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World's Five Tallest Towers
[Quiz] The Eiffel Tower and the Chrysler building were once on the list, but what are they today?
Eric Shackle (shack)     Print Article 
Published 2006-07-17 13:31 (KST)   
Mr Eric Shackle, 87, is OhmyNews International's oldest citizen reporter. Mr Shackle began using the Internet at the age of 80. He lives in Australia and runs The World's First Multi-National e-Book.  <Editor's Note>
Here's a question that would stump most trivia quiz contestants. In which countries are the world's five tallest towers?

Remember that towers and skyscrapers are not the same thing! The world's tallest skyscraper is currently Taipei 101 in Taiwan. It has 101 storeys and measures 509 meters to its architectural top.

However, Taiwan does not feature on the list of countries that are home to the world's five tallest towers. Are you ready for the answer?


The Eiffel tower in Paris.
©2006 Joer


The surprising answer is: Canada, Russia, China, Iran and Malaysia (in that order).

All five towers are fully described and pictured on the internet. Here's a quick rundown.

Tower No. 1, Toronto, Canada.

Work started on the 181-storey CN Tower in Feb. 1973 and it was opened to the public in June 1976. Since then it has remained undefeated as the world's tallest tower. It has also become the signature icon of Toronto.

At a height of 553.33 meters it attracts two million visitors a year. Apart from enjoying the view, they can walk on a glass floor 342 meters above ground level, eat at the revolving restaurant, and see a movie about the tower's construction.


The CN Tower in Toronto is the world's tallest tower.
©2006 Organicaud


Tower No. 2, Moscow, Russia.

Ostankino Tower is the tallest free standing structure in Eurasia. Also called the Moscow Beauty, it is a free-standing TV and radio tower. It is 540 meters in height.

Construction began in 1963 and was completed in 1967. It was the world's tallest free-standing structure for 10 years.

In August 2000 the tower caught fire, resulting in three deaths and disrupting TV and radio transmissions. It was later restored.

Patrick Richter has written that the symbolic nature of the fire, "recalls the fate of the lighthouse at Alexandria; one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was built in 279 BC... and reached the fantastic height of 134 meters, till then only exceeded by the Egyptian pyramids. It stood during the darkest periods of the Middle Ages and only collapsed into the sea in 1326, almost 1,600 years later, during an earthquake."

Tower No. 3, Shanghai, China.

Shanghai's Oriental Pearl Tower is said by some to be the most beautiful of them all. Built between two large river bridges, it's said to create a picture of twin dragons playing with pearls.

The tower is 468 meters high and can easily be seen as a massive string of pearls. There are three large spheres (the top one is called the space module), five smaller spheres, and three decorative ones at the base.

In the topmost "pearl" are shops, restaurants (one of which rotates) and a floor for sightseers. The large lower sphere houses a space city and an interesting sightseeing hall. The Shanghai Municipal History Museum is in the tower's pedestal.

Double-decker elevators can whisk as many as 50 visitors up or down at seven meters a second.

Tower No. 4, Tehran, Iran.

The Borj-e Milad communications tower in Iran's capital, Tehran, is 435 meters high to the tip of its antenna. Its main component is a large 12-floor pod near the top.

The tower is part of the Tehran International Trade and Convention Center complex, due to be completed in 2007. Many predict that the Borj-e Milad will replace the Azadi tower as a symbol of the city.

Tower No. 5, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

This concrete telecommunications tower is 421 meters tall and is perhaps Kuala Lumpur's best known ambassador. It was completed in 1996, and is the tallest tower in Southeast Asia. During its construction, builders erected an elaborate retaining wall around a 100-year-old Jelutong tree to avoid having to destroy it. More information is available here.

So, those are the world's five tallest towers. New ones are being built all the time so I expect that the list will change soon.

We've come a long way since the 19th century when Gustave Eiffel's 300 meter structure in Paris was the world's tallest tower. The Eiffel Tower remained the highest monument in the world until the construction of New York's Chrysler Building in 1930. It stands at 319 meters.


The Chrysler Building in New York.
©2006 iboff
This story will be featured in the August edition of The World's First Multi-National e-Book.
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Eric Shackle

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