Ostankino Television Tower



Akademika Koroleva St, 15
Subway: ulitsa akademika koroleva

The Ostankino Television Tower, located in Moscow, is an iconic symbol of Soviet engineering and modern broadcasting capabilities.

With a staggering height of 540.1 meters (1,772 ft), it was the tallest free-standing structure in the world at the time of its completion in 1967, a title it held until the completion of the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, in 1976.

the ostankino television tower

Today, the Ostankino Tower remains the tallest structure in Europe and is the 11th tallest tower in the world. It is not only a practical facility for transmitting radio and television signals but also a major tourist attraction, symbolizing the technological advancements of its era.

The tower is named after the district in which it stands, Ostankino, which is located on the northern outskirts of Moscow.

It was designed by the Soviet architect Nikolai Nikitin, and its construction is an impressive feat of engineering.

The structure consists of a rocket-like slim cylindrical concrete tower and a supporting guyed mast. The conglomeration gives the tower its unique appearance. The exterior of the tower features a white-and-silver facade, and it becomes a spectacle at night when it is lit up with a dynamic array of colored lights.

At the base of the tower, visitors find entrance facilities, including a modern security checkpoint. The tower is equipped with high-speed elevators that can take tourists to the observation deck and the famous rotating restaurant "Seventh Heaven" located at the 337-meter mark.

These provide breathtaking panoramic views of the sprawling Moscow cityscape. The observation decks offer unique vistas that change dramatically with the seasons, reflecting the dynamic nature of the Russian climate.

Ostankino also includes technical floors situated above and below the decks, which are full of transmitting equipment. The tower serves as a critical hub for telecommunications, providing over 20 TV channels and about 30 radio stations. Its strategic positioning and towering height allow it to cover a vast broadcasting area.

Over recent years, safety has been a significant concern due to a fire incident that occurred in August 2000, which resulted in the death of three people and damaged part of the structure.

Since then, extensive renovations and upgrades to security systems have been made to ensure that the tower adheres to modern safety standards.

This includes routine maintenance and checks to the structural integrity of the facility, as well as improvements to fire suppression systems. The tower has been reopened to the public, and tourists can again enjoy its attractions with increased confidence in their safety.

Ostankino Television Tower History

The Ostankino Television Tower's history is rooted in the technological race and the cultural prestige of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

In the early 1960s, the Soviet government decided to construct a television tower that would not only surpass all existing broadcasting towers in height but also exemplify the prowess and ambition of Soviet engineering.

Under the directorship of Mikhail Sobolev, chief engineer, and architect Nikolai Nikitin, the Ostankino Television Tower's construction began on July 14, 1963.

Nikitin, who also contributed to the design of notable buildings like the Luzhniki Stadium, was instrumental in creating the unique anti-torsion design of the tower that would allow it to withstand not only the strong winds and icy conditions of Moscow's climate but also the soil characteristics of the site.

The construction of the tower was an enormous engineering challenge, involving about 15,000 builders and engineers.

One of the major innovations of Ostankino was the decision to use prestressed concrete for the main structure, a relatively new technology at the time. This not only provided the necessary strength at unprecedented heights but also kept the weight manageable.

Scheduled to be completed in time for the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution in 1967, the tower was inaugurated on November 5, 1967, just days before the celebration.

Upon completion, Ostankino took over the broadcasting functions of the Shukhov Tower, which had been the primary radio and television transmission point since the 1920s.

During its operational history, Ostankino has endured several challenges, including the aforementioned fire in 2000. This disaster resulted in significant restoration and modernization work, which included the refitting of the interior and the installation of a modern fire suppression system.

In the years that followed, the tower has been under constant scrutiny to ensure its stability and safety, with frequent check-ups, reinforcements, and technological upgrades.

The Ostankino Television Tower's place in history is not just as an architectural and engineering landmark but also as a cultural symbol.

It has witnessed and transmitted countless historical events, news broadcasts, and entertainment programs throughout its lifetime. It stands as a testament to Soviet engineering and remains a central component of Moscow's skyline, a proud icon of Russian accomplishments in science and technology.

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