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The Olympiastadion is a sports stadium at Olympiapark Berlin in Berlin, Germany. It was originally built by Werner March for the 1936 Summer Olympics. During the Olympics, the record attendance was thought to be over 100,000. Today the stadium is part of the Olympiapark Berlin. Since renovations in 2004, the Olympiastadion has a permanent capacity of 74,475 seats and is the largest stadium in Germany for international football matches. During the 1912 Summer Olympics, the city of Berlin was designated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host the 1916 Summer Olympics. Germany’s proposed stadium for this event was to be located in Charlottenburg, in the Grunewald Forest, to the west of Berlin—thus the stadium was also known as Grunewaldstadion. A horse racing-course already existed there which belonged to the Berliner Rennverein, and even today the old ticket booths survive on Jesse-Owens-Allee. The government of Germany decided not to build in the nearby Grunewald forest, or to renovate buildings that already existed. Because of this desire, they hired the same architect who originally had built the “Rennverein”, Otto March. In 1931, the International Olympic Committee selected Berlin to host the 11th Summer Olympics. When the Nazis came to power in Germany (1933), they decided to use the Olympic Games in 1936 for propaganda purposes. With these plans in mind, Adolf Hitler ordered the construction of a great sports complex in Grunewald named the “Reichssportfeld” with a totally new Olympiastadion. Architect Werner March remained in charge of the project, assisted by his brother Walter. Construction took place from 1934 to 1936. When the Reichssportfeld was finished, it was 132 hectares (330 acres). It consisted of (east to west): the Olympiastadion, the Maifeld (Mayfield, capacity of 50,000) and the Waldbühne amphitheater (capacity of 25,000), in addition to various places, buildings and facilities for different sports (such as football, swimming, equestrian events, and field hockey) in the northern part. After the war, the former Reichssportfeld became the headquarters of the British military occupation forces. From 1951 to 2005, the Olympischer Platz had a giant antenna transmitting for all the portable radios in Berlin. In 1998, Berliners debated the destiny of the Olympiastadion in light of the legacy it represented for Germany. Some wanted to tear the stadium down and build a new one from scratch, while others favored letting it slowly crumble “like the Colosseum in Rome”. Finally, it was decided to renovate the Olympiastadion. The re-inauguration celebrations of the new Olympic Stadium were carried out on 31 July 2004, and 1 August 2004. The Frisian Tower (right) and the Saxon Tower (left) Architect: Werner March Construction period: 1934-1936 Height: 35m The six towers placed around the Olympic Stadium were named after the 'great German tribes, to use the terminology of the time. They were supposed to symbolize a “Germany united under National Socialism”: a Germany that would ‘protect the Stadium with its might’. The towers recall the East Prussian Tannenberg Monument, erected at the scene of a First World War battle and converted into the National Socialist Hindenburg Memorial in 1934. The names given to the towers reflect the pseudo-scientific debate then in progress which interpreted historical development in terms or prehistoric ethnic categories. In addition to the Bavarians, Franconians, Swabians, Frisians and Saxons the inhabitants of Prussia were now also classified as a ‘German tribe’. In the ‘folk’ categories of the Nazis the German tribes embodied the virtues of a glorious past which, it was claimed, had been lost in the modern age. The ‘tribes’ supposedly preserved the Blutserbe (blood heritage) of the ‘Nordic master race’. Text Source: Wikipedia and City of Berlin, Staatliches Museum of Berlin