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Built in 1936 by Werner March for the XI Summer Olympic Games, the Olympiastadion, which seats 100,000 people, was the first in Europe to supply all the facilities necessary for modern sports. Hitler expected to see his "master race" run off with all the medals in the 1936 Olympics, but his hopes were dashed when an African American, Jesse Owens, took four golds for the U.S. team.

The stadium area covers a total of 136 hectares (336 acres), but the main attraction is the arena. The playing field in its center lies 14m (46 ft.) below ground level. For a panoramic view of Berlin, take the elevator to the top of the 80m (262-ft.) platform, where the Olympic bell hangs. Sporting or cultural events are still presented here about once a week during spring, summer, and autumn. For ticket sales and information for sporting events within the stadium, call the Herta-Berlin Soccer Club (Herta-BSC) at tel. 030/3009280. For information about the occasional live concerts, call Conzert Concept at tel. 030/810750.