History & Journey through Time

A technical masterpiece


Planning of the tower

In the early 1950s, the German Democratic Republic planned to build a new facility in Berlin intended primarily for the broadcast of GDR television programmes. Initially, a location in the Müggelbergen hills in the southeast of Berlin was considered. But after the outbuildings had been completed, the Ministry of the Interior decided to build the broadcasting station in the approach corridor of the planned Schönefeld airport.


Construction of the tower

In the sixties, the GDR government arranged to have the TV Tower built at its current location, not least to demonstrate the strength and efficiency of the socialist system. The original design of the slender Tower soaring skywards was created by the GDR architect Hermann Henselmann. The sphere of the TV Tower was intended to remind people of the Soviet sputnik satellites and was to light up red, the colour of socialism. Only one method was considered for the construction of the tower: the so-called ‘climbing formwork’. The inner steel scaffold grew a step faster than the outer concrete shaft, which was erected around the steel scaffold.

Mounting the ball at a height of 200 m was a challenge for engineers. First, the supporting steel frame of the sphere was prefabricated on the ground. The segments were lifted up with cranes and attached to the ring-shaped platform that forms the final section of the concrete shaft.


The tower as a landmark

Today, the TV Tower shapes the silhouette of the German capital – like the Brandenburg Gate, it has become a symbol of reunified Germany.