Fernsehturm Berlin

Berliner Fernsehturm

The Fernsehturm seen from southwest
General information
Status Complete
Type Television tower, Restaurant, Observation tower
Location Berlin,  Germany
Coordinates 52°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
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: Television Tower) is a television tower in central Berlin, Germany.

Close to Alexanderplatz in Berlin-Mitte, the tower was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the administration of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). It was intended as a symbol of Berlin, which it remains today, as it is easily visible throughout the central and some suburban districts of Berlin.[1] With its height of 368 metres (including antenna) it is the tallest structure in Germany, and the second tallest structure in the European Union (by a half-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, it is occasionally called Alex Tower.


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 1997.[2] 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. The sphere 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, is a few metres above the visitors platform at 207 metres (679 ft).[3][4] When first constructed, it turned once per hour; the speed was later doubled following the tower's 1997 renovation. Inside the shaft, two lifts shuttle visitors to the sphere of the tower within 40 seconds. A Stairway with 986 steps also provides access, however it is not accessible by wheelchair.[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.


In 1964, Walter Ulbricht, leader of the Socialist Unity Party which governed East Germany, decided to allow the construction of a television tower modelled on the Fernsehturm Stuttgart and the first artificial Earth satellite, 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.[2] Walter Herzog, Gerhard Kosel and Herbert Aust later also took part in the planning. The Tower was deliberately constructed in the center of the historic medieval center of Berlin, resulting in the destruction of a huge portion of the historic center of the capital of Germany. A medieval church stands next to the tower as a testament to the destruction of the old city. 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. Regardless of its dark origins, it is among the best known sights in Berlin, and hosts 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. 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] It is also affectionately known as the Toothpick and Telespargel (TV-asparagus) due to its shape.[5]

Technical details

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. "History". Berliner Fernsehturm. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  2. 1 2 "Berlin TV Tower". City of Berlin. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  3. "Berliner Fernsehturm". The World Federation of Great Towers. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  4. 1 2 "Facts & Figures" (PDF). Berliner Fernsehturm. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  5. 1 2 "Fernsehturm, Berlin". Worldsiteguides.com.
  6. Dibelius, Ulrich (2007). The names of the Berlin Fernsehturm. Berlin.
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