Ostankino Tower

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Ostankino Tower
Останкинская телебашня
Останкинская башня вечером.jpg
Ostankino Tower in June 2021
Location in Moscow
Record height
Tallest in the world from 1967 to 1974[I]
Preceded byEmpire State Building
Surpassed byCN Tower
General information
TypeObservation, telecommunications, tourism
LocationMoscow, Russia
Coordinates55°49′11″N 37°36′42″E / 55.81972°N 37.61167°E / 55.81972; 37.61167Coordinates: 55°49′11″N 37°36′42″E / 55.81972°N 37.61167°E / 55.81972; 37.61167
Construction started1963
OwnerUnitary enterprise Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network
Antenna spire540.1 m (1,772.0 ft)
Roof385.4 m (1,264.4 ft)
Top floor360.4 m (1,182.4 ft)
Technical details
Floor count120 (equivalent)
Floor area15,000 m2 (160,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
Structural engineerNikolai Nikitin

Ostankino Tower (Russian: Останкинская телебашня, romanized: Ostankinskaya telebashnya) is a television and radio tower in Moscow, Russia, owned by the Moscow branch of unitary enterprise Russian TV and Radio Broadcasting Network. Standing 540.1 metres (1,772 ft), it was designed by Nikolai Nikitin, Pyotr Gorchakov and Yuri Kondratyuk. As of 2022, it is the tallest free-standing structure in Europe and 12th tallest in the world. Between 1967 and 1974, it was the tallest in the world. The tower was the first free-standing structure to exceed 500 m (1,600 ft) in height. Ostankino was built to mark the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. It is named after the surrounding Ostankino district of Moscow.[4][5]


Construction and record holder[edit]

Construction began in 1963 and was completed in 1967. Extensive use of prestressed concrete resulted in a simple and sturdy structure. It surpassed the Empire State Building to become the tallest free-standing structure in the world. It held this record for eight years until it was overtaken by the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada in 1975, which surpassed its height by 13 metres (43 ft).[6]

Height increase plan[edit]

In 1994, there was a plan to increase the tower's height to 561 metres (1,841 ft) by adding a long antenna. However, this plan to reclaim the "tallest free-standing structure in the world" was not implemented due to lack of funding.[7]

Comparison of the Ostankino Tower with the world's seven tallest towers

Reopening and recent activity[edit]

In April 2009, the observation platform reopened,[8] and the Seventh Heaven restaurant reopened in November 2016.[9]

On 21 July 2018, there was a race up the tower, featuring athletes from 12 countries. They ran up the narrow, spiral staircase and reached the location at an altitude of 337.0 meters. The fastest of the 28 athletes was German, Christian Riedl, who made it to the top in 9 minutes and 51 seconds. The women's winner was Cynthia Harris (USA), who reached the top in 12 minutes and 15 seconds. Absolute records were then broken into the categories of men and women.[10]


Over the course of its 21st century history, there have been accidents at the tower, including a fire in 2000, the tower struck by a parachutist in 2004, and a minor fire in 2007.

August 2000 fire[edit]

The tower on fire on 27 August 2000

The tower caught fire on 27 August 2000, killing three people. A firefighter and lift operator died when their elevator cabin crashed to the ground level due to the fire. In addition, television and radio signals were disrupted around Moscow. The fire broke out at a height of about 458 m (1,502.6 ft), or approximately 98 metres (322 ft) above the observation platform and the Seventh Heaven restaurant, after a short-circuit in wiring belonging to a paging company.[11] The fire forced the evacuation of all visitors and staff from those locations. According to Russian news agencies, the evacuation was complete 90 minutes after the start of the fire. The loss was substantial due to the age and poor maintenance of the electronic equipment, much of which was installed in the 1960s. In addition, the tower had become increasingly packed with equipment.[12]

The failure of the fire suppression systems allowed the fire to destroy most of the tower's interior. Although more than 300 firefighters and other emergency workers were called in, firemen were forced to haul heavy equipment, including chemical fire extinguishers, by hand up the tower to halt the fire. Temporary firewalls of asbestos placed 70 metres (230 ft) up stopped further spread.[11] The fire knocked out virtually all television broadcasts in Moscow and the surrounding regions. The only television station unaffected was the private NTV station, but the government decreed that state channels took priority, and as such, the RTR TV channel began transmitting to several Moscow districts.[13]

The fire caused the tower's upper spire to tilt slightly, triggering fears the tower might collapse. The subsequent inspection determined that although the structure sustained heavy damage, the tower was not in danger of collapse. Efforts began immediately to rebuild the tower, which proved to be a long and expensive task.[14][15]

The fire was the third disaster in Russia in a month, following an explosion in Moscow's Pushkinskaya Metro Station (which killed 12 people and injured 150), and the sinking of the submarine Kursk in the Barents Sea, in which 118 died. Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that "This latest accident shows the shape of our vital installations and the overall state of our country. We should not fail to see major problems in the country behind this accident, and we should not forget the economy. Whether or not such accidents happen again in the future will depend on how we work in this vital direction."[16][17]

On 25 March 2005, the first new elevators since the August 2000 fire, made by the German company ThyssenKrupp, were tested and put into service. The new elevators travel at a speed of 6 metres per second (20 ft/s)[18]

2004 tower struck[edit]

On 1 July 2004, Austrian BASE jumper Christina Grubelnik struck the tower during her descent, receiving a concussion and losing consciousness. Her parachute snagged on a lower-level service platform and she was rescued by Russian emergency services.[19][20][21]

2007 fire[edit]

On 25 May 2007, the Ostankino again caught fire, though it was less serious this time and isolated to a platform on the outside of the tower. All people inside the tower were evacuated and the fire was successfully extinguished, with no casualties.[22]

360° panorama from observation deck of the Ostankino TV tower

Channels listed by frequency[edit]

The tower compared to high-rise apartments
Ostankino Tower at night
View from Ostankino Tower towards Moscow City
"Sed'moe Nebo" restaurant with winter view

Analogue radio (FM)[edit]

Station Frequency ERP
"Radio Russia" (5:00–1:00) 66.44 MHz 5.0 kW
"Pi-FM" (6:00-0:00) 71.30 MHz 5.0 kW
"Business FM" 87.50 MHz 5.0 kW
"Retro FM" 88.30 MHz 5.0 kW
"Radio Jazz" 89.10 MHz 5.0 kW
"Echo of Moscow" 91.20 MHz 5.0 kW
"Culture" 91.60 MHz 5.0 kW
"Kommersant FM" 93.60 MHz 5.0 kW
"Moscow speaking" 94.80 MHz 5.0 kW
"Rock FM" 95.20 MHz 5.0 kW
"Dorozhnoe Radio" 96.200 MHz 5.0 kW
"Vesti FM" 97.60 MHz 5.0 kW
"Radio Chocolate" (5:00-1:00) 98.00 MHz 5.0 kW
"Orpheus" 99.20 MHz 5.0 kW
"Radio Russki Hit" 99.60 MHz 10.0 kW
"Radio Vera" 100.90 MHz 5.0 kW
"Dance FM" 101.2 MHz 10.0 kW
"Monte Carlo" 102.10 MHz 5.0 kW
"Radio Maximum" 103.7 MHz 10.0 kW
"Russian Radio" 105.70 MHz 10.0 kW
"Europa Plus" 106.2 MHz 10.0 kW

Digital television (DVB-T2)[edit]

Station Channel Frequency ERP
Second multiplex: (REN-TV, Spas, STS, Domashniy, TV-3, Sport Plus, Zvezda, Mir, TNT, Muz-TV) 24 10 kW
First multiplex: (Channel One, Russia 1, Match TV, Russia K, Russia 24, Karusel, NTV, Channel 5, OTR, TV Center) 30 10 kW
ООО «Цифровое ТРВ» (encoded): (DVisionLive, DVisionNews, DVisionSpice, TV1000) 32 1 kW
Third multiplex (special for Moscow and Moscow region):

Lifenews (24 hours), Sport 1 (24 hours), Nash Futbol (encoded), Doverie (0:00-12:00)/Euronews (12:00-0:00), Sport (00:00—06:00)/Boytsovskiy Klub (06:00—12:00)/Moya Planeta (12:00—18:00)/Nauka 2.0 (18:00—00:00), Russkiy Roman (00:00—05:00)/Russkiy Bestseller (05:00—10:00)/Russkiy Detective (10:00—15:00)/Istoriya (15:00—20:00)/Mult (20:00—00:00), Sarafan (00:00—12:00)/Strana (12:00—00:00), Zhivaya Planeta (00:00—06:00)/IQ HD (06:00—09:00)/24 Doc (09:00—12:00)/Techno 24 (12:00—15:00)/Mama (15:00—18:00)/NST (18:00—21:00)/Park Razvlecheniy (21:00—00:00), Dom Kino (01:30—02:30)/Vremya (02:30—04:30)/Telecafe (04:30—06:30)/Muzyka Pervogo (06:30—01:30), 365 dney TV (00:00—02:00)/TNT-Comedy (02:00—04:00)/ Mnogo TV (04:00—06:00)/HD Life (06:00—08:00)/STV (08:00—10:00)/India TV (10:00—12:00)/Boets (12:00—14:00)/Comedia TV (14:00—16:00)/La Minor(16:00—18:00)/Interesnoe TV (18:00—20:00)/Kukhnya TV (20:00—22:00)/Auto Plus (22:00—00:00)

34 10 kW

Analogue television[edit]

In Moscow and the Moscow Region, along with 18 other regions, analogue television closed on 15 April 2019, at 12:00 (UTC+3).

Station Channel Frequency ERP
Channel One 1 MHz 40 kW
Russia-1 2 MHz 40 kW
TV Tsentr 3 MHz 40 kW
NTV 4 MHz 1 kW
Match TV 6 MHz 1 kW
NTV 8 MHz 40 kW
REN TV 9 MHz 40 kW
Moscow 24 10 MHz 40 kW
Russia 1 11 MHz 60 kW
Che 23 MHz 10 kW
360*Super 25 MHz 105 kW
STS-Moscow 27 MHz 5 kW
Disney Channel (Russia) 29 MHz 10 kW
Domashniy 31 MHz 20 kW
Russia K 33 MHz 20 kW
TNT 35 MHz 5 kW
Channel Five 44 MHz 5 kW
TV-3 46 MHz 10 kW
REN TV 49 MHz 20 kW
U 51 MHz 20 kW
Zvezda 57 MHz 5 kW
2×2 60 MHz 5 kW

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ostankino Tele Tower at Skyscraperpage.com
  2. ^ "Emporis building ID 111722". Emporis. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Ostankino Tower". SkyscraperPage.
  4. ^ "Fire at television tower offers new evidence of Russia's decay". The Independent. Associated Press. 28 August 2000. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012.
  5. ^ "Russia's Tallest TV Tower Was Created as Symbol of USSR's Power". Pravda.ru. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 5 October 2009.
  6. ^ "What if the CN Tower Caught Fire?". CBC News. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 10 November 2000. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 26 June 2007.
  7. ^ "Ostankino Tower". Emporis Research. Archived from the original on 17 June 2004. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
  8. ^ "Московский Региональный Центр : Экскурсии" [Moscow Regional Center : Excursions]. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  9. ^ "В Останкинской башне открылся ресторан "Седьмое небо"" [Restaurant "Seventh Heaven" opened in the Ostankino Tower]. 18 November 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  10. ^ "News detail". Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  11. ^ a b Firefighters struggle against a blaze in Moscow television tower by Nick Wadhams, The Independent, 28 August 2000.
  12. ^ Russian TV knocked out as fire rages through 1,800ft tower by Barry Renfrew, The Independent, 28 August 2000 Archived 25 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Bodies recovered from Moscow TV tower fire. CNN.com, 28 August 2000. Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Russia tower fire 'under control', CNN.com, 28 August 2000. Archived 3 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Four feared trapped in burning Moscow tower, CNN.com, 28 August 2000. Archived 3 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Fire in 1,800ft TV tower adds to Russians' feeling of doom by Helen Womackin, The Independent, 29 August 2000. Archived 3 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ August, the Cruelest Month by Yuri Zarakhovich, CNN.com. 4 September 2000. Archived 8 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Installation of elevators in the Ostankino TV tower". mitol.ru. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  19. ^ Article about the accident (in Dutch). radio.nl
  20. ^ Hector Rim (12 March 2012). "moscow tv tower jump accident-Moscú Torre de tv,accidente en salto..wmv". Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 4 October 2018 – via YouTube.
  21. ^ AP Worldstream (1 July 2004) Austrian parachutist injured, knocked unconscious in jump from Moscow TV tower. www.highbeam.com
  22. ^ Fire out at Moscow landmark tower. BBC News

External links[edit]

Preceded by World's tallest free-standing structure
Succeeded by
Preceded by World's tallest tower