Olympic Park Munich : Beautiful yet tainted by a dark past

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Olympic Park in Munich | Tainted with a dark past #One day in September

The eighth stop on the U3 train is labeled Olympiazentrum, adorned by five gray interlocking ring and you don’t need translations.You are in Olympic Park, as well as be taken into 1972 Massacre site.

One of the highlight of our recent Munich trip was the visit to the Olympic Park. We went there  to bring my daughter to her first Aquarium & Sea Life adventure in Europe.She was still too young back then to appreciate the sharks & clown fishes in Kuwait ‘s Scientific Center  but in Sea Life, she definitely had a blast. I highly recommend this for young toddlers, and for a family outing.

Just a reminder : Prepare to WALK!

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Plenty to see and Do

Sea Life in Munich has a variety of more than 4,000 animals in display! They have an Interactive Rockpool where you can touch mollusks, Anemones and starfishes. My daughter loved splashing waters whenever, whatever!This is a great place for an exploring toddler to watch the marine life with a delight in their eyes.It pays off to book tickets online to avoid long lines.

After we’re done with Sea Life, we walked into a green, spacious hilly esplanade , with modern tent-like structures and theme park with a little blue train passing by. It’s like taken from the past, we made it into Olympic Park München.

I did not expect that this place has the World’s highest Rock Museum, Yes, up there in the Olympic Tower! It has tons of memorabilia, from signed guitars, concert tickets, posters, clothes, and so on. I love seeing the Beatles , Deep Purple, David Bowie,and my daughter is poking Pink’s poster with glee.

So much outdoor activities to enjoy. Lots of cycle paths, so you can cycle til you drop.Have you ever tried Flying Fox and roof climb?

Or what about doing a roof climb with Abseil stunt? You think you can brave heights?If you’re like an Architecture buff like my husband (So do I!) then you can just join the Architec tour which focuses more on the buildings & concept of the whole design of this complex.

Near the lake was the Munich  Olympic Walk of Stars (MOWOS). It’s like the Hollywood thing but here is more of National and international legends from the worlds of sport, music and entertainment. You can see their precious marks with hands and signets in the concrete and take their place on the Olympic Park’s MOWOS.

 

I have never been to an Olympic park  in my life.Only now! I’m glad that travel allows me to learn something from the past. For those who doesn’t knew, just like me  (before ) this same park with beautiful architecture & filled with joyous laughs  is the same place that hosted the 1972  Munich Olympic Games,wayyyy  back from the past that I was not even born . The place where you see history in blood and naming the dead.

The World’s best Olympic Park even Tainted with a dark past

This post has triggered my curiosity about how host countries famed, struggled       and  ( strained from planning for years ahead) eventually created their marks in history when it comes to Olympic games that is happening every 4 years.Figure this ;

It took Canadian officials 30 years to pay off the cost of the 1976 Montreal Olympics and they’re still stuck with a stadium that’s rarely used. In Atlanta, the scene of the 1996 Olympics, the stadium, which was reduced in size for the Braves baseball team, is being demolished as the team move to the suburbs.

In Athens, where the Olympics returned in 2004, a beach volleyball court, baseball stadium, an 8,000-seat tennis table venue and other buildings are unused and crumbling, sparking public outrage as the Greek economy stagnates. In Beijing, the famed Bird’s Nest stadium that was the central venue for the 2008 Olympics  has no consistent tenants, and costs $11 million in yearly upkeep.

The best turn out for an Olympic Venue with a sad past.

But in Munich, things are different. Even though the Bavarian capital was the scene of one of the darkest days in Olympic history, when Black September  terrorists took 11 Israeli athletes hostage and total of 17 people were killed in 1972, the Olympic Park now looks so alive to be one of Munich’s pride & tourist attraction.Everyone who visited the mogul car giant BMW & its museum most likely  went to this green paradise.It’s worth a visit if you are in Munich area.

The whole site is built with an unusual architectural style, depicting ‘Happy Games ‘ designed by Behnisch and Partners. Viewed from above it looked like a continuous flow same as the rhythmic elevation of the Swiss Alps. The site itself is made up of a number of sporting facilities including an indoor swimming pool, ice skating rink, mini golf, indoor soccer and athletics arena as well as a large park and lake.This lake was lovely. I could sit here all day just watching the ducks swimming and the clear reflection of the clouds & the sky gleaming in the clear waters.Don’t miss out on the Stadium, the great work of Otto Frei. If you’re more into the design, you can read it from Here. It was last regularly used for Bayern Munich matches before Allianz Arena was built for the 2006 World Cup.

The focal point of the park is Olympia Hill (Olympiaberg), a man-made mountain which provides a great view over Munich, and in good weather to the Alps in the distance. Interestingly, the hill was largely constructed out of the ruins caused by bombing from Allied forces during World War 2. On the Olympia Hill is Munich’s highest beer garden, the Olympia Alm.Now who doesn’t want to have a beer while enjoying a great view ?

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Olympic Village where the Munich Massacre happened in 1972 | #Building 31

The place where the massacre happens stands up to this day.Just type 31 Connollystraße into Google Maps, and it will lead you to the massacre apartment.The Olympic village was turned into a student housing now and you need the permission of the residents to view it.

Do you want to know what exactly happened on the day of Massacre? You can find it Here .

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Memorial for the victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics | #Black September

We climbed the Olympic Tower. Reaching on a height of 190 metres. With a toddler in my arms, I’ve got the best views of Munich, including the majestic Alps.The Olympia Tower (Olympiaturm) is not for the faint-hearted, it has an open air platform on top. If you’re afraid of heights, then think twice. My husband climbed the Burj Khalifa in Dubai and yet was squemish about the open air observation deck. The tower is 291m (955ft) in total  height, with an observation platform 190m (623ft) meters above the park. Underneath the observation platform is a rotating restaurant which seats over 200 people.

After seeing Olympic Park and learning about its dark past, it made me thought of Led Zeppelin’s song –Immigrant Song ;

“So now you’d better stop, and rebuild all your ruins.
For peace and trust can win the day, despite of all your losing.”

May we never forget so it won’t happen again.

No one wants to open old wounds. No one wants a remembrance of violence. Or maybe no one wants reminding that no place is safe.I’ve heard laughs and seen smile of people in Olympic Park, but then thought that thinking back of the massacre, doesn’t make much sense nowadays. They were all gone.Only the Names remain.

Do you find this post interesting? If you want to know more about the Summer Olympics Munich Massacre and how the Germans handled it, then you can read further Here and Here.

When was the last time you’ve learned something from your travels? Did you bring home stories from the place you’ve visited or only left with Selfies & photographs?

Would you like to visit Olympic Park in Munich? Tell me what you think , I’d love to hear your stories.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Olympic Park Munich : Beautiful yet tainted by a dark past

  1. Its good that the park is being put to good use.I had no idea that lots of countries have not been able to maintain theirs.I only hope Rio can do something good with theirs! I didn’t know about the Munich massacre either.:(

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Shazza. Travels allows us to learns things that doesn’t come along as normally as these things.Its great that you took time to read about it. Thank you so much for taking the time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lovely post and so much information. I have so much respect for the German and their courage to face the past, acknowledge it, process it, learn from it, and memorialize it. The conscious acceptance seems the best way to prevent it the tragedies from stewing or happening again. Germany seems to do a lot of things right these days. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember seeing the movie, ‘Munich’, 10 years back. Do you find it difficult to visit places with a dark history? I remember feeling glum in Anne Frank Haus in Amsterdam. Couldn’t shake off that feeling of sadness. Your photographs are beautiful and your descriptions rich with the history of your visit. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t mind at all.That’s what travel is all about, exploring. The thing is I didn’t know its past, I only found out when we visited, so it comes unforgetable for me.
    Thank you for your kind words Cheryl..I deeply appreciate it when you pass by.

    Liked by 1 person

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