View of the Olympic Park in Munich.

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Munich celebrates 50th anniversary of 1972 Olympics

2022 in Munich is set to be dominated by the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Summer Olympic Games: throughout the whole year, visitors will be able to revive the Spirit of 1972 at many cultural events, exhibitions and other highlights all over the city.

In the 50th anniversary year of the Games, Munich will also be hosting the European Championships from August 11th to 21st – the largest sporting event since 1972 to be held in Olympiapark (Olympic Park), a venue that uniquely combines landscaping with sports facilities. It will be possible to choose from various tours to explore Olympiapark and the Olympiastadion (Olympic Stadium) with its spectacular tented roof that has become a real icon of the city.

Completed in just a few years to accommodate the 1972 Olympic Games, Olympiapark encompasses an architectural landscape of mountains, valleys and a lake, with various sports facilities incorporated within, and it continues to be a popular attraction for locals and visitors to this day. The spectacular tented roof structure of the Olympiastadion in particular was absolutely pioneering in terms of architecture and design. Munich continues to demonstrate the same innovative spirit even today, as well as the boldness to implement ambitious architectural projects and ultra-modern new buildings.

Visitors can explore the Olympiastadion from an unusual perspective on a guided Zeltdachtour (roof climb tour), for which they will be harnessed to the iron rail on the roof to discover fascinating details about the unique structure. And if that doesn’t supply enough of an adrenaline fix, visitors can end the tour by taking the Flying Fox zip line or even abseiling down into the stadium below.

If you want to visit all of the venues used during the Games, the Olympia-Radtour (Olympics bike tour) of the 1972 sports facilities is the way to go: the tour covers around 38 kilometres, starting from the equestrian stadium in Riem and going through the Englischer Garten to Dante Stadium, then on to Schloss Nymphenburg (Nymphenburg Palace) and finally along the Regattastrecke (regatta course) to Oberschleissheim. And of course, you can rely on some characteristic Munich hospitality if you stop off at the beer garden by the Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) along the way.

A guided rickshaw tour of Olympiapark is the ideal way for visitors to explore the extensive grounds, as an expert rickshaw guide regales passengers with anecdotes on themes including the city’s application to host the Olympic Games, how the park itself came to be, and much more. Meanwhile, those interested in finding out more about the Olympic Village can discover it on foot as part of private guided walking tour. The Hood Love guided tour of the Olympic village takes participants past the colourful apartments in which athletes were housed, now converted to student accommodation, as they learn about life and the atmosphere here during the Games. If you fancy a longer walk through Munich, you can start at BMW Welt and walk the north-south passage across the city, to travel from the Olympiapark (Olympic Park) to the lake at Hinterbrühl.

Munich’s museums are also devoting many special exhibitions to the 1972 Olympic Games. The Jüdisches Museum (Jewish Museum) will be remembering the twelve victims of the terrorist attack that took place during the Games, in its “50 Jahre Olympia-Attentat München 1972” (50 years since the 1972 Munich Olympic Terrorist Attack) exhibition which will run for the whole year. It will focus on one of the victims each month, presenting details of their life and tragic fate.

Many of the city’s hotels will also be running special campaigns to mark the anniversary – for example, sporty guests at The Charles Hotel will be able to book one of its four new “active suites”. Each contains a high-quality Kettler rowing machine as well as smaller pieces of sports equipment – push-up bars, a skipping rope and an ab wheel – so guests can work on their muscles in the comfort of their own room. The Hilton Munich Park was originally intended to be an apartment complex for the HypoVereinsbank financial institution, but in 1972 was abruptly turned into a hotel instead, to provide more beds for people travelling to Munich for the Olympics. The hotel is planning a photo exhibition and a number of 1972-style set menus to celebrate the Olympic anniversary. The Kempinski Vier Jahreszeiten will also be offering set menus inspired by dishes from 1972. The hotel’s Olympic Wing was constructed especially for the 1972 Olympic Games.

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Photos: Jan Saurer, Tommy Lösch, Archiv Olympiapark
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