You may have heard of and/or seen the (former) bungee jumping platform atop the Dortmund TV Tower, the Florian Tower. Sadly, the platform was closed forever after an accident in 2003 and dismantled in 2008. Although you may still see it on old photos, it’s gone.
With that out of the way, let’s get down to business.
The Florian Tower, or Florianturm in German, sitting at a height of 208 (and a half) meters, was once the tallest building on the European continent. I know that’s been eclipsed by other towers and buildings that came along later, but that doesn’t mean we should take anything away from the Florian.
The Florian Tower (or simply called Florian) has two observation decks (one at 141 meters, the other at 144 meters) that overlook Germany’s eighth largest city, Dortmund. Try looking for the city’s medieval Marienkirche, 9th century Reinoldkirche, and its Stadtmauer; they’ve been here long before Florian was built in 1959. I mean 1958.
I guess I should say it this way… Construction commenced in May 1958, finally finishing in April 1959; designed by Werner Niemeyer at Westfalenpark; just in time for the 1959 Federal Garden Show. See, 1958 and 1959.
Despite having plenty of medieval and other historical and cultural sites, the Florian Tower is one of Dortmund’s largest attractions; it has tens of thousands of visitors come annually to pay it homage. But, what makes this steel and concrete tower so special?
Didn’t I already say that it has some of the most stunning views of Dortmund, along the Ruhr River? I can’t think of a better way to see this “Green” city.
Yes, I can. Grab yourself a DAB (Dortmunder Actien-Brauerei) beer (or as some friends call it Damn Attitude Beer, but that’s another story), take it to one of the observation decks; and have a toast to the view from Dortmund’s television tower. ;-)
I wish I was there to see how they fixed its antenna back in 2004 using a helicopter. I guess its 762 steps weren’t going to get the crew high enough, huh? Good thing its top portion is painted red and white, this way the crew of the chopper couldn’t miss it after a couple DABs. ;-)
The Florian Tower now broadcasts 24 digital TV channels (amongst others) at 50,000 Kilo Watts. Yeah, that’s a lot of firepower — I mean TV power — that transmits signal for CNN, EuroSport, ARD, ZDF, RTL, Sat1, ProSieben, and other German TV stations; as well as radio signals from its antennas.
What’s it take to support this kind of structure, not to mention the weight of the 250 people the observation decks can hold? That’s a lot of people & not exactly a place to be alone now, or is it? Its base goes eight meters down into the ground (with a 25 meter diameter base), which supports the 7,700 ton weight (660 tons are steel alone) of the reinforced concrete tube and basket.
In 2006 Florian was closed for repairs after some of its concrete plunged down to the street below. Don’t worry, it’s all fixed now and reopen for business as usual.
Yeah, thanks for reminding me of the business side of the tower. It’s owned by the German Radio Tower, which is a division of Deutsche Telecom. Hey, someone has to take responsibility for getting the signals out to all our televisions and radios. I’m handy and good with electronics, but I must have slept when discussing TV and radio transmission in school a few decades ago. ;-)
Well, Florian, your bungee jumping might be gone; but, I’m glad you’re still here and open to the public. The next time I grab a DAB, I’ll have a drink to you.
Florian Tower Location
Are you blind to read this far? OK OK, got it… it’s night and you just can’t see him… (or you want to write our beloved Florian a post card!)
Here’s the address of the Florian Tower: