Fernsehturm Berlin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Berliner Fernsehturm

The Fernsehturm at night
General information
StatusComplete
TypeTelevision tower, Restaurant, Observation tower
LocationBerlin (Germany)
Coordinates52°31′15″N 013°24′34″E / 52.52083°N 13.40944°E / 52.52083; 13.40944Coordinates: 52°31′15″N 013°24′34″E / 52.52083°N 13.40944°E / 52.52083; 13.40944
Completed3 October 1969
Height368.03 m (1,207.45 ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectHermann Henselmann
Main contractorGDR government
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Berliner Fernsehturm

The Fernsehturm at night
General information
StatusComplete
TypeTelevision tower, Restaurant, Observation tower
LocationBerlin (Germany)
Coordinates52°31′15″N 013°24′34″E / 52.52083°N 13.40944°E / 52.52083; 13.40944Coordinates: 52°31′15″N 013°24′34″E / 52.52083°N 13.40944°E / 52.52083; 13.40944
Completed3 October 1969
Height368.03 m (1,207.45 ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectHermann Henselmann
Main contractorGDR government
Fernsehturm Berlin with St. Mary's Church in the foreground

The Fernsehturm (English: television tower) is a television tower in the city centre of Berlin, Germany. Close to Alexanderplatz, the tower was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the former German Democratic Republic administration who intended it as a symbol of Berlin, which it remains today,[1] 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.

Contents

Overview

Berliner Fernsehturm with World clock in front

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,[2] is a few metres above the visitors platform at 207 metres (679 ft)[3] (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.[4]

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.

History

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, modeled on the Fernsehturm Stuttgart and the Soviets' first satellite, the Sputnik.[5] 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.[6] 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[7] 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 August 4, 1965. After four years of construction, the Fernsehturm began test broadcasts on October 3, 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 every year from all over the world.

The "Pope's Revenge"

The "Pope's Revenge" reflection seen on the dome.
The Pavillon at Fernsehturm's base

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 neither predicted nor desired by the planners[citation needed]. Berliners immediately[citation needed] named the luminous cross Rache des Papstes, or "Pope's Revenge". For the same reasons, the structure was also called "St. Walter" (from Walter Ulbricht).

U.S. President Ronald Reagan mentioned this phenomenon in his "Tear down this wall" speech on 12 June 1987:[8]

"Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexanderplatz. *Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower's one major flaw: treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere, that sphere that towers over all Berlin, the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed."


Technical details

Channels by frequency

Analogue FM radio

FrequencykWService
87.9 MHz1Star FM
90.2 MHz16BBC World Service
91.4 MHz100Berliner Rundfunk 91,4
93.6 MHz2.4Jam FM
94.3 MHz2594,3 rs2
95.8 MHz100Radio Eins
97.7 MHz100Deutschlandfunk
98.8 MHz198.8 KISS FM Berlin
99.7 MHz100Antenne Brandenburg
100.6 MHz12.6Motor FM
101.3 MHz4Klassik Radio
101.9 MHz0.5JazzRadio 101.9
102.6 MHz15Fritz
103.4 MHz8Energy Berlin
104.6 MHz10104.6 RTL
105.5 MHz5105'5 Spreeradio
106.0 MHz1Radio France Internationale


Digital radio (DAB)/Digital mobile television (DMB)

FrequencyBlockkWOperator
178.352 MHz5C10Germany
190.640 MHz7B7Berlin 2
194.064 MHz7D10Berlin 1
225.648 MHz12B1FIRST (DAB/DMB tests)

Digital television (DVB-T)

Analogue TV stations

The analogue TV service was shut down on August 4, 2003.

FrequencyChannelkWService
175.25 MHz5100TV.Berlin
519.25 MHz271000ORB-Fernsehen
631.25 MHz411BBC World
655.25 MHz44700ProSieben
711.25 MHz515n-tv

See also

References

External links