Messegelände und Funkturm (Exhibition-grounds and Radio Tower)

Exhibition-grounds and Radio Tower
Source:         Photographer: Uwe Wattenberg

Anyone who has attended the Internationalen Funkausstellung (International radio exhibition) or another known fair in Berlin will already be familiar with the Messegelände and the radio tower located on it.

The actual Messegelände was already built at the beginning of the 20th century; however the buildings located on it were almost totally demolished particularly in the twenties and thirties. This was due to the Nazi plan to build a large construct of fascist megalomania on this land i.e. the so called Hall of Honour.

At that time it represented the largest building in Germany and was used primarily for presentation purposes e.g. for the reception of state guests.

Surprisingly the ‘Hall of Honour’ survived the Second World War almost unscathed – which was for a Nazi building in Berlin, a rarity. The hall has been preserved until today and is one of the many exhibition buildings on the site.

However, the exhibition grounds offer much more than just the 26 halls in which large exhibitions are held. A highlight of the site for example is the ‘Palais’ (palace) at the radio tower – a large convention centre with a fifty’s flair. The palace is joined to the so called ‘summer garden’ which delights visitors with it rich diversity of flowers; worth a visit at any time of year.

Another attraction at the exhibition grounds is the International Congress Centre – or ICC. It was built in 1975 – 1980 and was designed to the most modern standard at the time. The convention centre has around 80 individual rooms which can accommodate up to 20, 000 visitors. Every conceivable type of event takes place here, from pop and rock concerts to political rallies and extravagant balls.

bigger map view

Finally we turn to the landmark of the Berlin Exhibition Grounds, the so called ‘Langen Lulatsch’. This is Berlin’s radio tower – not to be confused with the television tower. In contrast to this, the ‘Funkturm’ is only around 150 metres high, with the highest observation deck at 126 metres. In the lower part of the tower there is a restaurant, from which there is a wonderful view over the whole of Berlin- if the weather permits!

The tower was built in the years 1924 – 26. The official opening occurred in the context of the third radio exhibition in Berlin in 1926

Also something interesting is the design of the tower. It is a steel structure very much inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

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