My favourite German football team is Hertha Berlin. Partly this is down to my own associations with Berlin. (I lived there as a child.) But it’s also to do with the fact they are not Bayern Munich and that they have a remarkable story, tangled with the history of Germany, the cold war and a yo yo existence through the German leagues. Twenty odd years ago they played in the local amateur league. Today they sit four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.
Home is the Olympiastadion. A building which, even by German standards is heavy with Nazi associations. There’s the architecture of course, triumphalist, martial and unashamedly classical. There are the flashbacks of history; Jesse Owens’ name carved into the wall, the place Hitler stood. Like a lot of Berlin, it is a remarkable place, full of ghosts. All architecture carries these imprints, it is just that this is one of the most astonishing. Our emotional response to the building comes not just from the architecture, but also from the eyes with which we view it.