Avala TV Tower

The Avala Tower (Serbian: Авалски торањ / Avalski toranj) is a 204.5 m (671 ft) tall telecommunication tower located on Avala mountain near Belgrade, Serbia. It was destroyed in NATO bombardment of Serbia on 29 April 1999. On 21 December 2006, the reconstruction of Avala Tower commenced and the tower was officially opened at a ceremony on 21 April 2010. It is currently the tallest tower in Serbia and the Balkan region.

History

The tower was designed by architects Uglješa Bogdanović and Slobodan Janjić, and engineer Milan Krstić. Construction started on 14 October 1961 and was completed four years later in 1965. The tower weighed 4,000 tonnes (3,900 long tons; 4,400 short tons). Between 102 m (335 ft) and 135 m (443 ft), there was an enclosed observation deck. It was the only tower in the world to have an equilateral triangle as its cross section, and one of very few towers not perched directly into the ground, but standing on its legs. The legs formed a tripod, making it one of the small number of towers to be constructed in that manner.

The tower was surmounted by an antenna, which was at first used for black and white television transmission. In 1971 the antenna was replaced by a new one for color TV transmission. The project, which was of high risk, was finished without any worker injuries or deaths, which was unusual for a project of its size.

Avala Tower was destroyed on 29 April 1999 by NATO bombardment, supposedly to put Radio Television of Serbia off the air. Radio Television Serbia broadcasting did not suffer as it was relying on a network of local TV stations which were obliged to relay its program throughout the whole of Serbia. The tower was one of the last buildings to be destroyed before the end of the NATO operation. A special bomb was used to destroy the tower. The blast was one of the loudest explosions heard throughout Belgrade during the NATO bombardment. Between the date of its destruction and 11 September 2001, it was the tallest structure ever destroyed in war.

Rebuilding the new tower

In 2004, Radio Television Serbia commenced a series of fund-raising events in order to collect money to construct the building once again at the same place it was destroyed. In 2005, clearing of the site where the tower was destroyed began and on 21 December 2006 the construction of a new Avala Tower commenced. An agreement regarding its construction was signed by Dušan Basara, director of the construction sector of the Ratko Mitrović Company — which will be in charge of the construction of the tower — and general director of RTS, Aleksandar Tijanić.

Initially, completion of the new tower was expected in August 2008, but construction works were severely delayed. The opening date was pushed back to 29 April, the tenth anniversary of its destruction. Radio Television Serbia reported on 23 October 2009 that the tower has been completed.

  • Finished 2010

  • March 2008

  • July 2008

  • August 2008

  • July 2009

  • February 2010

  • June 2010

Fund-raising

Many fund-raising events have been held for the collection of funds so a new tower can be constructed. One of the first was a match between Serbian grand slam-winning tennis players Ana Ivanović and Novak Đoković. All the proceeds went to the Avala Tower fund. Ceca Ražnatović (a Serbian folk singer) held a concert on 15 June 2006, with all the proceeds going to the Avala Tower fund. Radio Television Serbia ran commercials for donations to rebuild the tower. According to a December 2006 report, when it was announced that the construction of a new Avala Tower would commence that same month, over €1 million was collected through fund-raising and donations.

Building Activity

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