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Revolutionary Architecture

The Stuttgart Television Tower

This is the forerunner of all television towers and is regarded as an aesthetic and architectural masterpiece: the Stuttgart Television Tower. Built 60 years ago, it is today one of the city's main landmarks. At the time of construction, many of Stuttgart's inhabitants had their doubts as to the stability of this first tower to be built using reinforced concrete.

The original plans for a television tower were for a functional steel lattice mast on top of the 483-metre-high hill known as the Bopser. However, the famous Stuttgart bridge builder and structural engineer, Professor Fritz Leonhardt, proposed a concrete construction instead. Not only was the structure itself an innovation, but so, too, was the idea of using the tower for tourism and catering purposes. Much later than scheduled, the tower, with an observation deck in an almost circular cylindrical pod, was officially opened on 5th February 1956. The costs of building, 4.2 million DM, were recouped within five years by the takings in admission charges. The tower is one of the most outstanding cultural monuments in the Stuttgart Region. Visitors can admire the magnificent views from its two-tiered observation deck at a height of 150 metres above ground. No other location in Stuttgart provides such wonderful tele-vision in the true sense of the word, with sweeping views over the Neckar Valley with its vineyards, the Swabian Alb, the Black Forest and the Odenwald.
"Leonhardt's" is the name of the Television Tower's restaurant, which offers regional Swabian cuisine at the foot of the Tower. In the summer months the beer garden is ideal for eating outdoors. The Panorama Café – less down-to-earth – serves coffee and cakes during the day at a height of 147 metres, while in the evenings guests can enjoy Stuttgart's night-time panorama over a cool drink. 

Since it was built, Stuttgart's Television Tower has been imitated all over the world. One of its "twins" can be seen in Johannesburg. Nevertheless, the Stuttgart model with its harmonious proportions remains unique. 

Additional information under: www.fernsehturmstuttgart.de/en 

(332 words in article)

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