Fernsehturm

The Fernsehturm (German for "television tower") is a television tower in the city centre of Berlin, Germany. Close to Alexanderplatz and part of the World Federation of Great Towers (WFGT), the tower was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the former German Democratic Republic administration who intended it as a symbol of Berlin, which it remains today, as it is easily visible throughout the central and some suburban districts of Berlin. With its height of 368 meters, it is the tallest structure in Germany.

Overview

The original total height of the tower was 365 metres (1,198 ft), but it rose to 368 metres (1,207 ft) after the installation of a new antenna in the 1990s. The Fernsehturm is the fourth tallest freestanding structure in Europe, after Moscow's Ostankino Tower, the Kiev TV Tower and the Riga Radio and TV Tower. There is a visitor platform and a revolving restaurant in the middle of the sphere. The visitor platform is at a height of about 204 metres (669 ft) above the ground and visibility can reach 42 kilometres (26 mi) on a clear day. The restaurant, which rotates once every 30 minutes, is a few metres above the visitors platform (originally it turned once per hour; the speed was later doubled following the tower's late 1990s renovation). Inside the shaft are two lifts that shuttle visitors up to the sphere of the tower within 40 seconds. It is not accessible by wheelchair.

To mark the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, for which the final match was played in the Berlin Olympic Stadium, the sphere was decorated as a football with magenta-coloured pentagons, reflecting the corporate colour of World Cup sponsor and owner of the Fernsehturm, Deutsche Telekom.

History

In 1964, Walter Ulbricht, leader of the Socialist Unity Party which governed East Germany, decided to allow the construction of a television tower on Alexanderplatz, modelled on the Fernsehturm Stuttgart. It was intended as a show of the GDR's strength, while its location is thought to have been deliberately chosen so that it would impose on views of West Berlin's Reichstag building (when viewed from the front). The architecture traces back to an idea from Hermann Henselmann, and Jörg Streitparth. Walter Herzog and Herbert Aust later also took part in the planning. Construction began on 4 August 1965. After four years of construction, the Fernsehturm began test broadcasts on 3 October 1969, and it was officially inaugurated four days later on the GDR's National Day. It is among the best known sights in Berlin, and has around a million visitors every year.

The "Pope's Revenge"

When the sun shines on the Fernsehturm's tiled stainless steel dome, the reflection usually appears in the form of a crucifix. This effect was neither predicted nor desired by the planners. Berliners immediately named the luminous cross Rache des Papstes, or "Pope's Revenge". For the same reasons, the structure was also called "St. Walter" (from Walter Ulbricht).

U.S. President Ronald Reagan mentioned this phenomenon in his "Tear down this wall" speech on 12 June 1987:

Technical details
  • 1 tuned mass damper
  • Entrance of observation deck is 6.25 metres (20.5 ft) above ground
  • 2 Kone lifts for transport of visitors
  • 1 lift for transport of technical equipment
  • Steel stairway with 986 steps
  • Evacuation platforms at 188 metres (617 ft) and 191 metres (627 ft) high
  • Observation deck at 203.78 metres (668.6 ft)
  • Restaurant at 207.53 metres (680.9 ft)
  • Height of the tower: 368.03 metres (1,207.4 ft)
  • Weight of the shaft: 26,000 tonnes (26,000 long tons; 29,000 short tons)
  • Weight of the sphere 4,800 tonnes (4,700 long tons; 5,300 short tons)
Channels by frequency
  • 87.9 MHz – Star FM
  • 90.2 MHz – BBC World Service
  • 91.4 MHz – Berliner Rundfunk
  • 93.6 MHz – Jam FM
  • 94.3 MHz – rs2
  • 95.8 MHz – RBB Radio One
  • 97.7 MHz – Deutschlandfunk
  • 98.8 MHz – Kiss FM
  • 99.7 MHz – Antenne Brandenburg
  • 100.6 MHz – Motor FM
  • 101.3 MHz – Klassik Radio
  • 101.9 MHz – JazzRadio 101.9
  • 102.6 MHz – RBB Fritz
  • 103.4 MHz – Energy Berlin
  • 104.6 MHz – 104.6 RTL
  • 105.5 MHz – Spreeradio
  • 106 MHz – Radio France Internationale
  • Block 12B – 225.648 MHz (DAB)
    • FIRST Audio iDLS
    • Rock Antenne
  • Block 12D – 229.072 MHz (DAB)
    • Deutschlandfunk
    • Voice of Russia
  • Block LA – 1452.960 MHz
    • All Digital One stations (DAB)
    • Channel 4 (DMB)
    • E4 (DMB)
    • ITN (DMB)
    • ITV1 (DMB)
  • VHF 5 (177.5 MHz) – Mixed Berlin 1
    • WDR Fernsehen (Köln)
    • SWR Fernsehen (Baden-Württemberg/Rheinland-Pfalz)
    • HSE24
  • VHF 7 (191.5 MHz) – ARD regional programming
    • MDR Fernsehen (Sachsen)
    • arte
    • NDR Fernsehen (Niedersachsen)
  • UHF 25 (506 MHz) – RTL Group
    • RTL
    • RTL II
    • Super RTL
    • VOX
  • UHF 27 (522 MHz) – ARD national programming
    • Das Erste
    • rbb Fernsehen Berlin
    • Phoenix
    • EinsExtra/rbb Fernsehen (Brandenburg)
  • UHF 33 (570 MHz) – ZDFvision
    • ZDF
    • 3sat
    • ZDFinfokanal
    • ZDFneo/KI.KA
  • UHF 39 (618 MHz) – Mixed Berlin 4 (trial)
    • QVC
    • Das Vierte
    • Bibel TV
    • TVP Polonia (beginning January 2010)
  • UHF 44 (658 MHz) – ProSiebenSat.1
    • ProSieben
    • Sat.1
    • kabel eins
    • N24
  • UHF 56 (754 MHz) – Mixed Berlin 2
    • DSF
    • 9Live
    • Eurosport
    • TV.Berlin
  • UHF 59 (778 MHz) – Mixed Berlin 3
    • n-tv
    • Euronews
    • 90elf Interactive
    • 15 radio channels

Media

5 photos

Building Activity