The Warsaw Radio Mast Used To Be The Tallest Man-Made Structure On The Planet
Every so often you come across a piece of history that’s super fascinating, but that you knew nothing about. Such is the case (for me, anyway) with the Warsaw Radio Mast.
As the tallest radio tower in the world, this engineering masterpiece truly reached for the sky. As the tallest man-made structure on Earth from 1974 until 1991, it set records, and expanded imaginations everywhere.
What Was It Built For?
The Warsaw Radio Tower was the brain-child of Polish architect Jan Polak. Construction started in July of 1970. It was built with hollow steel tubes, arranged in a stable lattice design.
Because of this, the tower reached great heights. So great, in fact, that it stood taller than any other man-made object on planet Earth!
Warsaw Radio-Television used The Warsaw Radio Mast to transmit information using long-wave radio transmission. Because it was so strong and tall, it could transmit waves as far as the United States!
It Took A While To Get To The Top
With great power comes great responsibility. There was a lot of maintenance required on the mast. Ten years after they constructed the tower, a routine inspection found wind-related structural damage. Repairing the mast was challenging for a lot of reasons, among them a lack of budget.
The people who were supposed to maintain the mast neglected their duties. I wonder if it’s partly because it took a whopping 30 minutes to reach the top of the mast… in an elevator!
What Goes Up Must Come Down
Despite all of the mastery and genius that went into the Warsaw Radio Mast, the neglect was too much for the structure. On August 8, 1991, no longer able to support its weight with the damage it had sustained, the highest structure on Earth collapsed. It bent in half and then broke, which destroyed the entire top half of the structure.
Visiting The Ruins Of The Warsaw Radio Mast Today
The men who were responsible for the neglect of the Warsaw Radio Mast were sentenced to two years in prison.
A different transmitter was built in place of the ruined structure. However, today the remains of the mast can still be seen. There’s still debris left where the mast landed that day in 1991. This crowning achievement of human engineering and design lives on through record books.
If you’d like to visit the Warsaw Radio Mast, here’s the geolocation. And if you go, congratulations to you for paying attention to obscure bits of history!