The Avala Tower



The Avala Tower is a 204.5 m (671 ft) tall telecommunication tower located on Avala mountain in the periphery of Belgrade. It was destroyed in NATO bombardment of Serbia on 29 April 1999. On 21 December 2006, the reconstruction of Avala Tower commenced and the tower was officially opened at a ceremony on 21 April 2010. It is currently the tallest tower in Serbia and the Balkan region.



History



The tower was designed by architects Uglješa Bogdanović and Slobodan Janjić, and engineer Milan Krstić. Construction started on 14 October 1961 and was completed four years later in 1965. The tower weighed 4,000 tonnes (3,900 long tons; 4,400 short tons). Between 102 m (335 ft) and 135 m (443 ft), there was an enclosed observation deck. It was the only tower in the world to have an equilateral triangle as its cross section, and one of very few towers not perched directly into the ground, but standing on its legs. The legs formed a tripod, the symbol of Serbian tripod chair. Together with the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, it is one of the small number of towers to be constructed in that manner.

The tower was surmounted by an antenna, which was at first used for black and white television transmission. In 1971 the antenna was replaced by a new one for color TV transmission.

From the height of 102 metres to a 135 metres there was an all glass area to which visitors could come via two quick lifts.

The project, which was of high risk, was finished without any worker injuries or deaths, which was unusual for a project of its size.

After completion, with the 202.87 m (666 ft) height it was the fifth tallest self-supporting construction in the world, after Empire State Building, La Tour Eiffel, Chrysler Building and Grande Dixence Dam.

The Avala Tower was destroyed on 29 April 1999 by NATO bombardment. Previously the power supply had been destroyed, but a senior military officer installed an alternative generator. It is reasoned[original research?] that the tower would not have been bought down if transmissions using the tower had not been resumed. The intent was to put Radio Television Serbia off the air; however the effect was not strong as Radio Television Serbia was relying on a network of local TV stations which were obliged to relay its programming throughout the whole of Serbia. The Avala Tower was a symbol of pride and a famous landmark, not only of Belgrade and Serbia, but of the former Yugoslavia too. The tower was one of the last buildings to be destroyed before the end of the NATO operation. A special bomb was used to destroy the tower. The blast was one of the loudest explosions heard throughout Belgrade during the NATO bombardment.

Rebuilding the new tower



Removing the remains of the tower began in May 2005th and lasted for 2 months. Since it is considered one of the important features of Belgrade, it was decided to rebuild the tower, and the project was then developed in the Institute of CIP from August to December 2005. After this initial funds were raised and 11 December 2006. signed a contract to build the tower between the Directorate for Property of Serbia, RTS, and the company "Ratko Mitrovic". Construction of the new tower began end of 2006. However, despite the emotional reasons for the reconstruction of Avala Tower, many believe that its importance in the telecommunications sense is very questionable. Also, even at a time when there was, he was not adequately exploited in terms of tourism. Founded the Society for the reconstruction of Avala Tower participating in raising funds for the restoration.

The reconstruction work started on the 6th February, 2007. The total value of the renovation is estimated at about 8.5 million euros, of which the Serbian government has provided about 6 million and the city of Belgrade on 8 May 2008. RTS gave 80 million dinars (about 1 million euros) to build the tower. Renewed tower was supposed to be officially opened on the 10th anniversary of its collapse, ie. 29th April 2009th. Due to weather conditions, the work lasted longer, so that the tower was completed on 23 october 2009. The tower has two elevators and restaurant at 119 meter and lookout the 122 meter. The total height of the tower is 204.57 meters.

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