The compass of Pécs: the TV Tower
The TV Tower has been one of the main attractions in the city of Pécs, Baranya County, ever since it was built. The tower that we see today was finished in 1972, and it was considered to be the highest building in Hungary at that time. The tower is situated on one of the highest peaks of the Mecsek mountain range, the Misina. Throughout the years, the TV Tower slowly became a compass to the city of Pécs.
Before the radio tower was built, the Kiss József viewpoint stood in its place. People often refer to this as the little brother of the TV Tower. The viewpont was named after environmentalist József Kiss who was the secretary general of the Mecsek Association. The viewpoint was built in 1908, it was 24.6 metres tall, and it offered a spectacular view. The little brother of today’s TV Tower was protected by a full-time guard who even had his own guard house nearby. Since there was no radio tower, a 70 metres high steel structure stood beside the viewpoint serving as a transmitter. This transmitter was demolished in 1968.
The blueprints of the TV Tower were created by István Vízvárdy, Gusztáv Söpkéz and József Thoma. Today’s tower was finished in December, 1972, and it was 191 metres tall. 18,500 tonnes of reinforced concrete were used for its construction. The construction of the whole tower cost 321,000 EUR (100 million HUF).
The finished tower was presented to the public on 4 April, 1973. The tower was the highest building in the country at that time. The tower transmitted the broadcast of many Hungarian TV channels and radio stations to Pécs’s residents. The tower significantly improved the quality of the broadcasts in the whole region.
In the following years, the tower received 200,000 visitors a year.
Due to a changed aerial in 1995, the tower grew 6 metres taller. Today, the TV Tower of Pécs is 197 metres tall, and approximately 80,000 people visit the tower each year.
Visitors can use the express elevator to go up to the tower’s restaurant. The restaurant’s glass windows allow customers to enjoy their meal and the view of the city at the same time. Above the restaurant, there is the open observation terrace where one can look around 610 metres above sea level. If the weather is nice, besides the mountain range of Mecsek, one can see the Baranya Hills, the Villány Mountains and even the Croatian Papuk Mountain.
Since the end of August, the tower has been equipped with smart LED lightning. The city is especially proud of the lights of the tower, because those were made by the hands of people from Pécs, in the Harman factory that is also in Pécs. Another interesting fact is that Pécs’s residents could vote on what colours the tower’s lights should be.
On special occasions, such as national holidays, the tower can be seen in unique lightning. For example, when the tower was lit up for the very first time this August, it was “dressed up” in the (red-white-green) Hungarian national flag.
Even on ordinary days, the TV Tower changes its colour every hour.
Featured photo: www.commons.wikimedia.org by Mrszantogabor