Gerbrandy Tower

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Gerbrandy Tower
Gerbrandy tower.jpg
Gerbrandy Tower
General information
Type Partially guyed tower
Location IJsselstein, Netherlands
Coordinates 52°0′36.24″N 5°3′12.87″E / 52.0100667°N 5.0535750°E / 52.0100667; 5.0535750Coordinates: 52°0′36.24″N 5°3′12.87″E / 52.0100667°N 5.0535750°E / 52.0100667; 5.0535750
Completed 1961
Height 366.8 m (1,203.41 ft)
The tower at Christmas

The Gerbrandy Tower (Dutch: Gerbrandytoren) is a tower in IJsselstein, the Netherlands. It was built in 1961.

Description[edit]

The Gerbrandy Tower is used for directional radio services and for FM- and TV-broadcasting. The Gerbrandy Tower consists of a concrete tower with a height of 100 meters on which a guyed aerial mast is mounted. Its total height was originally 382.5 meters, but in 1987 it was reduced to 375 meters.

On August 2, 2007 its analog antenna was replaced by a digital one reducing its height by another 9 meters. Its height is now 366.8 meters.

This tower type is a partially guyed tower, which combines a lower free standing tower antennas with an upper guyed mast. If the structure is counted as a tower, it is the tallest tower in Western Europe. The Gerbrandy Tower is not the only tower which consists of a concrete tower on which a guyed mast is set. There is one similar but smaller tower with the same structure in the Netherlands, the radio tower of Zendstation Smilde, which consisted of an 80 meter high concrete tower, on which a 223.5 meter high guyed mast was mounted. This structure collapsed after a fire on July 15th, 2011. Rebuilding of that tower started in late 2011 and is planned to be complete around August 2012; the replacement structure will also be a partially guyed tower.

Largest Christmas tree[edit]

During the Christmas season lamps are put on the guys and make the tower the biggest Christmas tree in the world. There were plans to limit these decorations to once every 5 years, but sponsoring has allowed the seasonal lighting to be put up every year so far. However, during Christmas 2006 there were no decorations on the mast. Due to the repairs after the fire on July 15, 2011, the lights were limited to the white light on the top and searchlights at the base.

Naming[edit]

The tower is named after Pieter Gerbrandy, prime minister of the Netherlands during World War Two.

Nearby, there are two other remarkable masts, the mast of mediumwave transmitter Lopik and KNMI-mast Cabauw, a mast used for meteorological measurements.

Fires in Dutch TV-masts[edit]

On July 15th, 2011 there was a small fire in the Gerbrandy tower. Only hours later, a similar tower in Smilde caught fire and collapsed, after which all transmitters in the Gerbrandy tower were shut down as a precaution, leaving large parts of the Netherlands without FM-radio and digital TV (DVB-T) reception.

Owner[edit]

The ownership of the tower is complex: the concrete main structure is owned by Alticom: a company established in 2007 that bought many assets from KPN. Alticom was part of the European TDG Group, but in June 2011 it was announced that all shares in Alticom were acquired by investment company Infracapital[1] who are the infrastructure specialists of Prudential plc.

Alticom is the owner of the concrete base and the first 3 meters of ground around this base. The metal mast on top of the structure is owned by NOVEC, which is a subsidiary of the electricity transmission operator TenneT. And the ground on which the tower is built, excluding the first 3 meters around the base, is (still) owned by KPN.[2]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Records
Preceded by
Eiffel Tower
312.3 m (1,025 ft)
Tallest structure in EU
382.5 m (1,255 ft)

1961–1973
Succeeded by
Belmont transmitting station
387.5 m (1,271 ft)

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Press-release Infracapital buys Alticom, 8 June, 2011, retrieved 27 July, 2011
  2. ^ Report about working safely in Radio and TV-masts: Veilig werken op hoog nivo (Dutch), 8 August, 2007, retrieved 25 July, 2011