The first test broadcast from the Zakusala TV tower took place on 28 December 1985 using the first transmitter constructed by Tesla company. Regular broadcasts began in 1986.
Over the course of those thirty years the tower has been faithfully completing its duties. Over the course of the three decades it was possible expand the range of the transmitter and broadcast quality. In addition, the tower has become home to a modern data centre and hub for nearly all local and international electronic communication service providers.
«The fact that Zakusala TV tower remains the tallest television tower in the European Union thirty years after its construction proves how much complicated and massive the structure of the tower truly is. Technologically speaking, we have reached a point in TV and radio broadcasting technologies when it is no longer necessary to build such tall towers. Nevertheless, the ability to look at the world from a high altitude remains a thrill for people. We can see that towers remain an important part of the urban environment in Latvia and elsewhere in the world and a popular tourist attraction,» – said LVRTC Chairman Janis Bokta.
The TV tower was visited by 15,000 tourists last year. Tower’s observation deck is open Monday to Saturday (10:00-17:00) during the autumn and winter season (1 October – 14 May) and every day (10:00-20:00) during the spring and summer season (15 May – 30 September).
«Elevators of the tower, water supply and sewer system, ventilation and fire safety systems are technologically unique and were created specifically for this structure. There is nothing of the kind anywhere else in the world. Because of that, reconstruction and repairs of the tower are especially challenging tasks for our engineers,» – emphasizes Bokta.
Celebrating the 30th birthday, LVRTC will offer visitors and other interested people special activities as part of the annual museum night event and the national celebrations month. LVRTC has already launched a special photo contest on the official Facebook page of Zakusala TV tower. The contest will last until 30 December 2016.
Here are some interesting facts:
-Zakusala TV tower stands at 368m tall. It is the tallest tower in the European Union.
-The tower was designed by Georgian architect Kim Nikuradze.
-The tower’s construction began in 1979 and was fully completed in 1989.
-The tower’s structure is strong enough to endure a 7.5 magnitude earthquake.
-The tower can withstand wind speed up to 44 m/sec.
-Elevators carry visitors up to 308 m up the tower. The remaining distance to the flag pole has to be covered via interior stairs.
-No flag was ever hoisted on the tower during the Soviet occupation. The first time a flag was ever added to the TV tower’s mast was 2014 – in celebration of the 90th birthday of Latvian State Radio and Television Centre.
-LVRTC owns 32 towers and masts across Latvia’s territory. 2016 also marks 55 years since the towers and Vilani and Preili first began broadcasting, 50 for Edole and Dunalka towers, 40 years for Rezekne tower. The oldest LVRTC towers in Liepaja, Kuldiga and Daugavpils will turn 60 next year.
-Latvian State Radio and Television Centre was founded in 1924.