Well, actually it is only 0.85 square kilometres. And to be 100% honest: It is not really my front yard. But living close to the Olympiapark in Munich will give you the feeling of having a gigantic front yard. And this generates a number of possibilities for photographers: Sundowners, architecture, people, sports, concerts, …. But it also has the potential to change your perspective (literally!) and your pace. Let me explain.
When it comes to parks in Munich, people often only talk about the English Garden. There is a special feeling when you are living in a city with “a park” – a certain “Lebensgefühl”. The English Garden often is referred to when it comes to explaining this feeling in Munich. The term “Schickeria” might be the one I am looking for. Google it. Or maybe even see Metallica play the famous song by the Spider Murphy Gang when they were playing in Munich. Or check out the original version. But there is another park in Munich that stands for a different feeling when living here, more practical, more down to earth and less “Schickeria”: The Olympiapark.
Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy the English Garden a lot. But the Olympiapark has many attractions that are not necessarily the people that see and want to be seen. You can already spot many of the highlights of the park, at least for photographers, on the first picture: The Olympic Tower, the Olympic Lake, the Hockey Stadium and of course the Olympic Stadium with its famous roof. The history of the park is obviously closely related to the Olympic Summer Games in Munich in 1972. The games have been called a turning point in “the Making of modern Germany” and hence, they describe a very different Lebensgefühl, a new beginning driven by engineering and hard work. Very German character traits.
And they all come together in this park, starting with a long public discussion about the price of the famous roof (see e.g. this interview with the architect Behnisch in “Der Spiegel” in 1973) down to the over-engineering of that very same roof due to the lack of official reference tables for the required strength of the roof. They basically took the absolute worst case from the official tables and doubled more or less all the numbers. To find out more about that (I am no expert on this!) you should take the “roof climb” tour at the stadium and listen carefully to the guide explaining the architecture of the roof.
And then there are all the various events! The different areas of the park are packed with events from concerts, open air cinema to fairs. And there is the Summer Tollwood and many other events. The image below shows a shot from the top of the Olympic Tower and literally hundreds of people doing yoga outdoors. Right in front of the Olympic Stadium.
The next shot below shows an impression of a fair in front of the Olympic Stadium with the lake in front. What you can not see in this shot are the hundreds of people sitting every evening at the Olympic Hill (Olympiaberg) when the weather is good enough to watch the sunset or to listen to a concert happening at the Stadium. For free.
So, for photographers the Olympiapark in Munich is a great location. And at the same time it emphasises the two beating hearts of the city they happen to be in: The luxurious, wealthy and elegant Schickeria-heart in and around the English Garden and the pragmatic, modern and down to earth-heart that may very well have its center at the Olympiapark in Munich.
…and even more photos!