Atlas Obscura is organizing trips! Join us on an adventure »
Today Only: 50% off Atlas Obscura books and calendars at Barnes & Noble »

Rottenbuch, Germany

Rottenbuch Radio Tower

Cell phone tower constructed entirely of wood. 

Before 1935, especially in Germany, is was not uncommon to see radio towers constructed of wood as the material acts as an insulator, making it possible to hang antenna wires from it. After a tornado destroyed the massive wooden tower of Langenberg transmitter in October of that year, however, wooden towers were only built in special cases.

Many of the remaining wooden radio towers were destroyed at the end of World War II by retreating German troops and replaced during reconstruction by steel structures. The last wooden radio tower in Germany was demolished in 1983, leaving Gliwice Radio Tower in Poland as the only wooden tower standing at the time.

For some reason, it was decided to build the Rottenbuch Radio Tower in wood in 2002 on a Schnaidberg, a hill south of Peinting in South Bavaria. At 62.5 meters tall, Rottenbuch is a lattice structure built of European Douglas fir timber and is used by Vodafone for mobile phone services. It is held together by steel pegs.

The Rottenbuch Radio Tower is probably the highest wooden tower in Germany and, today, the second tallest existing wooden construction in the world after the still-standing Gliwice Radio Tower.