Thursday, February 04, 2010

Olympiazentrum and Konigsplatz

Another early finish to the day. My classmates (mostly guys) advised the place to visit is the BMW Complex. From the Olympiazentrum, it's a short stroll to the BMW Welt (BMW World). Note that this is NOT the BMW Museum, which is the silver bowl-shaped structure across the road. Beside the BMW Museum is the BMW Tower, which has been the global headquarters of the Bavarian carmaker for over three decades. The BMW HQ is also called BMW-Vierzylinder, literally BMW four-cylinder because of the shape of the building. It consists of four vertical cylinders connected to each other. Interestingly enough, the cylinders do not actually touch the ground, but are supported by a central support tower. Back to the BMW Welt. Entrance is free to the public. It's basically an exhibition facility presenting the current BMW models, a few interactive displays showcasing BMW technology, and a distribution center for BMW cars.

Just across the highway is the Olympiapark, built for the 1972 Summer Olympics. First thing you'll see is the Olypiaturm (Olympic Tower). The 291-m high tower basically functions as a communications tower broadcasting analog and digital radio and TV channels. Aside from the requisite observation deck, the tower also has a revolving restaurant. Just beyond are the Olympic Hall (Olympiahalle) and the Olympic Swim Hall (Olympia Schwimmhalle). At this time, only the Swim Hall is open. Further on is the Olympic Stadium, but decided to cut my tour short and head back.

Off the train at Konigsplatz, I make my way to the wide plaza designed by Karl von Fischer and Leo von Klenze at the command of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria. On the west side of the plaza is the Doric memorial gate Propylaea. Walking down Konigsplatz street, there's the Iconic Glyptothek museum on the left and the Corinthian State Museum of Classical Art (Staatliche Antikensammlungen) on the right side. At the end of the avenue is Karolinenplatz, a square/roundabout with a 29m-tall obelisk in the middle. The obelisk was erected in 1833 in memory of 30,000 Bavarian troops who died fighting for Napoleon against the Russians and the Austrians in 1812.

Moving south, I end up at the Alter Botanischer Garten. It's really quite late now, so there's nothing to see in the garden. Beyond the Fountain of Neptune, I find myself along Elisenstrasse with the magnificent Justizpalast. Ten more minutes, and I'm back at my hotel.

No comments: