Rhine tower

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Rhine tower
Radio transmission point 10
Image of the object
General view of the Medienhafen 2016
Basic data
Place: Düsseldorf - harbor
Country : North Rhine-Westphalia
Country: Germany
Altitude : 36.6  m above sea level NHN
Coordinates: 51 ° 13 ′ 4.6 ″  N , 6 ° 45 ′ 41.9 ″  E
Use: TV tower , telecommunications tower , radio transmitter , revolving restaurant , observation tower , clock tower
Accessibility: TV tower open to the public
Owner : German radio tower , city of Düsseldorf
Tower data
Construction time : 1979-1982
Operating time: since 1982
Total height : 240.5  m
Viewing platforms: 166.25  m , 170 m
Restaurants: 170  m , 174.5 m
Operating rooms: 179.4  m , 186.9 m, 194.4 m
Total mass : 22,500  t
Enclosed space : 39,000 
Data on the transmission system
Last modification (antenna) : October 2004
Last modification (transmitter) : May 2016
Waveband : FM transmitter
Radio : VHF broadcasting
Send types: DVB-T2 HD , DAB , directional radio , land mobile radio
Further data
Start of building: 20th January 1979
Building material antenna GRP

Position map
Rheinturm (North Rhine-Westphalia)
Rhine tower
Rhine tower
Localization of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany

The Rheinturm is a television tower in Düsseldorf . At 240.50 meters, it is the tallest structure in the city and the tenth highest television tower in Germany . Built in 1978-1982 Rhine Tower serves both as a carrier of antennas for radio , DVB-T - TV and FM -Funkdienste as a lookout tower . As a special feature, the tower standing directly on the Rhine has a so-called light sculpture on its side facing the old town , which is considered the largest digital clock in the world. The Rheinturm is open to the public, shapes the cityscape of Düsseldorf and is one of its landmarks . Every year around 300,000 people visit the Rhine Tower.


Situation and planning

Rheinturm project from 1913

Initial plans for the construction of a “miracle of the German iron industry” known as the “Rheinturm” in Düsseldorf date from the years before the First World War . This plan, presented by the German Steelworks Association, was to " tower over the Eiffel Tower by 200 meters, so it should be 500 meters high". The steel framework construction should rest on a total of four pillars, two of which should be supported on the arches of a Rhine bridge. However, this structurally questionable project was not implemented.

Düsseldorf's first telecommunications tower was built in 1960/61 on a hill east of Gerresheim (→ Gerresheim telecommunications tower ). Thus, despite the relatively low tower height of 75 meters, many radio stations could initially be reached. However, its importance decreased over time due to its low capacity for new antennas. Further expansions and conversions on site did not seem appropriate either, as the distance to the central exchange in the city center was too great.

The new telecommunications tower should primarily serve the telephone traffic. The criteria for a suitable choice of location were the telecommunications engineering necessities to be as close as possible to the central exchange in Graf-Adolf-Straße and to enable a short cable connection. On the other hand, the building, which is open to the public, should be a landmark for the cityscape due to its location and should be close to the center. The chosen location on the Rhine next to the Rheinkniebrücke fulfilled these conditions.

The height of the tower was largely determined in advance by the geographical location, the urban planning conditions of the state capital and the planned radio link . Even with the one in Witzhelden , 26 kilometers away , an elevation of 13.67 meters (→ earth curvature ) had to be taken into account. In addition, the LVA main building at 123 meters had to be taken into account when designing the height of the tower ; at the time it was the tallest building in the city . Therefore, the minimum height for the directional antennas was 180 meters above ground, while the upper antennas were set to a maximum of 200 meters because of the overreach influence .

In addition to the technical aspects, one of the terms of the tender explicitly required a "tower shape that clearly stands out from the existing ones". Planning began in 1977 with an architecture competition in which six applicants took part. One concept was to connect the top of the tower via the antenna platforms to the roof of the tower cage with a strut-like rope construction, similar to how it is implemented today on the Colonius . Another provided for two separate tower baskets with a tower shaft covered by a hyperbolic structure .

At the end of 1978, the design by the architect Harald Deilmann with the simple, but unusual design of the tower cage in the form of a chalice was awarded the contract. The client was the Deutsche Bundespost , the investor and client was the company for municipal systems in Düsseldorf. Engineers from Dyckerhoff and Widmann were responsible for the planning of the structure and construction supervision .


For the construction started on January 20, 1979, a climbing formwork system was used, which is mainly used for cooling towers . First a 2.5 meter high section of the shaft was concreted; By the following day the concrete had set so far that it could be stripped out and the formwork moved upwards. The tower shaft including the cup-shaped tower cage grew to around 218 meters. The Rheinturm is the only television tower that was built according to this principle. The situation is different with the inner area of ​​the tower, which was raised using sliding formwork. They are two nested cylindrical towers that were built in parallel. The loads from the pulpit floors are diverted into the tower shaft via inclined supports and internal vertical supports. According to Deilmann, this homogeneous construction also makes a significant contribution to avoiding corrosion problems .

A climbing crane was erected parallel to the tower and, as the construction phases progressed, it installed new tower joints itself in order to grow with the tower. Work on the tower shaft was completed in the second half of 1980. When the floors of the tower cage were erected at the beginning of 1981, the pulpit was glazed in March. The 16 meter high antenna carrier hollow body made of plastic was also set up with the crane on April 23, 1981. On November 24, 1981, the artist Horst H. Baumann installed the light-time level on the shaft of the Rhine Tower.

The Düsseldorf Rheinturm is the first tower to be made entirely of reinforced concrete ; more than 7,500  cubic meters of concrete and 1,100 tons of reinforcing steel were processed. The entire enclosed space comprises 39,000 cubic meters, of which 21,000 cubic meters are allotted to the shaft. On December 1st of the same year, the building was handed over to the two users of the tower, Deutsche Bundespost (participation: 52%) and Industrieterrain Düsseldorf-Reisholz (participation: 48%). On March 1, 1982, the special tower was opened to the public.

Since opening

Rheinturm and Medienhafen

The tower was named radio transmission point 10 by the telecommunications service of the Deutsche Bundespost . Shortly after completion, the Rheinturm stood like a solitaire on the edge of the harbor. Only in the course of the following 15 years was the area upgraded with the construction of the state parliament 1982–1988, the city gate and the Gehry buildings (Der Neue Zollhof) in 1998.

In March 1986, the telecommunications tower was honored with 29 other projects from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in the architectural competition Exemplary Buildings in North Rhine-Westphalia .

A breeding pair of peregrine falcons has been nesting on the Rheinturm since 2000 .

On October 16 and 17, 2004, the Rhine Tower received a new top. With the help of a Kamow cargo helicopter, the old antenna was replaced by a new one made of GRP , which is used to broadcast DVB-T television in the Düsseldorf area. For this purpose, the plastic cover of the antenna tip was sawn into two roughly equal parts, each weighing 3.5 tons, and removed with the help of the helicopter. The new red and white antenna, dismantled into three individual parts, was carried to the top by helicopter and fastened there. Before that, the tower was 234.2 meters high and, apart from the local radio NE-WS 89.4, did not broadcast any other radio programs.

The operator and owner of the facility are currently Deutsche Funkturm (DFMG), a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom based in Münster , and Industrieterrain Düsseldorf-Reisholz (IDR), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the city of Düsseldorf.

In the city, the colloquial name Lang Wellem has been used for the tower, based on the elector Jan Wellem .

Rheinkomet :
Festival lighting for the 70th anniversary of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in 2016

From 2008 until the event was moved to the ARAG Tower in 2012, the Firefighter Skyrun took place in the Rheinturm every year . In this competition, in which only active firefighters (also members of the THW in 2011) were allowed to start, the 960 steps of the staircase to the viewing platform were climbed with full protective clothing and compressed air breathing apparatus. The teams started as a squad, i.e. as a team of two, but the compressed air breathing apparatus was not connected because no respirator was worn. The best time established in 2011 for the 168 vertical meters is 07:21 minutes.

During a thunderstorm in September 2013, a lightning strike caused the watch to malfunction, which was then repaired.

As part of the 70th anniversary of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in 2016, huge headlights shone into the night sky ( Rheinkomet ) , which could be seen over 100 kilometers away.

On Corpus Christi 2020, a Holy Mass was celebrated for the first time on the observation platform of the tower because of the Covid 19 pandemic .



Aerial view of the Rhine Tower and its location on the knee of the Rhine

The Rheinturm is located in Düsseldorf's government district at 36.6 meters above sea ​​level in the Rheinpark Bilk at the eastern end of the Medienhafen and a few hundred meters southwest of the old town on the right bank of the Rhine. In the immediate northern vicinity of the tower are the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Rheinkniebrücke , to the south of which the city ​​gate and the WDR state studio in Düsseldorf are located . The tower also forms the southern end of the Rhine promenade .

The Rheinturm is connected to local public transport via the Stadttor and Landtag / Kniebrücke stops on tram lines 706, 708 and 709 and several bus routes via the Rheinturm stop .

Foundation, shaft and technique

Entrance area
Conical tower base with the internal supply part

Because of the close proximity to the Rhine , the damp and unstable subsoil and the general risk of flooding had to be taken into account when the foundation was established . That is why the tower rests on 256 in-situ concrete piles with a diameter of between 17 and 22 meters and a diameter of 0.5 meters.

The base of the tower with a diameter of 27 meters consists of a truncated cone in which the entrance area for the public is located. The underground cellar rooms house the radio transmission company, transformer station, air conditioning, emergency power system with fan, pressure booster system , the cable division room, a fire brigade control center and part of the restaurant kitchen.

Above the truncated cone, the tower shaft begins with a diameter of 17.4 meters, which tapers at a height of 150 meters to 8.6 meters. Inside the tower shaft there is an emergency staircase with 960 steps, installation shafts and the elevator system with a total of four elevators in a second cylindrical tower; two are used as a visitor elevator, one is the kitchen and one is a passenger elevator for the operators of the telecommunications systems. This inner tower has an outer diameter of 8 meters and a wall thickness of 20 centimeters; it is rigidly connected to the outer tower shaft over a distance of 123 meters.

The tower at 78.65, 118.65, 186.65 meters and on its top flight warning beaconing . When it was built, 62 portholes with a diameter of 50 centimeters and a distance of 2.5 meters were created on the shaft , 39 of which serve as lighting units for the light sculpture .

Tower cage and antenna platforms

Sectional drawing of the tower cage

The goblet-like substructure of the tower cage adjoins this at a 60-degree angle . The wall thickness is 35 centimeters, in the area of ​​the cup 25 centimeters.

The roof of the tower cage has its largest diameter of 35.5 meters at 179.4 meters. The roof is also the first antenna platform. Two further antenna platforms at 186.9 and 194.4 meters taper to 30.5 meters and 26.5 meters in diameter. This creates the impression of an upside-down goblet continuing on the tower cage, which corresponds to it in terms of form. The tower cage is divided into the following three main floors:

  • The revolving restaurant QOMO at a height of 174.50 meters ,
  • a cafeteria and a closed viewing platform with panoramic windows at 170 meters,
  • an open viewing platform at 166.25 meters.

Between the first and the second antenna platform there are two operating floors that are not visible from the outside. Above the third antenna platform is a 24 meter high reinforced concrete shaft with the 22.1 meter high, red and white painted, self-supporting antenna tip made of GRP.

Public facilities

Panoramic window
Special feature of the Düsseldorf Rheinturm : the dropout panorama windows allow a direct view of the tower shaft

A circular world clock is installed in the inner shaft of the entrance area of ​​the Rhine Tower . It consists of 24 floor-to-ceiling hour tables made of mirror glass into which the terrestrial globe is ground. In the mirror facets, 16 world cities are represented by their own digital clocks. Longitude and latitude as well as the time zones can also be read off. The clock is clocked by an electronic crystal oscillator from Seiko that receives its control pulse from the atomic clock of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt . The world time clock is supposed to embody the cosmopolitan quality of the earth-spanning communication links and allow today and tomorrow to merge into a temporal moment.

The two public elevators transport visitors at a speed of 4 m / second either to the viewing platform at a height of 168 meters or to the restaurant level above at 172.5 meters. These two public areas are leased to a private operator. The restaurant has 144 seats on the window front, which are located on an area that rotates around the tower axis in around an hour. For technical reasons, the surface turns sometimes in one direction, sometimes in the opposite direction. The guests remain at the chosen location on a further 36 seats at the cocktail bar and in the lounge area. The outwardly inclined window panes made of 45 millimeter thick laminated safety glass allow the visitor a spectacular view along the tower shaft.

The Japanese fusion restaurant Qomo has been located on the upper level since September 27, 2018. Visitors to the restaurant and the bar of the same name do not have to buy a ticket for the driveway. However, entry tickets must be purchased to visit the 168-meter public viewing platform. These can also be ordered in advance on the Internet at rheinturm.de. With a height of 172.5 meters, the new bar and restaurant hold the record as the highest bar in North Rhine-Westphalia and one of the highest in Germany. This unofficial title was held by the “M168” snack bar below, where drinks, cakes and small dishes can be purchased until September 2018. In contrast to the restaurant level, there is no consumption obligation.

Light sculpture

The decimal “light time level” at the Rheinturm using the example of 4:56:39 pm

A special attraction is a light sculpture on the northeast side of the shaft , on which the time can be read from the old town. The artist Horst H. Baumann calls his work " light-time level ". According to the Guinness Book of Records, it is the largest decimal “time scale” in the world and was originally planned for the pylon of the Oberkassel Bridge for its inauguration in April 1976, but was not implemented until November 1981 on the Rheinturm.

There are 39 porthole lamps arranged one above the other on the tower shaft. These lamps are separated into three groups by red air traffic control lights. The top group represents the hours, the middle group the minutes and the bottom group the seconds. Each group shows the tens and the units below (see also the figure on the right). The clock is also known as a decimal clock , although the "light time level" shows the classic 24-hour time and the digits are displayed in the unary system . The time synchronization is controlled by the DCF77 radio signal.

At night, the spire is illuminated in a bluish-purple color.

Safety devices

Television towers open to the public must meet special requirements with regard to their safety equipment. For this reason, all elevators can also be operated manually; There is also an option to change between the telecommunication elevator and the kitchen elevator. In the event of a fire , the visitor elevators can be used as a fire brigade elevator and have a separate electrical circuit. The emergency staircase is permanently illuminated. All materials used in the tower are difficult to ignite or not at all. Every visitor is recorded by a counting system, so that it is guaranteed that there are never more than 700 people in the tower who have space in the absolutely fire-proof viewing platform in the event of a fire.

A sprinkler system is installed in both visitor platforms . A water storage tank in the lower goblet area holds 75 m³ of extinguishing water. In the event of a power failure , an emergency power system takes over the power supply for the entire public area.

Frequencies and Programs

Digital radio ( DAB )

DAB is broadcast in vertical polarization and in single-frequency mode with other transmitters. The nationwide DAB-Multplex has been broadcast on DAB channel 11D since October 1, 2012.

block Programs
(data services)
Antenna diagram
round (ND),
directional (D)
horizontal (H) /
vertical (V)
DR Germany
DAB + block of media broadcast: 10 D. V
radio for NRW
  • 1 live (72 kbps)
  • WDR 2 Cologne (K) (72 kbps)
  • WDR 2 Aachen (AC) (72 kbps)
  • WDR 2 Bielefeld (BI) (72 kbps)
  • WDR 2 Dortmund (DO) (72 kbps)
  • WDR 2 Münster (MS) (72 kbps)
  • WDR 2 Rhine-Ruhr (RR) (72 kbps)
  • WDR 2 victories (SI) (72 kbps)
  • WDR 2 Wuppertal (W) (72 kbps)
  • WDR 3 (96 kbps)
  • WDR 4 (72 kbps)
  • WDR 5 (64 kbps)
  • WDRcosmo (64 kbps)
  • 1 Live diGGi (72 kbps)
  • WDR mouse (64 kbps)
  • WDR event (48 kbps)
  • WDR EPG (8 kbps)
  • ARD TPEG (16 kbps)
10 D. V

Digital television (DVB-T)

Since November 8, 2004, the Düsseldorf Rheinturm has broadcast up to 24 digital television programs. Before the introduction of digital television, the Rheinturm served as a modulation line for the regional studios of WDR and ZDF as well as for private program providers. Due to the favorable location and the high transmission power , the range extends to the Netherlands , the Aachen city region , the Düren district and the Ruhr area .

channel Frequency  
Multiplex Programs in multiplex ERP  
horizontal (H) /
vertical (V)
FEC Guard
Bit rate  
(Mbit / s)
29 538 RTL Group 50 V 16-QAM 2/3 1/4 13.27
35 586 ZDFmobil 50 V 16-QAM 2/3 1/4 13.27
46 674 ARD regional (WDR) 50 V 16-QAM 2/3 1/4 13.27
48 690 ARD Digital (WDR) 50 V 16-QAM 2/3 1/4 13.27
52 722 LfM 50 V 16-QAM 2/3 1/4 13.27
55 746 ProSiebenSat.1 Media 50 V 16-QAM 2/3 1/4 13.27

Activation of DVB-T2 HD

On May 31, 2016, the broadcast of the high definition DVB-T2 HD began in North Rhine-Westphalia. From then on, Das Erste HD, Pro Sieben HD, Sat 1 HD, RTL HD, Vox HD and ZDF HD could be received from the Rheinturm via antenna on channel 43 with 50 kW.

Radio programs

Tower cage and antenna

The VHF transmitter on the Rhine Tower is at a height of 196 meters. The local station NE-WS 89.4 was broadcast from the radio tower in Willich with 200 watts from its start until 1998. However, since this transmitter could not optimally cover the transmission area, the transmission power was increased and relocated to the Rheinturm. This means that the radio station can be received as far as the Netherlands and the Eifel . It is operated by the network operator Uplink Network GmbH .

program Frequency
NE-WS 89.4 89.4 1

Telephone service and radio relay

In the case of radio telephone service, the Rheinturm functions as a remote radio station and thus as an interface to the fixed telecommunications network. Most of the telecommunications transmission takes place via directional radio antennas . The capacity of the directional radio systems was expanded in 1990 with 35,000 telephone channels with conventional analogue radio systems, 65,000 telephone channels with digital radio systems and 13 television radio links. 16 telecommunications towers within a radius of 50 kilometers serve as radio stations. In the supra-regional pipeline network, these serve as relay stations for signal amplification.

At events in Düsseldorf and the surrounding area, the video and audio signals are sent via portable radio relay systems to the Rheinturm, which forwards them to the relevant studios via a fixed radio relay link.

The directional radio system includes various parabolic antennas on the three platforms.

See also


  • Klaus Müller, Hermann Wegener, Heinz-Gerd Wöstemeyer: Rheinturm Düsseldorf: data and facts Triltsch Verlag, Düsseldorf 1990, ISBN 3-7998-0060-3 .
  • Roland Kanz: Architecture Guide Düsseldorf. Dietrich Riemer Verlag, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-496-01232-3 , p. 81.
  • Klaus Englert : … getting on in years. The Rhine Tower in Düsseldorf. In db Deutsche Bauzeitung 141, 2007, No. 6, pp. 85–88, ISSN  0721-1902 .
  • Erwin Heinle , Fritz Leonhardt : Towers of all times, of all cultures. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-421-02931-8 , p. 235.
  • Andreas Harling, Holger Leszinski, Piotr Noakowski, Heiner Stahl, Nikolai Füller: Repair of the floor cone on the Rhine Tower in Düsseldorf Assessment of the tower substructure and development of a repair process with CFRP reinforcement . In: Bauportal , 123 (2011), No. 3, ISSN  1866-0207 , pages 7-13. ( here online )

Web links

Commons : Rheinturm  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Information pages of the city of Düsseldorf
  2. ^ A b Müller, Wegener, Wöstemeyer: Rheinturm Düsseldorf , page 36
  3. Knowledge and Life Issue 39, 29 year 1913, p. 75 (with illustration of the projected tower) Supplement to Reclam's Universum: Modern illustrated weekly publication 29.2 (1913).
  4. Müller, Wegener, Wöstemeyer: Rheinturm Dusseldorf , page 6
  5. Müller, Wegener, Wöstemeyer: Rheinturm Dusseldorf , page 14
  6. Müller, Wegener, Wöstemeyer: Rheinturm Dusseldorf , page 10
  7. Müller, Wegener, Wöstemeyer: Rheinturm Dusseldorf , page 13
  8. a b Englert: … getting on in years. The Rhine Tower in Düsseldorf , page 87
  9. Müller, Wegener, Wöstemeyer: Rheinturm Dusseldorf , page 16/17
  10. ^ Reference list from Dipl.-Ing. Dieter Rudat
  11. a b c Müller, Wegener, Wöstemeyer: Rheinturm Düsseldorf , page 20
  12. a b c d Müller, Wegener, Wöstemeyer: Rheinturm Düsseldorf , page 18
  13. a b Müller, Wegener, Wöstemeyer: Rheinturm Düsseldorf , page 37
  14. ^ Dominik Schneider: The falcons of Düsseldorf . Article from July 22, 2014 in the derwesten.de portal , accessed on July 22, 2014
  15. RP ONLINE: “Überallfernsehen” in Düsseldorf: The Rheinturm has a new top. Retrieved June 13, 2020 .
  16. Film in the program Galileo (Pro Sieben) on the renovation of the Rhine Tower, October 2004 ( Memento from November 29, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  17. ^ Rheinturm ( Memento from July 28, 2014 in the Internet Archive ). Article in the stadtspiele-verlag.de portal , accessed on July 22, 2014
  18. Homepage Firefighter Skyrun
  19. rp-online.de: Lightning strike - lamps on the Rheinturm defective ( memento from September 20, 2013 in the Internet Archive ), September 17, 2013.
  20. antenneduesseldorf.de: Lightning strike: Clock in the Rheinturm is broken ( Memento of the original from September 27, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , September 17, 2013. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.antenneduesseldorf.de
  21. WDR : Düsseldorf: Breathtaking light show at the Rheinturm , article from August 26, 2016, accessed on August 28, 2016.
  22. Corpus Christi 2020: Holy Mass with city dean Frank Heidkamp on the Düsseldorf Rheinturm. Retrieved June 13, 2020 .
  23. Müller, Wegener, Wöstemeyer: Rheinturm Dusseldorf , page 22
  24. a b Müller, Wegener, Wöstemeyer: Rheinturm Düsseldorf , page 23
  25. a b QOMO Restaurant & Bar in the television tower in Düsseldorf. Retrieved November 13, 2018 .
  26. Müller, Wegener, Wöstemeyer: Rheinturm Dusseldorf , page 31
  27. Tickets | Rheinturm Düsseldorf. Retrieved November 13, 2018 .
  28. Lichtzeitpegel Rheinturm ( Memento from April 15, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), homepage of the artist Horst H. Baumann, accessed on March 1, 2012.
  29. The Rheinturm: The largest decimal clock in the world , Homepage City of Düsseldorf, accessed on March 1, 2012.
  30. ^ DVB-T: The range of programs in Düsseldorf and Duisburg
  31. Müller, Wegener, Wöstemeyer: Rheinturm Dusseldorf , page 15
  32. Reception areas of DVB-T2 HD - first stage from May 31, 2016 as a PDF file
  33. ^ Sender in North Rhine-Westphalia ( Memento from April 22, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  34. Müller, Wegener, Wöstemeyer: Rheinturm Dusseldorf , page 26
This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on January 10, 2010 .