Lakihegy Radio Tower

In Hungary the regular Medium Wave (MW) radio broadcasting had started on 1 December 1925. A 2 kW Telefunken transmitter was set up in Csepel (21st district of Budapest) and transmitted on the 572 m wavelength. In 1927 the transmitter in Csepel was upgraded to 3 KW, and the same year construction works of a new 20 kW radio transmitter had started in Lakihegy (Szigetszentmiklós). The 20 kW Telefunken transmitter was finished in 1928 and took over broadcasting services from Csepel on 29 April. At the time it was of Europe’s most modern and highest capacity transmitter.

The number of radio subscribers was growing fast in the early 1930ies and a high power radio transmitter was decided to be built. Construction of the cigar shaped radio tower had been started on 1 July 1933 and the 120 kW transmitter was set into operation at the beginning of December of the same year. The mast is 284 m high and with its adjustable tuning tube its maximum height is 314 m and still the tallest structure and landmark of Hungary. This mast design is known as Blaw-Knox radiator developed by the Blaw-Knox company which was a manufacturer of steel structures and construction equipment based in USA. The company designed radio towers, most of which were constructed during the 1930s in the United States and Europe.

On 30 November 1944 retreating German troops had exploded the cigar shaped tower and a week later the 20 kW transmitters as well. Both were rebuilt after the war and the 314m high mast was upgraded to 135 kW.

In 1977 a 2 MW capacity Medium Wave radio station, being the largest capacity in the country at Solt, was commissioned and inherited from Lakihegy the transmission of the Kossuth program on 540 kHz.

In 1983 it was planned to demolish the unused 314 m mast in Lakihegy. Fortunately, have not happened, and now the tower is used to transmit signals using long-wave radio frequencies (135.6 kHz) that are reserved for radio ripple control. The antenna is also serves as a backup for the national radio supplier.


Copyright ©: Text and photos by Károly Teleki Industrial Heritage Hungary

Source: 1) 80 éves Magyarország legmagasabb építménye. MTI (szerző). 2013. 2) A Lakihegyi 314 méteres „szivar” antenna történetéből. Balla B. Dénes (szerző). 2015.