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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Avala Tower in Serbia

The Avala Tower is a 204.5 m tall telecommunication tower located on Avala mountain near Belgrade, Serbia. It was destroyed in NATO attack of Serbia on 29 April 1999. On 21 December 2006 the renovation of Avala Tower started and tower was officially opened at a ceremony attended by highest state officials on 21 April 2010. It is at present tallest structure in Serbia and the Balkan region. The more details about Avala Tower is explained in world tour guides below.
The tower was designed by architects Ugljesa Bogdanovic, Slobodan Janjic and engineer Milan Krstic. Construction started on 14 October 1961 and was completed four years later in 1965. The tower weighed 4,000 tonnes. Between 102 m and 135 m there was an enclosed observation deck. It was the only tower in the world to have an equilateral triangle as its cross section, and one of very few towers not perched directly into the ground, but standing on its legs. The legs formed a tripod making it one of the small number of towers to be constructed in that manner.

The tower was surmounted by an antenna which was at first used for black and white television transmission. In 1971 the antenna was replaced by a new one for color TV transmission. The project which was of high risk was finished without any worker injuries or deaths which were unusual for a project of its size.

Avala Tower was destroyed on 29 April 1999 by NATO attack allegedly to put Radio Television of Serbia off the air. Radio Television Serbia broadcasting did not suffer as it was relying on a network of local TV stations which were obliged to relay its program throughout whole of Serbia. The tower was one of last buildings to be destroyed before end of NATO operation. A special bomb was used to destroy the tower. The blast was one of loudest explosions heard throughout Belgrade during NATO attack. Between date of its destruction and 11 September 2001 it was tallest building ever destroyed succeeding the Singer Building. As of 2001 it is third tallest building ever destroyed.

In 2004 Radio Television Serbia commenced a series of fund-raising events in order to collect money to construct the building once again at the same place it was destroyed. In 2005, clearing of the site where the tower was destroyed began and on 21 December 2006 the construction of a new Avala Tower commenced. An agreement regarding its construction was signed by Dusan Basara director of construction sector of Ratko Mitrovic Company which will be in charge of the construction of the tower and general director of RTS Aleksandar Tijanic.

Initially completion of new tower was expected in August 2008, but construction works were severely delayed. The opening date was pushed back to 29 April, the tenth anniversary of its destruction. Radio Television Serbia reported on 23 October 2009 that the tower has been completed.

Many fund raising events have been held for collection of funds so a new tower can be constructed. One of first was a match between Serbian grand slam winning tennis players Ana Ivanovic and Novak Dokovic. All the proceeds went to Avala Tower fund. Ceca Raznatovic a Serbian folk singer held a concert on 15 June 2006 with all the proceeds going to Avala Tower fund. Radio Television Serbia ran commercials for donations to rebuild the tower. According to a December 2006 report when it was announced that construction of a new Avala Tower would commence that same month over €1 million was collected through fund-raising and donations.

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