The historic Olympic Stadium (Olympisch Stadion) was originally built to host the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam.
Located in the south of Amsterdam, today the stadium is used for various sporting and music events. Although the in-house Olympic Experience museum closed permanently in 2014, it is still possible to take a private tour of the stadium.
Olympic Stadium: The stadium was completed a few months before the start of the 1928 Olympic Games with a capacity of 31,600.
Designed by architect Jan Wils, it was built in the Amsterdam School style - this was greatly influenced by the work of H.P Berlage, whose Plan Zuid (South Plan) is prevalent in the entire Old South district of Amsterdam.
In fact, many street names in the surrounding area have Olympic, Greek mythological and sporting themes - such as Olympiaplein, Marathonstraat, Sportstraat, Herculesstraat and Discusstraat.
The stadium included the adjacent Marathon tower for the lighting of the Olympic flame, which was first introduced in Amsterdam for a modern Olympic Games.
The stadium was subsequently expanded with a second tier in 1937 and was used by Amsterdam's Ajax football club for big European games until they moved to the Amsterdam ArenA in 1996.
After being planned for demolition, the stadium was rightly listed as a National Monument in 1998. The Olympic Stadium was then renovated including the removal of the second tier. It was re-opened in 2000 as a suitable venue for athletics (track and field) and other events. The current capacity is 22,500.
The stadium still hosts various sporting events throughout the year including the Amsterdam Marathon (start/finish) in October and the annual Dutch athletics championships. It was also the site of the 2016 European Athletics Championships.
The stadium housed the Olympic Experience museum between 2005 and 2014. Due to financial constraints the museum had to close its doors.
The exhibition contained displays which documented some of the greatest moments in Dutch sporting history. It also looked at the role of diet, training, doping and technology in sport. There were some unique items on show - for example the running spikes of sprinting legend Fanny Blankers-Koen (1918-2004, the "Flying Housewife" who won 4 golds at the 1948 London Olympics) and it had a fine collection of Olympic medals and torches.
Olympic Stadium Tour: It's currently possible to have a look behind-the-scenes by taking a private tour by appointment. Tours last 60 minutes and can be organised in English. A special 90 minute tour is also available for school groups.
Olympic Stadium Amsterdam Essential Info
Opening Times: Olympic Stadium Tours available on request. Possible during the day and also during evenings and weekends, subject to availability.
Admission Price (2017): €10 per person, minimum group size is 5 people.
[Note, Olympic Experience museum has been closed permanently since October 2014.]
Getting There: Olympic Stadium is located in the south of Amsterdam - trams 16 and 24 stop outside the stadium.
Stadium, Olympisch Stadion 2, 1076 DE Amsterdam
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