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Construction of Berlin’s TV Tower Began 50 Years Ago

Fernsehturm: Icon of Berlin

August 05th, 2015

After an unsure start, with the East German government not being able to decide on a suitable location for the tower, on August 4th 1965 the first of the stone foundations for Berlin’s TV tower were laid in Alexanderplatz

The tower remains the tallest structure in Germany, standing at 368 meters, and since its construction has been visited by around 60 million people. The original purpose of the tower was to reinforce the TV presence of East Germany. The tower would provide reliable reception to the East German population, something very important at the time, as TV was just becoming popular and widespread. Consequently it was very important for the East German government to control this new medium, as West Germany was offering attractive programs.

Four years after its construction, the TV tower was opened to visitors. These guests were transported via a high speed lift to the Panorama floor 203 meters above the ground. Today, it is possible to eat in the restaurant on the same level, which rotates once an hour, offering the best views across the whole of Berlin, both day and night. In the past, this meant the opportunity to see into the West part of the divided city.

Having begun in 1965, construction took four years to complete, and, unsurprisingly, cost more than three times the original estimation, although this did not come to light until the Wall fell in 1989. The Fernsehturm has since become an icon of Berlin, defining the skyline of the German capital. It is one of the ‘must see’ attractions for almost all tourists.


References and Links

News from Berlin
Rhianna Cearns, Berlin Global