The bell tower at the Olympiastadion offers you a fantastic view of the Olympic site and Grunewald. Work began on the Olympiastadion in 1934 in preparation for the 1936 Summer Olympics. It had a capacity of 100,000 and was designed by the architect Werner March. Its clear geometric lines were inspired by the sporting arenas of ancient times. Because everything but the upper tier is set below ground level, the stadium does not look as imposing from the outside as some of the other buildings constructed during the Nazi era.
Another part of what used to be the Reichssportfeld became the Maifeld, created as a site for propaganda rallies. There is also the Waldbühne, reminiscent of an ancient amphitheatre and built for the 1936 Olympic gymnastic events. Today, it is a venue for open-air concerts in its woodland surroundings.
The bell tower in the Olympiapark
Another building on the complex is the bell tower in the Olympiapark, where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the city, the impressive Olympiastadion and the Grunewald forest. On a clear day you can even see as far as Potsdam. And you don’t even have to climb steps because a lift takes you up to the viewing platform in comfort.
A history trail on the Olympic site with 45 panels in German and English tells you about the beginnings and history of the former Reichssportfeld, and of the historical buildings and artworks from the early Nazi period. The new visitor centre opened in 2011 for the 75th anniversary of the Olympiastadion.
Around the Olympiastadion: Westend
Near the Olympiastadion in the neighbourhood known as Westend, there are many other places to visit. The Corbusierhaus is an apartment block designed by Le Corbusier in the typically bold architectural style of the post-war period. Guided tours are available. The Kolbehaus is a striking 1920s brick building that houses works by the sculptor Georg Kolbe. With its interesting museum, beautiful garden and café, the artist’s house is well worth a visit. Westend’s main street is Reichsstraße, with its many small shops and restaurants. And if Steubenplatz seems familiar to you, it’s because it was the location of the snack bar in the TV series Drei Damen vom Grill.