Olympic Park Munich

Photo by Hubert.

Olympic Park Munich is part of the Tentative list of Germany in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

The Olympic Park Munich is a multifunctional urban space that was built for the XX Olympic Summer Games 1972. The ‘light’ design with its transparent tent roof is considered an innovation in modern architecture. The park has been sucessfully used as an urban park and sports facilities after the Olympics as well.

Map of Olympic Park Munich

Load map

The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews

Write a review

Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero

The Philippines - 01-Apr-24 -

Olympic Park Munich (T) by Bernard Joseph Esposo Guerrero

Rather easy to get to from the city center via the U-Bahn, Olympiapark is directly right across the highway from the BMW Welt, and it can be visited together with the nearby Nymphenburg. It is free to walk around the grounds, but one needs to pay entrance to see the Stadium and the TV Tower, where one can catch a nice view of Munich backdropped by the Alps. The arguments forwarded are satisfactory, with proposed crits. (i) and (ii) being the strongest in my opinion. Indeed the architecture of the tent was innovative, and its pioneering planned integration with the landscape remains to be unique considering that a large part of the area used to be an airport. Among Olympic Parks used previously, it easily stands out as one that continues to be of use (especially the Stadium, Olympic Hall, residential areas, and the Swimming Stadium) and that it did not suffer the same fate as others that ended up being White Elephants.

Another interesting thing is that a hill within the park is an artificial mound made of rubble amassed from the bombings during World War II. Added history attached to this site was the killing of the members of the Jewish team, which has been immortalized by a memorial. Another thing that easily comes to mind when we talk of the Munich Olympics is Waldi, the famous dachshund mascot. Is it a World Heritage-worthy site? It might as well be given place on the list. 


Austria - 22-Mar-24 -

Olympic Park Munich (T) by Hubert

Finally, the Munich Olympic Park has been added to the German Tentative List. This was long overdue. In my opinion, it is the only German site still missing from the World Heritage List and one of a few in Central Europe. But we still have to wait at least another 10 years for the final nomination. The expert committee that compiled the new German T-list in 2023 has proposed a ranking that favors the federal states that have not nominated in recent years. And Bavaria, and therefore Munich, is at the end of the list due to the nomination of the Royal Castles of Ludwig II for decision in 2025. One of the drawbacks of a federal state system.

When you arrive at the Olympic Stadium, you immediately notice that it is completely different from comparable sports arenas. It is an open area. You enter the stadium at the top row of seats and the arena stretches out at your feet. The most striking feature is of course the roof construction (photo) that spans like a net half of the Olympic Stadium, the sports hall and the indoor swimming pool. The roof is made of acrylic glass and is supported by steel masts and cables. It was unique and innovative for the time, especially on this scale. For me, it is one of the most impressive constructions I have ever seen. It is stable and solid, but also light and transparent, almost floating. Highly technical and organic at the same time. I can't get enough of the details of this bold construction.
I would highly recommend going up to the viewing platform of the TV tower, from up there you have the best view of the roof construction and the entire area (introduction photo). The sports arenas are embedded in a park landscape that was built on the grounds where the rubble from the buildings destroyed during the Second World War was deposited.
The Olympic Park was designed by a group of architects and engineers, the best known being Günther Benisch and Frei Otto. The idea was to provide a new perspective on post-WWII Germany: openness, lightness, democratic architecture - "The Cheerful Games" (die “Heiteren Spiele”) was the motto. It was intended to be an alternative concept to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, which the Nazi regime used as their propaganda event. And it worked well - until the terrorist attack on the Israeli Olympic team in the Olympic Village. A story that remains inseparably linked to the Olympics in Munich.
Another name associated with Olympia in Munich is Otl Aicher, who is considered one of the pioneers of corporate design. And for good reason: the pictograms and the color scheme he designed for the Olympic Games were trend-setting. Such pictograms, which are based on simple geometric elements, are now part of our everyday lives and can be found all over the world for all kinds of purposes. The national colours black, red and gold have been omitted from the colour design. Instead, light blue, light green and orange were used. The visual concept included more than only signposts and banners, but also parking tickets and the staff uniforms.

A note for those planning a visit in the near future: the roof and the stadium has been under renovation since autumn 2023 and the work is planned to be completed in spring 2027. The Olympic Stadium is scheduled to be closed between October 2025 and early 2027.

In my opinion, the Olympic Park would be a worthy WHS. The roof construction is a masterpiece of architecture and engineering. And the Olympic Park fills categories that are underrepresented on the WH list: Sports Architecture and sites of the second half of the 20th Century. I think an incription is very likely. And once inscribed, the Munich Olympic Park will be one of the top WHS in Germany.

Full Name
Olympic Park Munich
Structure - Civic and Public Works
2024 Added to Tentative List

Unesco Website: Olympic Park Munich

The site has 1 locations

Olympic Park Munich (T)
WHS 1997-2024