it means to work for BMW. The museum can run longer and is best for the more dedicated car lovers.

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One thought on “Olympiapark

  1. I’m enjoying your blog posts, Xandie. Alan would love to see the BMW factory! His friend, Lutz works there, though I’m not sure exactly which department he works in. Our only experience in Munich was our (unscheduled) visit to Oktoberfest when we did the Rick Steves, 21-day tour of Europe. It was crazy. The food was great, but it was difficult to find a beverage other than beer which I don’t care for. Our tour guide finally intervened and got the server to bring me some water. I’d better make sure I know the German word for water before April.

    Liked by 1 person

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