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Ostankino Tower

Ostankino Tower
Останкинская телебашня
Ostankino Tower in August 2012
Record height
Tallest in the world from 1967 to 1974[I]
Preceded by Empire State Building
Surpassed by CN Tower
General information
Type Observation, telecommunications, tourism
Location Moscow, Russia
Construction started 1963
Completed 1967
Owner unitary enterprise Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network
Antenna spire 540.1 m (1,772.0 ft)
Roof 385.4 m (1,264.4 ft)
Top floor 540 m (1,771.7 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 120 (equivalent)
Floor area 15,000 m2 (160,000 sq ft)
Lifts/elevators 11[1]
Design and construction
Architect Nikolai Nikitin

Ostankino Tower (Russian: Останкинская телебашня, Ostankinskaya telebashnya) is a television and radio tower in Moscow, Russia, owned by Moscow branch of unitary enterprise Russian TV and Radio Broadcasting Network. Standing 540.1 metres (1,772 ft) tall, Ostankino was designed by Nikolai Nikitin. It is currently the tallest freestanding structure in Europe and eighth tallest in the world. The tower was the first free-standing structure to exceed 500 m (1,600 ft) in height. Ostankino was built to mark the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. It is named after the Ostankino district of Moscow in which it is located.[4][5]

Construction began in 1963 and was completed in 1967. Extensive use of prestressed concrete resulted in a simple and sturdy structure. It surpassed the Empire State Building and was a masterpiece of Soviet engineering in the time period it was built, to become the tallest free-standing structure in the world. It held this record for nine years until the CN Tower was completed in Toronto, Canada in 1976, which surpassed its height by 13 metres (43 ft).[6] The Ostankino Tower remained the second-tallest structure in the world for another 31 years until the Burj Khalifa surpassed both it and the CN Tower in height in 2007. The Ostankino Tower has remained the tallest structure in Europe for 46 years.

A 1994 plan to increase the tower's height to 561 metres by adding an antenna was not implemented for lack of funding.[7]

Diagram of the tallest TV towers


  • Transmissions 1
    • TV stations 1.1
    • TV stations (DVB-T2) 1.2
    • FM stations 1.3
    • MW stations 1.4
  • Incidents and accidents 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


TV stations

The tower as compared to high-rise apartments
Station Channel Frequency ERP
Channel One 1 40 kW
TV Tsentr 3 40 kW
Russia 2 6 1 kW
NTV 8 40 kW
Russia 1 11 60 kW
Perets 23 10 kW
360* Podmoskove 25 10 kW
STS-Moscow 27 5
Disney Channel (Russia) 29 10 kW
Domashny 31 20 kW
Russia K 33 20 kW
TNT 35 5 kW
Channel Five 44 5 kW
TV-3 46 10 kW
REN TV 49 20 kW
U 51 20 kW
Zvezda 57 5 kW
2×2 60 5 kW

TV stations (DVB-T2)

Station Channel Frequency ERP
Second multiplex: (REN-TV, Spas, STS, Domashniy, TV-3, Sport Plus, Zvezda, Mir, TNT, Muz-TV 24 10 kW
First multiplex: (Channel One, Russia 1, Russia 2, Russia K, Russia 24, Karusel, NTV, Channel 5, OTR, TV Center) 30 10 kW
ООО «Цифровое ТРВ» (encoded): (DVisionLive, DVisionNews, DVisionSpice, TV1000) 32 1 kW
Third multiplex (special for Moscow and Moscow region):

Lifenews (24 hours), Sport 1 (24 hours), Nash Futbol (encoded), Doverie (0:00-12:00)/Euronews (12:00-0:00), Sport (00:00—06:00)/Boytsovskiy Klub (06:00—12:00)/Moya Planeta (12:00—18:00)/Nauka 2.0 (18:00—00:00), Russkiy Roman (00:00—05:00)/Russkiy Bestseller (05:00—10:00)/Russkiy Detective (10:00—15:00)/Istoriya (15:00—20:00)/Mult (20:00—00:00), Sarafan (00:00—12:00)/Strana (12:00—00:00), Zhivaya Planeta (00:00—06:00)/IQ HD (06:00—09:00)/24 Doc (09:00—12:00)/Techno 24 (12:00—15:00)/Mama (15:00—18:00)/NST (18:00—21:00)/Park Razvlecheniy (21:00—00:00), Dom Kino (01:30—02:30)/Vremya (02:30—04:30)/Telecafe (04:30—06:30)/Muzyka Pervogo (06:30—01:30), 365 dney TV (00:00—02:00)/TNT-Comedy (02:00—04:00)/ Mnogo TV (04:00—06:00)/HD Life (06:00—08:00)/STV (08:00—10:00)/India TV (10:00—12:00)/Boets (12:00—14:00)/Comedia TV (14:00—16:00)/La Minor(16:00—18:00)/Interesnoe TV (18:00—20:00)/Kukhnya TV (20:00—22:00)/Auto Plus (22:00—00:00)

34 10 kW

FM stations

Station Frequency ERP
"Radio Russia", "Radio Podmoskovie" (5:00–1:00) 66.44 MHz 15.0 kW
"Radio Mayak" 67.22 MHz 15.0 kW
"Radio Yunost" 68.84 MHz 15.0 kW
"Russian Radio" 71.30 MHz 10.0 kW
"Orpheus" 72.14 MHz 15.0 kW
"Radio Retro" 72.92 MHz 15.0 kW
"Echo of Moscow" 73.82 MHz 10.0 kW
"Business FM" 87.50 MHz 5.0 kW
"Radio Retro" 88.30 MHz 1.0 kW
"Echo of Moscow" 91.20 MHz 5.0 kW
"Culture" 91.60 MHz 5.0 kW
"Kommersant FM" 93.60 MHz 5.0 kW
"My family" 94.80 MHz 5.0 kW
"Rock FM" 95.20 MHz 5.0 kW
"Vesti FM" 97.60 MHz 5.0 kW
"Kino FM" 98.00 MHz 10.0 kW
"Free radio" 98.40 MHz 5.0 kW
"Orpheus" 99.20 MHz 5.0 kW
"Finam FM" 99.60 MHz 5.0 kW
"Classic Radio" 100.90 MHz 5.0 kW
"Dance FM" 101.2 MHz 10.0 kW
"Monte Carlo" 102.10 MHz 5.0 kW
"Radio Maximum" 103.7 MHz 10.0 kW
"Russian Radio" 105.70 MHz 10.0 kW
"Europa Plus" 106.2 MHz 10.0 kW

MW stations

Station Frequency
"Radio Rossii" (24 hours), "Radio Mayak", "Vesti FM" 543 MHz
"Voice of Russia" 575 MHz
360° panorama from observation deck of the Ostankino TV tower

Incidents and accidents

The tower on fire on 27 August 2000

The tower caught fire on 27 August 2000, killing four people. Three firefighters died in the attempt to extinguish the fire, and one female lift operator died when her cabin crashed to the ground level due to the fire. In addition, television and radio signals were disrupted around Moscow. The fire broke out at a height of about 458 m (1,502.6 ft), or approximately 98 metres (322 ft) above the observation platform and the Seventh Heaven restaurant, after a short-circuit in wiring belonging to a paging company.[8] The fire necessitated an evacuation of all visitors and staff from those locations. According to Russian news agencies, the evacuation was complete 90 minutes after the start of the fire. The loss was substantial due to the age and poor maintenance of the electronic equipment, much of which was installed in the 1960s. In addition, the tower had become increasingly packed with equipment.[9]

The failure of the fire suppression systems allowed the fire to destroy most of the tower's interior. Although more than 300 firefighters and other emergency workers were called in, firemen were forced to haul heavy equipment, including chemical fire extinguishers, by hand up the tower to halt the fire. Temporary firewalls of asbestos placed 70 metres (230 ft) up stopped further spread.[8] The fire knocked out virtually all television broadcasts in Moscow and the surrounding regions. The only television station unaffected was the private NTV station, but the government decreed that state channels took priority, and as such, the RTR TV channel began transmitting to several Moscow districts.[10]

The fire caused the tower's upper spire to tilt slightly, triggering fears the tower might collapse. Subsequent inspection determined that although the structure sustained heavy damage, the tower was not in danger of collapse. Immediately, efforts began to rebuild the tower, which proved to be a long and expensive task.[11][12]

The fire was the third disaster in Russia in a month, following an explosion in a Moscow underground passage that killed 12 people and the sinking of submarine [13][14]

On 1 July 2004, Austrian BASE jumper Christina Grubelnik struck the tower during her descent, receiving a concussion and losing consciousness. Her parachute snagged on a lower-level service platform and she was rescued by Russian emergency services.[15][16][17]

On 25 March 2005 the first elevator made by the German company ThyssenKrupp was tested and put into service after the fire in August 2000. The Seventh Heaven restaurant has remained closed since the accident, but the observation platform reopened[18] in April 2009. The elevators travel at a speed of 6 m/s (19.69 ft/s).

On 25 May 2007, the Ostankino again caught fire, though it was less serious than the 2000 fire and was isolated to a platform on the outside of the tower. All people inside the tower were evacuated and the fire was successfully extinguished, with no casualties.[19]

See also


  1. ^ Ostankino Tele Tower at
  2. ^ Ostankino Tower at Emporis
  3. ^ Ostankino Tower at SkyscraperPage
  4. ^ Fire at television tower offers new evidence of Russia's decay, Associated Press (reprinted by the Independent), 28 August 2000.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b Firefighters struggle against blaze in Moscow television tower by Nick Wadhams, The Independent, 28 August 2000.
  9. ^ Russian TV knocked out as fire rages through 1,800ft tower by Barry Renfrew, The Independent, 28 August 2000
  10. ^ Bodies recovered from Moscow TV tower fire., 28 August 2000.
  11. ^ Russia tower fire 'under control',, 28 August 2000.
  12. ^ Four feared trapped in burning Moscow tower,, 28 August 2000.
  13. ^ Fire in 1,800ft TV tower adds to Russians' feeling of doom by Helen Womackin, The Independent, 29 August 2000.
  14. ^ August, the Cruelest Month by Yuri Zarakhovich, 4 September 2000.
  15. ^ Article about the accident (in Dutch).
  16. ^ Video of jump, accident and rescue
  17. ^ AP Worldstream (1 July 2004) Austrian parachutist injured, knocked unconscious in jump from Moscow TV tower.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Fire out at Moscow landmark tower. BBC News

External links

  • Ostankino Television Tower
  • A visit to the Ostankino Television Tower at
  • BBC: Moscow's TV tower saved
  • Ostankino Tower at Structurae
  • Ostankino Tower Above the Clouds at
  • Ostankino Tele Tower at
  • Building Tallest Tower at
Preceded by
Empire State Building
World's tallest free-standing structure
540 m (1772 ft)

Succeeded by
CN Tower
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