Go up to the Fernsehturm
Fernsehturm, Berlin’s TV Tower is one of the most outstanding landmarks in the city. With a height of 368 metres the tower on Alexanderplatz is the highest building in Europe open to the general public. The unmatched panoramic views from the viewing platform, from the Bar or the restaurant, are simply breathtaking.
The building of the Fernsehturm is a story pretty much connected to the world conflicts of the 1960’s. At that time Berlin had a unique political significance: the City was divided between the two big power blocks of the Warsaw Pact and NATO, and the Berlin Wall represented something like a front line between the two. Consequently, their competition in Berlin was fierce. One field, in which this battle was fought, was architecture. In both city sectors, great sums were invested in spectacular building projects; each sector vied to outdo the other with the most extraordinary buildings and projects that were possible.
The rivalry between East and West Berlin was also carried out between the television tower projects. At the latest since the opening of the Stuttgart television tower in 1956, television towers caused a furore in both East and West. The Stuttgart television tower was virtually overrun by visitors. However, also in GDR the early television towers which were built mostly in the countryside and without viewing platforms, evoked a great interest amongst the visitors. It follows that since the 1950s, television towers in East and West Berlin were consistently planned for.
The West Berlin television tower projects were, however, not blessed with success and this deficiency was used by the GDR leadership for their great Coup. They decided on 14 July 1964, that they will erect the East Berlin television tower in the very centre of Berlin. From this position the Tower could also be seen from West Berlin, thus demonstrating the ineptitude of the West Berlin Senate. Today the TV Tower shapes the silhouette of the German capital – like the Brandenburg Gate, it has become a symbol of reunified Germany. More