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Fernsehturm Berlin

Berliner Fernsehturm
The Fernsehturm seen from Park Inn Berlin
General information
Status Complete
Type Television tower, Restaurant, Observation tower
Location Berlin,  Germany
Completed 3 October 1969
Height 368.03 m (1,207.45 ft)
Design and construction
Architect Hermann Henselmann
Main contractor GDR government

The Fernsehturm (English: Berlin TV Tower) is a television tower in central Berlin, Germany.

Close to Alexanderplatz in Berlin, the tower was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the administration of the German Democratic Republic. It was intended 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, and the second tallest structure in the European Union (by half a metre).

The tower has become one of the most prominent symbols of the country and is often in the establishing shot of films set in Berlin. Due to its location near Alexanderplatz, the tower is occasionally called Alex Tower.


  • Overview 1
  • History 2
  • "Pope's Revenge" 3
  • Gallery 4
  • Technical details 5
    • Channels by frequency 5.1
      • Analogue FM radio 5.1.1
      • Digital radio (DAB)/Digital mobile television (DMB) 5.1.2
      • Digital television (DVB-T) 5.1.3
  • Analogue TV stations 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


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.[3]

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.


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, modelled on the Fernsehturm Stuttgart and the first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik.[4] 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.[5] Walter Herzog, Gerhard Kosel and Herbert Aust later also took part in the planning. Construction began on 4 August 1965. After four years of construction, the Fernsehturm began test broadcasts on 3 October 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 a year.

The "Pope's Revenge"

"Pope's Revenge"

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 not anticipated by the architect. Berliners nicknamed the luminous cross Rache des Papstes, or the "Pope's Revenge". For the same reasons, the structure was also called "St. Walter" (from Walter Ulbricht). U.S. President Ronald Reagan mentioned this in his "Tear down this wall" speech on 12 June 1987.[6]


Technical details

  • 1 tuned mass damper
  • Entrance of observation deck is 6.25 metres (20.5 ft) above ground
  • 2 Kone lifts for transport of visitors
  • 1 lift for transport of technical equipment
  • Steel stairway with 986 steps
  • Evacuation platforms at 188 metres (617 ft) and 191 metres (627 ft) high
  • Observation deck at 203.78 metres (668.6 ft)
  • Restaurant at 207.53 metres (680.9 ft)
  • Height of the tower: 368.03 metres (1,207.4 ft)
  • Weight of the shaft: 26,000 tonnes (26,000 long tons; 29,000 short tons)
  • Weight of the sphere 4,800 tonnes (4,700 long tons; 5,300 short tons)
  • Diameter of the sphere 32 metres (105 ft)

Channels by frequency

Analogue FM radio

Frequency kW Service
87.9 MHz 1 Star FM
90.2 MHz 16 Radio Teddy
91.4 MHz 100 Berliner Rundfunk 91,4
93.6 MHz 2.4 Jam FM
94.3 MHz 25 94,3 rs2
95.8 MHz 100 Radio Eins
97.7 MHz 100 Deutschlandfunk
98.8 MHz 1 98.8 KISS FM Berlin
99.7 MHz 100 Antenne Brandenburg
100.6 MHz 12.6 FluxFM
101.3 MHz 4 Klassik Radio
101.9 MHz 0.5 Radyo Metropol FM
102.6 MHz 15 Fritz
103.4 MHz 8 Energy Berlin
104.6 MHz 10 104.6 RTL
105.5 MHz 5 105'5 Spreeradio
106.0 MHz 1 Radio B2

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

Frequency Block kW Operator
178.352 MHz 5C 10 Germany
190.640 MHz 7B 7 Berlin 2
194.064 MHz 7D 10 Berlin 1
225.648 MHz 12B 1 FIRST (DAB/DMB tests)

Digital television (DVB-T)

Analogue TV stations

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

Frequency Channel kW Service
175.25 MHz 5 100 TV.Berlin
519.25 MHz 27 1000 ORB-Fernsehen
631.25 MHz 41 1 BBC World
655.25 MHz 44 700 ProSieben
711.25 MHz 51 5 n-tv

See also


  1. ^ "Berliner Fernsehturm – History". Retrieved 2008-12-09. 
  2. ^ Berliner Fernsehturm | Entdecken Sie 360° Berlin
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ Fernsehturm, Berlin,
  5. ^, Berliner Fernsehturm, Fersehturm History,
  6. ^ The names of the Berlin Fernsehturm., Ulrich Dibelius, Berlin 2007

External links

  • Berlin Television Tower at Structurae
  • Fernsehturm Official Website
  • Berliner Fernsehturm during Football Worldcup 06
  • All about the tower and Panorama
  • Article in EXBERLINER Magazine
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