Berlin Radio Tower – Berliner Funkturm

Funkturm is a German name for a radio mast. That’s why there is no surprise about the name Berlin Funkturm – Berlin radio tower, which used to serve as such. Locals call it Langer Lulatsch – a bean pole. This one of the most popular Berlins’ attraction, with the height of 147 meters, an observation deck located at 126 meters above the ground and a berlin radio tower restaurant located at 55 meters above the ground Funkturum welcomes around 60,000 guests per year.

How to get to Berlin Radio Tower?

In order to reach the very top observation deck and take a look at Berlins mesmerizing landscape you can take 610 steps or a lift that reaches the observation deck within 33 seconds, travelling with a speed of 4m/s. It was designed with a special commission and is similar to the system that operates Eiffel Tower in Paris. Maximum capacity of the observation deck is 45 people. On a windy day the observation deck can sway by up to 40. Thanks to innovative technology used while building the Pole the deck sways by while moving in an ellipse around its vertical axis. In order to see how innovative the methods were, let’s get to know some history of the Funkturm. If you want to go there, book and buy berlin radio tower tickets on this website.

Radio tower Berlin – history

On 3rd September 1926 took place the inauguration of the beanpole. Two years earlier the Witzleben transmitter (‘Welle 504’), which operated from the Radio Hall on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds, had already begun broadcasting. Its 70-meter antenna was suspended on two masts at a distance of 160 meters from each other. One was 80 meters high and was in what is now ICC Berlin. The second mast was 120 meters high. It was transformed into a crane to help build Funkturm, and then became part of the structure itself. Here comes the part of breaking new technical ground, as the lift carrying visitors all the way up the Funkturm was one of the first in those days to be able to carry 10 people at one time and travel with a speed of 2.5m/s.

Berlin old radio tower

On 19 August 1935, so even before world war II, a fire broke out in the old Radio Hall. Nobody got hurt although Funkturums’ restaurant was completely destroyed. However, all adjacent rooms remained intact, except for minor damage. In 1939  Funkturm came under the management of a new organisation which requisitioned the display halls for storage purposes. During the Battle for Berlin beanpoles’ restaurant was completely destroyed one more time, what almost led to the collapsion of the whole structure.

Thanks to using over 7 tones of steel and 800 kilogrammes of bolts we can enjoy Funktrum up to this day. The touch of events of the past only adds one more layer to the visit in the beanpole. Besides enjoying beautiful view on the observation deck, one can either eat a meal in a restaurant with an atmosphere that harks back to the twenties. It was renovated after world war II in the spirit of its very beginnings –  the wall panels from Caucasian nutwood, the slatted ceiling in white as well as the bar, fashioned from high-quality wood and mother of pearl. Moreover, Beanpole has a beautiful garden in an oval shape.

Fun fact – even Albert Einstein himself visited the Funkturm on the occasion of the opening of the 7th big radio exhibition in 1930.