La Berlin TV Tower is Fernsehturm, is one of the icons of the city. Built in the immediate surroundings of Alexanderplatz, in the Mitte district, it was built between 1965 and 1969 with the aim of making it immediately one of the symbols of Berlin.
The start of the works, however, was not without controversy, as the tower was deliberately built in the heart of the medieval center of Berlin, and for this it was necessary to destroy a huge portion of the historic center of the German capital. A medieval church, the Marienkirche, stands next to the Berlin TV Tower as a testament to the destruction of this part of the city.
With its 368 meters it is visible from different points of the city, it is the tallest structure in Germany and the fourth tallest in Europe, after the Ostankino Tower in Moscow, the TV tower in Kiev and the TV and radio tower in Riga. Unlike these buildings, however, the Berlin TV Tower is the only one which is located in the city center.
The viewing platform
A huge one was installed on top of the tower glass and steel sphere, which serves as a viewing platform for visitors, inside which a revolving restaurant has been built. At this altitude of 203 meters on a clear day you can see up to 42 kilometers away. The restaurant is called instead Telecafè and makes a complete rotation every 30 minutes: it is located a few meters above the viewing platform, at a height of 207 meters.
To get to the viewing platform of the Berlin TV tower, you can use either one lifts installed in the central body, which takes 40 seconds or, for the more sporty, climb the 986 steps of the staircase.
Mounting a seven-story sphere of glass and steel at a height of 200 meters was a real challenge for the engineers. The steel frame was initially mounted on the ground, and the segments were then raised using cranes, and then secured to the circular platform to form the final section of the concrete rod.
The Pope's revenge
When the sun strikes the glass and steel sphere of the Berlin TV tower, its reflection at a certain angle looks like a cross. Berliners call this phenomenon Pope's revenge, or "the Pope's revenge" on the socialist state guilty of having removed the crucifixes from the churches.
For the same reason, the tower also got the nickname of St. Walter (from Walter Ulbricht, a communist politician of the German Democratic Republic who decided to allow the construction of the tower, inspired by the television tower in Stuttgart and the first artificial terrestrial satellite, Sputnik).
Information for the visit
Due to increased security measures, it is advisable to arrive at the Berlin TV tower at least 15 minutes before the chosen entrance time.
Admission to the Berlin TV tower is subject to a fee: reductions are available for children and teenagers and for holders of the Berlin Welcome Card. It is also possible to buy a VIP ticket, which avoids queuing, with a surcharge. Once you have passed the security checks outside the building, those with a ticket of this type can follow the lane that leads directly to the upper entrance.
- From March to October: every day from 09:00 to midnight
- November to February: every day from 10:00 to midnight