at different locations across Munich, July 1 to December 31, 2022

Munich 72. In Search of Traces of the Olympic Games

    On April 26, 1966, the International Olympic Committee chose Munich as its venue for the 20th Olympic Games in 1972. This proved to be a pivotal moment in the city’s history – its surrounding events and developments have left indelible traces in the very fabric of Munich. To mark its 50th anniversary, the Münchner Stadtmuseum has organized a special discovery tour stopping at different locations throughout the city to cast a spotlight on the traces that remain today. For the first time, the Museum will visit the actual historic locations which were a stage to these events. Our selection of 20 stops clearly illuminates the backdrop to the Games.

    The '72 Olympics are remembered for much more than simply the outstanding sporting prowess of the athletes competing between August 26 and September 11, 1972. There is a complex Olympic tapestry woven from visionary futuristic ideas and blueprints for society, a political will to shape a new future, a hard-headed pragmatism, excitement, and tragedy which awaits discovery on the city tour. Famous, yet long-forgotten and on occasion surprising locations reveal just how much the event changed the face of Munich. Not only did the Olympics leave a lasting mark on Munich’s architecture and infrastructure; they also had a social and psychological impact on the city.

    The architects of the Olympic Park used a visual grammar, rather than monumental buildings, to design its main sports facilities as a ‘continuation of the landscape by other means’. The Olympic Stadium, Olympic Hall and Aquatic Center nestle in hollows on the ground and are covered with a transparent, tensile roof structure. Their design, in stark contrast to the 1936 Berlin Olympics, systematically embodied democratic values brought to life and rendered in tangible form in the shape of a landscape sculpture. The Olympiaberg (Olympic Hill), the ideal spot from which to view the entire complex and appreciate the thinking behind it, is an obvious choice for a stop on our exhibition tour. A series of short chapters, using analog and digital content, tells the story of the Olympic Park’s futuristic Olympic architecture and built landscape in the Olympic Park.

    Another stop on our Olympic discovery tour is at the Nördliches Schlossrondell (Northern Grand Circle) in the Nymphenburg Palace Park. This park, one of the largest and most important instances of landscape gardening in Germany, had been deliberately chosen as the venue for the Olympic dressage competition. This may seem like a strange decision to us today, and yet the intention at that time was to give the spectators and the Olympian athletes the opportunity to experience first-hand Munich’s rich cultural heritage. The information displayed on the column at this stop includes photos taken at that time of the elaborate temporary facilities including a 20 x 60-meter equestrian arena and two grandstands. As this column is directly adjacent to original arena, visitors can easily identify links between past and present.

    The 17 other stops explore issues such as sustainability, the visual grammar of the Games and its influence on modern corporate design, migration, infrastructure modernization and development, and the terrorist attack that was later to become the defining feature of the Munich Olympics. We have deliberately brought this exhibition to the very locations where the events took place and where they can still be experienced at any time of day or night. The information columns are prominently positioned to attract the gaze of tourists and passers-by, and the seats provided invite visitors to linger a little longer. Visuals and short texts in German and English provide basic information, and a QR code leads to a website with additional information, images, and video content, including interviews with people who witnessed the events firsthand. Nine tour stops also give access to the #WaldiChallenge, where visitors can put their knowledge about the Olympics and their own sporting prowess to the test.

    The exhibition’s information columns can be found at the following locations:


    1 A Visit with Consequences | Marienplatz

    2 ‘Planning and Building in Munich’ – the Ring Roads | Isartor

    3 ‘For a More Modern Munich’ | Ungererstraße

    4 ‘In the Wake of the Olympiad’ – the Pedestrian Precinct | Stachus

    5 Munich is a City of Immigration| Hauptbahnhof

    6 ‘Not linear, rectangular, serious’ – the Olympic Park | Olympiaberg

    7 ‘Munich’s first Olympic Champion’| Olympiaberg

    8 The City within the City | Connollystraße

    9 The Organising Committee’s Dept. XI | Saarstraße

    10 The ‘Edition Olympia’| Nymphenburger Straße

    11 Coins and Medals for the Olympics | Pfisterstraße

    12 ‘Television Olympics’ | Connollystraße

    13 We recommend you simply smile from now on’ – the Opening Ceremony | Olympiaberg

    14 Courtly Splendour and the Summer Olympics | Nördliches Schloßrondell

    15 Archery in the English Garden | Werneckwiese

    16 ‘Bavaria – Art and Culture’| Münchner Stadtmuseum

    17 ‘World Cultures and Modern Art’| Haus der Kunst

    18 Accommodation for the Youth of the World’| Kapuzinerhölzl

    19 ‘Happy Games’ at the Expense of Security?| Ettstraße

    20 ‘The Happy Games are over’ – the Munich Massacre | Connollystraße

    21 The ‘Games Street’ Experiment | Olympiaberg

    22 ‘Olympic Summer’| Odeonsplatz

    23 ‘International Folklore Festival’| Circus Krone

    24 Forgotten Olympic Sites | Theresienhöhe

    Plan Your Visit

    Opening hours

    Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
    Closed on Mondays

    Every 2nd Wednesday of the month selected exhibitions at the Münchner Stadtmuseum are open until 8 pm

    Filmmuseum München  Screenings
    Tuesday – Thursday 7 pm
    Friday – Saturday 6 pm and 9 pm
    Sunday 5 pm

    Getting here

    S/U-Bahn station: Marienplatz
    U-Bahn station: Sendlinger Tor
    Bus 52/62 stop: St.-Jakobs-Platz


    St.-Jakobs-Platz 1
    80331 München
    Phone +49-(0)89-233-22370
    Fax +49-(0)89-233-25033
    E-Mail stadtmuseummuenchende
    E-Mail filmmuseummuenchende

    Ticket reservation Phone +49-(0)89-233-24150

    Stadtcafé Phone +49-(0)89-26 69 49