Berlin’s iconic TV tower gets a makeover
BERLIN, April 17 – It’s one of the most iconic buildings in Berlin, a remnant of the city’s Soviet past which attracts over a million visitors from around the world every year.
At 368 metres high, the TV tower offers visitors a unique perspective of the rapidly changing streets that make up the German capital – although until this month, it has changed little itself in over a decade, leaving the experience an oddly-anachronistic one, given the glitter of Berlin’s Reichstag building or the grandiose buildings of Museum Island.
This month though, the TV tower emerged from a five-month makeover which has left it a far more welcoming experience ahead of the busy summer season.
“The city is developing, and the tower must keep up,” spokesperson Christina Aue told Der Spielgel.
For those who have suffered inside the building during warmer days, the new air conditioning system will be much welcomed, along with a extensively-overhauled reception area complete with a new bar.
At the end of a 40-second elevator ride, the 203-meter high observation deck has also been refurbished, with a new East-German inspired menu on offer at the restaurant, including dishes such as ragout and steak au four.
Originally built in 1969, the TV tower was a prestige project intended by Soviet authorities to become a literal and metaphorical symbol of Berlin, easily visible from and broadcasting to both sides of the divided city.
Over 40 years later, it remains the tallest structure in the rapidly changing German capital and visitor numbers are only likely to go up with Berlin’s visitor numbers – which saw a five per cent rise in the number of passengers through airports in the first quarter of the year, according to figures released last week.
All eyes now will be on the city’s new airport, Berlin Brandenburg, which is set to open in June to replace the two airports currently serving the city, Tegel and Schönefeld Airport. – AFP