The Olympic Stadium is a sports stadium in Berlin. There have been two stadia on the site: the present facility, and one that was built for the 1916 Summer Olympics. The current
Building of the Week: The Oplympic Stadium Originally build for the Summer Olympics in 1916. Later rebuild by Adolf Hitler as a place for propaganda. Today it houses various events including the German League Cup Final.
Olympiastadion was originally built for the 1936 Summer Olympics. Both were designed by members of the same family.
Aside from its use as an Olympic stadium, the Olympiastadion has a strong footballing tradition. Historically, it is the ground of club Hertha BSC. It was also used for 3 matches in the 1974 FIFA World Cup. It hosted six matches, including the final, in the 2006 FIFA World Cuo and was renovated for that reason. The German Cup final match is held each year at the Olympiastadion. The stadium sees use in other sports as well; at one point it held the world record for the attendance of a baseball game, thought to be over 110,000.
In 1912, during the Summer Olympics, Berlin was designated by the International Olympic Committee to host the 1916 Summer Olympics. The government hired architect Otto March. March decided to bury the
stadium in the ground (“Erdstadion”,
to be used as a practice target for
in German). The project became the
shooting with anti-tank ammunition.
biggest sports stadium in the world
The old bell survives to this day and
at that time with a capacity of 40,000
serves now as a memorial.
The Olympiastadion was one of the However, the Olympic Games of
few buildings that survived not just
1916 were cancelled due to World
in a recognizable form, but almost
War I. But in 1931, the International
untouched after the Second World
Olympic Committee made Berlin
War. It only suffered the impact of
the host city of the 11th Summer
machine gun shots.
The most significant battle around When the Nazis came to power in
the Olympiastadion was in April
Germany (1933), they decided to use
1945 when the Soviet army fought to
the Olympic Games for propaganda
capture it. This was during the great
purposes. Architect Werner March
final battle of the Second World War
remained in charge of the project,
in Europe, withh the total invasion of
assisted by his brother Walter March
Berlin as the Allies’ target.
Construction took place from 1934 to 1936. When the Reichssportfeld was finished, it was 1.32 square
On July 3, 2000, the renovation
kilometres (326 acres).
began. On January 9, 2002, construction workers found an unexploded World War II bomb
The Bell Tower was the only part
buried beneath a section of seating.
of the Reichssportfeld that was
It was detonated outside the stadium
destroyed in the war. The Olympic
by Berlin police.
Bell (which had survived the fire and remained in its place in the tower) fell 77 metres and cracked and has been unable to sound since then. In 1956 the bell was rescued, only in order
A quick search in the iPhone App Store.
Find out what you’re looking at with Architure for iPhone by Matt Rosoff
When I first heard about this
reservations, among other things
application, I was not really
implies that you must take pictures
Where to buy: App Store
enthusiastic. Of course I wanted
straight on the building from a
Rating: √ √ √ √
to try it, so I bought the app. for
distance of about 5 meters. But if
$5 because I was going to Berlin
you do so it works 100% and you
anyway. And I must say, I have not
are happy every time it succeeds.
regretted it even once. I quickly became quite fond of Architure. It is obviously a bit of a disadvantage that it only works in Berlin, but if It is actually very simple. What you
you are planning to visit Berlin, I will
do is that you are standing in front of
certainly recommend you to buy this
Reichstag for example and you want
application. I also expect that the
to know more about this building.
concept soon will spread to other
That is why you take a picture with
your iPhone and send it. A few seconds after you get a description of Reichstag. You can then get more details if you also possess an iPad.
I must admit that after I had this success experience, I took pictures of almost all the buildings associated with Architure just because it worked. There are a few
And I must say, I have not regretted it even once. I quickly became quite fond of Architure.
Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit tries out Architure In front of the Reichstag. By Anne Dam.
What do you think of the new
Do you think that Architure will
application for iPhone?
encourage tourists to visit Berlin?
“I think it is brilliant. It’s a new and
“That is likely. If you are interested
modern method to collect the
in architectonic structures and their
history of Berlin. Today you can have
history you probably already know
everything in your phone - camera,
that Berlin would be a great place
mail and music. Why not also have
to pay a visit. And if you even have
an application on your phone that can enlighten you with a few clicks, I think many people would love that.”
Do you have an iPhone yourself? “No, I am not that modern (laughing). But I know some who does that have
So, now that you’ve tried the
used the application.”
application, how do you think the future is for Architure? “I think Architure has a very bright
I have an iPhone. Would you like to
future. It will hopefully attract young
people to be more interested in the
“Oh yes. Let me see if I can work
history of the city. Also when the
application covers other cities, it will
Klaus is now handling my iPhone and looks quite impressed. “Wow, this is nice. It is actually very user friendly.”
be exciting. I know I would love to try out Architure in Paris. But first of course, I would have to buy me an iPhone.”
...this is nice. It is actually very user friendly.
Klaus Wowereit, age 57, born in Berlin