Television Tower (Fernsehturm)

Television Tower (Fernsehturm) (23)

Television Tower, or Fernsehturm, is in what used to be the German Democratic Republic controlled part of the city.

Measuring 368 metres in height, this building is Berlin’s tallest as well as the second highest in Europe. Its red and white antenna is also a reference point for people and can be seen from anywhere in the city. Maybe you have seen it from a distance already while exploring.  

Telespargel or “Tele-asparagus”, as it is often known, was built in 1969 by the government of the GDR, which portrayed it as a symbol of East Berlin. The construction was inspired by the Television Tower in Stuttgart and took four years to finish. 

At the top of the tower there is an enormous globe weighing 4,800 tonnes and two of its seven floors are open to the public, including a viewing point and cafe-restaurant. What is strange about the restaurant is not only that it is located at such a great height, but it also revolves, moving full circle in one hour. Eating here is truly a new experience, especially if you suffer from vertigo. 

Whatever the case, it is worth knowing that the main tower contains two lifts which will take you all the way up to the globe in less than a minute. Unless of course you feel inclined to climb the almost one thousand steps that lead to the top.

Viewing the tower from a distance on a sunny day allows you to see how the sun reflects off its cupola of stainless steel and forms the shape of a huge cross. This effect was not actually planned and has come about by chance, leading to the creation of various jokes: one being that during the harsh communist regime when all the city’s crosses were removed from its roofs, people from West Berlin called the phenomenon “the pope’s revenge”.

Anyway, if you come to visit the tower make sure you go up to the top and look out over the whole city. From such a height the view is incredible, especially if you find yourself there on a clear day.

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