Lakihegy Radio Tower – Szigetszentmiklós, Hungary - Atlas Obscura
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Szigetszentmiklós, Hungary

Lakihegy Radio Tower

World's tallest cigar-shaped radio tower. 

When Lakihegy Radio Tower was built in 1933 in Szigetszentmiklós, Hungary, it was the tallest man-made object in Europe at 314 meters. The tower, which is still the tallest man-made object in Hungary, is recognizable not just because of its height, but also its cigar-shaped design.

The cigar shape was developed in the United States and used to radiate radio waves as it did so in such a way as to reduce fading. This new design was celebrated for its ability to transmit distances that could serve entire European countries.

At the end of World War II, the tower was destroyed by retreating German troops, but rebuilt according to old design plans in 1946. The tower is a mast antenna stabilized by multiple cables attached to the widest point at the middle. Two squares attached to large conical ceramic insulators comprise the tower’s base.

A new transmitter at Solt, a transmission facility in the city of the same name, replaced Lakihegy at Hungary’s primary national transmitter in 1977. The plan was to tear down Lakihegy in 1981, but widespread protests saved the tower, which was then recognized as a protected industrial monument.

Today, Lakihegy is used as a back-up transmitter for Solt and for transmitting a radio control signal for switching on and off street lamps and other devices that run on 135.6 kilohertz. It is also used as a training station for climbing specialists.

There are two other, smaller radio towers at the same site. One broadcasts at 873 kilohertz, while the other is used for broadcasting at 810 kilohertz.

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