Ostankino Tower (Russian: Останкинская телебашня, Ostankinskaya telebashnya) is a free-standing television and radio tower in Moscow, Russia. Standing 540 metres (1,770 ft) tall, Ostankino was designed by Nikolai Nikitin. It is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers, currently the tallest in Europe and 3rd tallest in the world. The tower was the first free-standing structure to exceed 500 m (1,600 ft) in height. The tower was constructed to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the October Revolution. It is named after the Ostankino district of Moscow in which it is located.
Construction began in 1963 and was completed in 1967. Extensive use of prestressed concrete resulted in a simple and sturdy structure. It surpassed the Empire State Building to become the tallest free-standing structure in the world. It held this record for nine years until the CN Tower was completed in Toronto, Canada in 1976, which surpassed its height by 13 metres (43 ft). The Ostankino Tower remained the second-tallest freestanding structure in the world for another 31 years until the Burj Khalifa surpassed both it and the CN Tower in height in 2007. The height of the tower has been surpassed by Canton Tower in Guangzhou and is expected to be surpassed by One World Trade Center in New York City, Abraj Al Bait Towers in Mecca, Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, India Tower in Mumbai and Tokyo Sky Tree in Tokyo (all under construction).
Towers taller than 300 metres were built in Kiev, Tashkent, Almaty, Riga, Berlin, Vilnius, Tallinn, Yerevan, St. Petersburg and Baku.
The Ostankino Tower has remained the tallest free-standing structure in Europe for 42 years. The Russia Tower, a proposed 612-metre (2,008 ft) mixed-use skyscraper planned for the Moscow International Business Centre, was originally expected to exceed the Ostankino Tower's height. The project has been suspended due to financial difficulties and it remains unclear if construction will resume.
A 1994 plan to increase the tower's height to 561 meters by adding an antenna was not implemented for lack of funding.