I don’t know what’s more impressive, the view from the Rhine Tower, or the view of the Rhine Tower in Düsseldorf? This is no ordinary television tower, you see. It is also the largest digital clock in the world.
I’ll get to that in a minute.
Düsseldorf’s Rhine Tower was the creation of Harald Deilmann, its architect. It is his brilliant design that created this 22,500 ton concrete and steel tower, the tallest building in the city. So, you can’t say you didn’t see it, especially since it’s only a few minutes from Düsseldorf’s historic city center.
You’ll also find this landmark close to the 704 and 709 tram lines, as well as other public transportation (yes, you can take the bus here). It’s so beautifully lit up at night, it’s hard to miss then, too.
It took three years to build, with the beginning starting in 1979 on top of an already used location. After it was finally finished in 1982, everyone could enjoy the views of Düsseldorf from its observation tower at 166 meters above the bottom.
Rhine Tower, or Rheinturm as it’s called in German, has a revolving restaurant at the top of its basket, traveling around at once per hour. It spins with a rotation of once per hour for its 180 diners (maximum), and depending on the time of day in either a clockwise or counter clockwise direction. Like it matters?
Making this 240 meter high tower was German engineering at its best. It has 1,100 tons of steel, using 7,500 cubic meters of concrete, and has little porthole windows throughout its long stem. Of course it’s much thinner in diameter than its base, which is some 27 meters.
Construction even took into account its close proximity to the River Rhine, so that the area wouldn’t be subject to flooding. Good thinking, Guys!
The Rhine Tower is a working tower, with 24 digital stations and microwave signals broadcasting from it to as far away as the Netherlands and the Eifel region of Germany. It also works as a radio relay (bouncing off less strong signals). Most of its working guts are below ground in its basement.
Safety is of the utmost importance at the Rhine Tower. Its two visitor elevators (moving at a mere 4 meters per second) and its two service elevators are used on a different electrical circuit, as well as having an advanced sprinkler system. Even its building materials (no, it’s not ALL concrete and steel) are virtually fireproof; right down to its red & white painted fiberglass tip (complete with aviation warning lights). In an emergency there are 960 steps in its fire-escape to take you to the ground.
Management (I should say German Radio Tower, a part of Deutsche Telecom) also has a maximum number of people allowed within the tower at one time, 700 to be more precise. There’s a counter system in place, so don’t think you’re sneaking in. More than a quarter of a million people come to the Rhine Tower every year, so you won’t have to wait too long. ;-)
Besides, it’s all right if you have to wait. It’ll give you a chance to see its “light sculpture.” Oh, a euphemism for this large digital clock (yeah, the largest one in the world like I mentioned), the brain child of artist Horst. H. Baumann. It runs on the 24-hour clock like most of Europe, just to let you know.
Thank you, Horst and Harald, you’ve made a most fantastic place to visit within this part of North Rhine-Westphalia. Plus you’ll always know what time it is, so you’ll never be late. ;-)
Rhine Tower Location
OK… so you think those lights you see up there in the sky are visitors from other planets? Kidding, kidding… you’ll find the Rhine Tower at the following address: