The Fernsehturm seen from southwest
|Type||Television tower, Restaurant, Observation tower|
|Completed||3 October 1969|
|Height||368.03 m (1,207.45 ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Main contractor||GDR government|
Close to Alexanderplatz in Berlin, the tower was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the administration of the German Democratic Republic. It was intended 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.
The tower has become one of the most prominent symbols of the country and is often in the establishing shot of films set in Berlin. Due to its location near Alexanderplatz, the tower is occasionally called Alex Tower.
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, also called panoramic floor, is at a height of about 203 metres (666 ft) above the ground and visibility can reach 42 kilometres (26 mi) on a clear day. The restaurant Telecafé, which rotates once every 30 minutes, is a few metres above the visitors platform at 207 metres (679 ft) (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. There is also a Staircase with 986 steps.
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.
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 and the first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik. The TV tower had several architects. Its former design was done by Hermann Henselmann, and Jörg Streitparth. It was built by the East German architects Fritz Dieter, Günter Franke and Werner Ahrendt between 1965-69. Walter Herzog, Gerhard Kosel and Herbert Aust later also took part in the planning. The construction plan though emerged already in the 1950s. The tower was actually needed for transmitting radio and TV programmes. At the same time it was intended as symbol and as a show of the GDR's strength. After some discussions regarding the tower's location it was decided to build the Fernsehturm next to Alexanderplatz, which is situated in the centre of Berlin. 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 a 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 cross. This effect was not anticipated by the architect. Berliners nicknamed the luminous cross Rache des Papstes, or the "Pope's Revenge". For the same reasons, the structure was also called "St. Walter" (from Walter Ulbricht). U.S. President Ronald Reagan mentioned this in his "Tear down this wall" speech on 12 June 1987.
It is also affectionately known as the Telespargel (tele-sparagus) because of its shape.
The distinctive outline of the Fernsehturm is used for e.g. logos
Berlin TV Tower with St. Mary's Church
Central Berlin with Oberbaum Bridge and TV Tower
Fernsehturm seen from Alexanderplatz
- 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)
- Diameter of the sphere 32 metres (105 ft)
Channels by frequency
Analogue FM radio
|87.9 MHz||1||Star FM|
|90.2 MHz||16||BBC World Service|
|91.4 MHz||100||Berliner Rundfunk 91,4|
|93.6 MHz||2.4||Jam FM|
|94.3 MHz||25||94,3 rs2|
|95.8 MHz||100||Radio Eins|
|98.8 MHz||1||98.8 KISS FM Berlin|
|99.7 MHz||100||Antenne Brandenburg|
|100.6 MHz||12.6||Motor FM|
|101.3 MHz||4||Klassik Radio|
|101.9 MHz||0.5||JazzRadio 101.9|
|103.4 MHz||8||Energy Berlin|
|104.6 MHz||10||104.6 RTL|
|105.5 MHz||5||105'5 Spreeradio|
|106.0 MHz||1||Radio France Internationale|
Digital radio (DAB)/Digital mobile television (DMB)
|190.640 MHz||7B||7||Berlin 2|
|194.064 MHz||7D||10||Berlin 1|
|225.648 MHz||12B||1||FIRST (DAB/DMB tests)|
Digital television (DVB-T)
- UHF 25 (506 MHz) – RTL Group
- UHF 27 (522 MHz) – ARD national programming
- UHF 33 (570 MHz) – ZDFvision
- UHF 39 (618 MHz) – Mixed Berlin 4
- UHF 44 (658 MHz) – ProSiebenSat.1
- UHF 47 (682 MHz) – ARD regional programming
- UHF 50 (706 MHz) – Mixed Berlin 1
- UHF 56 (754 MHz) – Mixed Berlin 2
- UHF 59 (778 MHz) – Mixed Berlin 3
Analogue TV stations
The analogue TV service was shut down on August 4, 2003.
|631.25 MHz||41||1||BBC World|
- List of towers
- List of tallest freestanding structures in the world
- Fernsehturm Stuttgart
- Funkturm Berlin
- Fernmeldeturm Berlin
- "Berliner Fernsehturm – History". berlinerfernsehturm.de. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- Berliner Fernsehturm | Entdecken Sie 360° Berlin
- Fernsehturm, Berlin, http://www.worldsiteguides.com/europe/germany/berlin/fernsehturm/
- Berlin.de, Berliner Fernsehturm, Fersehturm History, http://www.berlin.de/orte/sehenswuerdigkeiten/fernsehturm/index.en.php?lang=en
- Fernsehturm, Berlin, Symbolism, http://www.worldsiteguides.com/europe/germany/berlin/fernsehturm/
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Berliner Fernsehturm.|
- Berlin Television Tower at Structurae
- Fernsehturm Official Website
- Berliner Fernsehturm during Football Worldcup 06
- All about the tower and Panorama
- Article in EXBERLINER Magazine