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Tallinn TV Tower

Tallinn, Estonia
1 of 5© Eesti Arhitektuurimuuseum

The Tallinn TV tower is a free-standing structure with an observation deck, built to provide better telecommunication services for the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics regatta event. It is located near the suburb Pirita, six km north-east of the Tallinn city center. With its 313 m, the TV tower is the tallest building in Tallinn. The tower was officially opened on 11 July 1980. The viewing platform at a height of 170 metres was open to the public until 26 November 2007, when it was closed for renovation. The tower began receiving visitors again on 5 April 2012. The building is administered by the public company Levira (formerly Estonian Broadcasting Transmission Center Ltd) and is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers

The Structure

The cornerstone was laid on 30 September 1975, and the building was inaugurated 11 July 1980 (although the first transmission took place in 1979). The tower body was constructed of reinforced concrete rings 50 cm thick that weigh a total of 17,000 tonnes, and the total tower weight is approximately 20,000 tonnes. The tower survived a fire during construction. The observation deck on the 21st floor, originally designed to have a rotating section, is located 170 m above ground and has a diameter of 38 m. The tower was closed to the public on 26 November 2007. Before it was closed, tickets were priced at 60 Estonian kroon and, aside from an infrequently used concrete and metal staircase, the observation deck was accessed by two elevators. The Vilnius TV tower has a similar architectural design but features a rotating observation deck 165 m above ground.

The structure consists of a 190-metre reinforced concrete tower and a 124-metre metal mast on top of it. Under the tower is a two-storey building with equipment rooms, entrance halls and a conference centre. The diameter of the tower at its base is 15.2 metres and the wall thickness is 50 cm. The diameter of the tower from 140 metres up is 8.2 metres. A total of 10,000 m3 of concrete and 1,900 tonnes of steel were used in the construction.

Interior Design

The Tallinn TV tower was reopened on 5 April 2012 with completely new interior design made by KOKO Architects. Local guide books advertise the observation deck's views of Tallinn and extending to the Gulf of Finland. The tower is described as having a 1980s Soviet feel and a restaurant is located on the observation floor. Bullet holes dating from the Soviet coup attempt of 1991 are still visible at the base of the tower.

Kloostrimetsa tee 58a