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Donauturm NW.jpg
Looking northwest towards the Donauturm; the hills Leopoldsberg and Kahlenberg are visible in the background.
General information
Coordinates48°14′24″N 16°24′39″E / 48.24000°N 16.41083°E / 48.24000; 16.41083Coordinates: 48°14′24″N 16°24′39″E / 48.24000°N 16.41083°E / 48.24000; 16.41083
Construction started1962
Antenna spire252
Technical details
Design and construction
Architect(s)Hannes Lintl
The observation decks and spire of the Donauturm

The Donauturm (English: Danube Tower) is a tower in Vienna, the tallest structure in Austria at 252 metres (827 ft),[1] and is the 68th tallest tower in the world. Opening in April 1964, the tower is located near the north bank of the Danube River in the district of Donaustadt.


The Donauturm was constructed during 1962–1964, as designed by architect Hannes Lintl, in preparation for the Viennese International Horticultural Show 1964. The tower stands at 252 metres (827 ft) in height. Groundbreaking took place on 12 October 1962. After approximately 18 months of construction, under the supervision of Eberhard Födisch, the tower was officially opened on 16 April 1964 by Federal President Adolf Schärf.

Since then, it has become a part of the Viennese skyline and has become a popular lookout point and a tourist attraction. It is situated in the middle of the Donaupark, which was built to host the horticultural fair in Vienna's 22nd District, Donaustadt, near the northern bank of the Danube.


High-speed elevators[edit]

Two high-speed elevators transport passengers to the tower's viewing platform at 150 metres (490 ft). Each lift, carrying up to 14 passengers, takes only 35 seconds to reach the observation platform. In strong winds, the elevators travel at only half speed because of the possible fluctuation of the tower: the movement of the elevator cable could be dangerous. By walking about 779 steps (775, according to architects Lintl), the platform can also be reached on foot. The stairs are, however, usually only accessible during the annual Donauturm run, or in an emergency.

Antennas and radio transmitter[edit]

The Donauturm spire carries antennas of cellular phone networks, private VHF radio stations and several other radio communication services. Despite its similarity to TV towers elsewhere, it has not been used for TV broadcasting. The major TV transmitter for the Vienna area is situated on Kahlenberg hill (see image at top).

Radiostation Frequency ERP since
Radio Arabella Wien 92,9 MHz 2,6653 kW 14 Dec 2001
Orange 94.0 94,0 MHz 0,3981 kW 17 Aug 1998
98,3 Superfly 98,3 MHz 0,3802 kW 29 Feb 2008
Radio Stephansdom 107,3 MHz 1,9999 kW 24 Sept 1998

Viewing platform[edit]

Two revolving restaurants (at a height of 161.2 and 169.4 metres, or 529 and 556 ft) offer a varied view over the Austrian capital and the Danube River below. It takes the platform either 26, 39 or 52 minutes to complete a full revolution. The restaurants were originally largely identical; now the top is an "upscale" restaurant (named "Turm-Restaurant") and the lower restaurant is a café (named "Turm-Café").

View of Vienna; the skyscrapers of Donau City are visible on the left
Night view of Vienna.

Ballooning accident in 1968[edit]

At a meeting of Pro Juventute on 6 June 1968, four gas balloons were launched from a meadow at Donauturm. While three of them floated past the tower, the fourth was driven against the tower, where it was initially hung on the security grills, at a height of approx. 150 m. The balloon net tore and the balloon envelope broke free. The remnants of the net and the basket fell to the ground. American balloonist Francis Shields died, along with two Austrian passengers: a higher official of the Austrian Post and Telegraph Management, Guntram Pammer, and journalist Dieter Kasper of the Austrian Press agency.

Footage of the incident appeared in the film Days of Fury (1979), directed by Fred Warshofsky and hosted by Vincent Price.[2]

Wikipedia naming controversy[edit]

The Donauturm shares some architectural features with the Fernsehturm Stuttgart, but was never planned for TV broadcasting purposes. The German Wikipedia had an approximately 600,000-character discussion about the suitable title and categories, as some authors, many of them Austrian, regarded the Donauturm as a mere observation tower.[3] The Spiegel coverage of the issue cited a participant with "On good days, Wikipedia is better than any TV soap".[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Technical facts about Donauturm". Retrieved 28 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Watch Days of Fury (1979) on the Internet Archive". 1979.
  3. ^ a b Spiegel 19.04.2010, INTERNET, Im Innern des Weltwissens, Mathieu von Rohr

External links[edit]