In the northern suburbs of Munich is the Olympiagelände (site of the 1972 Summer Olympic Games). The games then were much less elaborate than the current versions and the stadiums are still in everyday use. The 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium and the 14,000-seat multipurpose Olympiahalle are frequently used for sports and cultural events, while the Olympic swimming pool is open to the general public. Of particularly note is the enormous glass tent that was constructed to cover the main stadiums and large public areas. It was fabulously expensive and over-budget but now is much loved. Twelve pylons 81 m (260 feet) high and 36 smaller ones keep the glass roof in the air. The almost 60-m (195-foot) high Olympiaberg (Olympic Mountain) was created by rubble carted out of Munich after the Second World War. Most of the Olympiagelände is unfenced and freely accessible. It is a favored place for jogging, cycling, and inline skating.
The Olympiaturm (Olympic Tower, 1968), 290 m (950 feet) high, is the tallest television tower in Germany. A viewing platform and revolving restaurant at 190 m elevation (620 feet) attracts up to 700,000 annual visitors. The views of Munich are fine – it really is too high to see much detail – but the views of the Bavarian Alps are fantastic when weather is clear. The elevator costs i3 and operates from 9 am to midnight.
Adjacent to the Olympiagelände are the headquarters and a factory of Bayerischen Motoren Werken, better known by the acronym BMW. The headquarters are in a futuristic-looking silver building from the early 1970s. It looks as if four cylinders of 19 stories each are hanging from the support structures at the top. TheBMW-Museum, Petuelring 130, 089-3822-3307, www.bmw.com, has an interesting exhibition of BMW cars, aircraft engines, and motorcycles, ranging from the 1928 Dixi to design studies.
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