Stuttgart TV Tower — The World’s First And Model For Others

Berlin might be Germany’s capital, but in the case of the Stuttgart TV Tower this city reigns supreme. This 216 meter high tower is not only the city’s most famous landmark (go figure), but also the inspiration for the Berlin TV tower, the Space Needle in Seattle, USA and for one television tower in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Stuttgart, you’ve got admirers. ;-)

The Stuttgart TV Tower is the world’s first television tower (which is a misnomer because it only broadcast radio until 2006) built in concrete. Some radio stations you’ll hear from the Stuttgart television tower are the BBC, Klassik Radio, and DeutschlandFunk.

Come to think of it, they’re also the same ones transmitting from Berlin’s TV Tower.

Construction was commissioned by the South German Radio Stuttgart; and started (technically) in 1949, but is said to have “officially” started six years later on June 10, 1954, ending on August 17, 1955. It didn’t have an official “opening” for another year, however.

The Stuttgart TV Tower weighs a massive 3000 tons total, half of which comes from the foundation alone; which just so happens to be almost three times as wide (27 meters in diameter, sitting a mere eight feet underground) as its narrower shaft (at its widest point it is 15 meters in diameter), all designed by architect Erwin Heinle and engineer Fritz Leonhard.

Stuttgart’s TV tower (radio tower, whatever) has two observation decks (one at 150 meters, the other at 152 meters) above Baden-Württemberg’s capital. Look down and you’ll see a much smaller radio tower that’s also being used.

I like how you can see both the Schwarzwald (hey, put that piece of Black Forest cake down, it’s mine) and the Swabian Alb from the top. I think I see vineyards, too. Oh yeah, I do.

Great, now I want a glass of German wine. Good thing there’s a restaurant at the top (at the 147 meter mark) to get one.

It won’t even take long for you to see the view (or have that wine), just 36 seconds once you’re on one of its two elevators (traveling at around 5 meters per second, WOW).

It holds a “historic landmark of German engineering” title, which it earned in 2009. Yeah, I’d say it deserves it.

Unlike the Berlin TV Tower (which sits in the city center), Stuttgart’s television tower is a bit more out of the way. It is accessible via train, and even has its own train station.

Stuttgart’s television tower, which broadcasts as far as Pforzheim, Heidelberg, and even Freiburg im Breisgau, was an expensive venture. Today it would cost over nine million Euro to build, but the funds used back in the 1950’s were made up within five years of it opening to the public.

It did have the observation towers and a restaurant back then, but today (since 2006) it added an exhibit highlighting the history and construction of the tower, as well as theater playhouse (appropriately named Theater in the Clouds).

At the base you’ll find a circle of flags and at the top there are ultra bright Xenon lamps that act as a “lighthouse” of sorts and red airplane lights. At Christmas, the Stuttgart TV Tower gets in the holiday spirit, when it’s even more lit up. All the better to see you from a distance, my pretty. ;-)

I know Stuttgart is an awesome metropolitan city with museums and all other sorts of cultural activities, but its television tower deserves a bit of respect. After all, it was the model for future television towers around the world.

Stuttgart TV Tower Location

You’ll find the Stuttgart TV Tower south of the city center at the following address:

Fernsehturm Stuttgart
Jahnstrasse 120
70597 Stuttgart
Phone: +49-711-232597

 

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