7 Top Olympic Arenas in the World

7. EstadiOlímpic De Montjuïc, 1992

Estadi_Olímpic_Lluís_CompanysThere’s something about Barcelona that makes the city unique. Maybe it’s the beautiful Mediterranean, maybe it’s the charming buildings, or maybe it’s a combination of both.

Back in the early ’90s, the Catalan capital experienced a massive transformation in order to host the 1992 Games.

The EstadiOlímpic De Montjuïc wasn’t an exception, as it went through an impressive renovation commanded by Italian Vittorio Gregotti. Everything apart from the facades was completely redesigned from the original 1929 International Exhibition design.

6. EstadioOlímpicoUniversitario, 1968

actual-estadio-cULocated at the heart of Mexico City’s university district, Ciudad Universitaria, the Estadio Olímpico Universitario is a simple, but functional architectural masterpiece. The building represents traditional aspects of Mexican culture and history.

Original built for the 1955 Pan American Games then was expanded to accommodate the Olympic requirements. This was the Olympics were Tommie Smith and John Carlos protested US race relations with the black power salute during the metal ceremony.

5. Munich Olympiastadion, 1972

P1010277-600x450Bavaria is without any doubt a lovely region of Germany. The Alps, the Lederhosen and the Oktoberfest make this state unique. The stadium was intended to be the centerpiece of the newly built Olympiapark. With such an amazing location, the “Happy Games” were urged to have a host venue that fulfilled the high expectations.

With Günter Behnisch as head architect, the revolutionary construction incorporates acrylic glass with steel cables, creating an astonishing optical experience.  That has allowed this stadium continue life with large soccer finals.

4. Athens Olympic Stadium, 2004

Olympic_stadium,Athens_19There was a time back in 2004, long before the financial struggles and the Greek Tragedy, when Greece appeared to be embracing modernity and looking forward into the future.

OK, it may have just been an illusion, but at least there is a legacy of that wonderful, idyllic time, Santiago Calatrava’s Olympic Stadium. The stadium was built in 1980 for the European Championships in Athletics. It was renovated for the Olympics that placed an arch roof over the stadium.

The Spanish architect created an exceptional stadium by combining traditional Greek elements with his own trademark style. What we didn’t know at the time was where Greece got the money for such venues—but well, that’s another story.

3. Berlin Olympiastadion, 1936

Berlin-Olympia-StadionThe stadium was originally built for the 1912 Summer Olympics which was cancelled due to World War One. In 1931 Germany was awarded the 1936 Summer Olympics and restored the stadium.

The most astonishing structure is the host venue of the 1936 Olympics in the ever-fascinating Berlin built by the Nazis to demonstrate their power.Designed by Hitler’s head architect, Albert Spreer, and Werner March, the stadium represented the image of Germany that the NSDAP wanted to show the world.


2.  Wembley Stadium, 1948

images (1)The postwar years were difficult for England, thus no new venue was built for the 1948 Games in London, also known as the “Austerity Games.”The stadium was built for the British Empire exhibition stadium.

The Old Wembley Stadium hosted the Games of the XIV Olympiad after some minor refurbishments, but nothing too expensive.

1. Beijing National Stadium, 2008

8-stadium-lightsBeijing 2008 was arguably the finest hour of Chinese architecture. Avant-garde constructions made those games the most impressive ones in history.

The magnificence of the so called “Bird’s Nest” shows the emerging power of the ancestral Middle Kingdom. The talent of Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, the masterminds behind the Allianz Arena in Munich, combined with the enormous budget assigned by the PRC’s Government, resulted in the most astonishing Olympic Stadium ever built.