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|Type||Telecommunication and observation|
|Construction started||Originally constructed 1961|
|Completed||1965, rebuilt 2006–2009|
|Antenna spire||204.68 m (672 ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Uglješa Bogunović and Slobodan Janjić|
The Avala Tower (Serbian: Авалски торањ / Avalski toranj) is a 204.68 m (672 ft) tall telecommunications tower located on Mount Avala, in Belgrade. The original tower was finished in 1965, but was destroyed on 23 April 1999, during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. The tower's reconstruction commenced on 21 December 2006 and it was officially opened on 21 April 2010. It is currently the tallest tower in the Balkans.
The tower was designed by architects Uglješa Bogunović 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, entered at 122 m (400 ft) and reached via two quick elevators. 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, the symbol of Serbian tripod chair (tronožac). It is 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 and the emitting of the TV Belgrade's Second program in color began on 31 December 1971. Also, the first digital terrestrial television in Serbia was emitted from the tower.
The project, which was of high risk, was finished without any worker injuries or deaths, which was unusual for a project of its size.
After completion, with the 202.87 m (666 ft) height it was the fifth tallest self-supporting construction in the world, after Empire State Building, La Tour Eiffel, Chrysler Building and Grande Dixence Dam.
The Avala Tower was destroyed on 29 April 1999 by NATO bombardment. Previously the power supply to the station was destroyed, but a senior military officer installed a backup generator. The intent of the bombing was to put Radio Television Serbia (RTS) permanently off the air for the duration of the war; however RTS was relayed on a network of local TV stations which relayed its programming throughout the whole of Serbia. The Avala Tower was a symbol of pride and a famous landmark, not only of Belgrade and Serbia, but of the former Yugoslavia too. 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.
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 was in charge of the construction of the tower — and general director of RTS, Aleksandar Tijanić. 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 Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic. 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.
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 2009, the tenth anniversary of its destruction. Radio Television Serbia reported on 23 October 2009 that the tower had been completed. The rebuilt tower was opened on 21 April 2010 and with 204.68 m (671.5 ft), it is 2 m (6 ft 7 in) higher than the demolished one. Materials used include 5,880 tons of concrete and 500 tons of reinforcement bars.
In 2016, the tower had 137,000 visitors. In June 2017 the tourist complex was opened at the base of the tower. It includes, among other facilities, a restaurant, ethno-gallery, souvenir shop, sports fields and outdoor gym. By August 2017, a 105 cement prints of the people who helped the reconstruction were displayed, including those of tennis players Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic and a new lift, for the parents with children and the disabled, have been constructed.
An equilateral triangle as its cross section. The tower is one of few not perched directly into the ground, but standing on its legs.
Radio and TV frequencies
- 95.3 MHz – Radio Belgrade 1
- 97.6 MHz – Radio Belgrade 2/3
- 98.5 MHz – Hit FM
- 101.4 MHz – Fokus Radio
- 104.0 MHz – Radio Belgrade 202
DVB-T2 digital television – UHF channel 22- MUX 1:
- List of tallest buildings in Serbia
- Architecture of Belgrade
- List of towers
- List of masts These are also often used as for TV broadcasts.
- List of tallest structures in former Yugoslavia
-  at Emporis
- Naš toranj
- Dejan Aleksić (8 August 2017), "Sve više turista pohodi emisiono srce Srbije", Politika (in Serbian), p. 16
- RTS article on tower completion, (in Serbian).
- Milan Janković (12 June 2017), "Uređen turistički kompleks oko Avalskog tornja", Politika (in Serbian), p. 16
- Ana Vuković (10 June 2017), "Kompleks na Avali dobio novi izgled", Politika (in Serbian), p. 14
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