The Olympic Stadium, which seats over 74,000 people, is best known for hosting the FIFA World Cup soccer championship in 2006. It is the central venue for major events and concerts in Berlin and also serves as home field to the football club Hertha BSC Berlin.
The Olympic Stadium was originally built for the 1936 Summer Olympic Games. Hitler took advantage of the opportunity provided by the Games to present a propagandistic image of National Socialist Germany to the world. For the duration of the Olympic Games, for instance, signs forbidding Jews to sit on park benches were removed so as not to detract from the Third Reich’s portrayal of itself. The construction carried out for the Olympics was the Third Reich’s first large architectural project. It was dubbed “Reichsportfeld.” Currently, there are 45 signs on a historical path at the Olympic site to learn more about the Stadium’s storied history.
Self-guided and guided tours of the Stadium are available from the Visitor Centre. You can also do a BSC-Bertha specific tour. Points of interest include the entrance for a view of the majestic stadium; the Olympic swimming pool; Marathon Gate; and the Glockenturm Bell Tower, offering extensive views of the Stadium as well as Berlin and the Grunewald Forest. OlympiaPark, introduced in 2011, is another highlight.