Vilnius TV Tower
The Vilnius TV Tower is a 326.5 m (1,071 ft) tower
A tower is a tall structure, usually taller than it is wide, often by a significant margin. Towers are distinguished from masts by their lack of guy-wires....

 in the Karoliniškės
Karoliniškės is a microdistrict and eldership of Vilnius, Lithuania. The district was started to be built in 1971.Karoliniškės covers about 3.7 km² area...

Microdistrict, or microraion , is a residential complex—a primary structural element of the residential area construction in the Soviet Union and in some post-Soviet and former Communist states...

 of Vilnius
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 560,190 as of 2010. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County...

, Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

. It is the tallest structure in Lithuania, and is occupied by the SC Lithuanian Radio and Television Centre .

The tower was designed by V. Obydovas and the engineering section by K. Balėnas. The construction of the tower started on 31 May 1974 and finished on December 30, 1980. The weight of the whole structure is estimated at 25000 to 30000 MT (55,115,565.5 to 66,138,678.7 lb). The structure is composed of a concrete base, a 190 m (623 ft) long hollow reinforced concrete
Reinforced concrete
Reinforced concrete is concrete in which reinforcement bars , reinforcement grids, plates or fibers have been incorporated to strengthen the concrete in tension. It was invented by French gardener Joseph Monier in 1849 and patented in 1867. The term Ferro Concrete refers only to concrete that is...

 pipe, a reinforced concrete saucer, and a 136 m (446 ft) long steel spike. Radio transmitters are housed in the lower part of the concrete tower with antennas attached to the steel spike.

The TV tower played a major role in the events of 13 January 1991, when 14 unarmed civilians lost their lives and 700 were injured opposing the Soviet military seizure of the tower.

The observation deck 165 m (541 ft) from the ground houses the cafe "Paukščių takas" (Milky Way
Milky Way
The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains the Solar System. This name derives from its appearance as a dim un-resolved "milky" glowing band arching across the night sky...

), offers a picturesque view of the city and its surroundings, and sports a rotating platform that revolves once every 45 minutes. High-speed elevators reach the cafe from ground level in 40 seconds. On clear days, visibility can extend as far as Elektrėnai
Elektrėnai is a city of about 14,000 inhabitants in Lithuania; since 2000 it is the capital of the Elektrėnai municipality. It is situated between the two largest cities in Lithuania – Vilnius and Kaunas.-Name:Elektrėnai is the Lithuanian name of the city...

, a city approximately 40 km (25 mi) west, where power plants produced much of the electricity for Vilnius in Soviet times.

Bungee jumps
Bungee jumping
Bungee jumping is an activity that involves jumping from a tall structure while connected to a large elastic cord. The tall structure is usually a fixed object, such as a building, bridge or crane; but it is also possible to jump from a movable object, such as a hot-air-balloon or helicopter, that...

 are available to the public from the roof of the observation deck. A small museum dedicated to the January 1991 battle is housed on the ground floor, and various markers in the surrounding area indicate places where Lithuanian citizens died while trying to maintain the blockade against Soviet troops.

Since 2000, the tower has been decorated to resemble a Christmas tree
Christmas tree
The Christmas tree is a decorated evergreen coniferous tree, real or artificial, and a tradition associated with the celebration of Christmas. The tradition of decorating an evergreen tree at Christmas started in Livonia and Germany in the 16th century...

 each Christmas season. During the 2006 World Basketball Championship
2006 FIBA World Championship
The 2006 FIBA World Championship was an international basketball competition hosted by Japan from August 19 to September 3, 2006. It was co-organised by the International Basketball Federation , Japan Basketball Association and the 2006 Organizing Committee...

 it was decorated with a large basketball net. Vilnius TV Tower became the biggest basketball hoop in the world during the 2011 FIBA European Basketball Championship. The hoop was 35 meters in diameter with a 40 metre-high net, assembled at a height of 170 metres. The lighting of the giant hoop took 2,560 meters of lighting cable and 545 bulbs.

See also

External links

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