The Oriental Pearl TV Tower is located at the tip of Lujiazui in the Pudong district, by the side of Huangpu River, opposite the Bund of Shanghai. It has become the pride and joy of the city, a symbol of today’s Shanghai.
Construction began in 1991 and the tower was completed in 1995. It is 468 m (1,535 feet) high. An antenna broadcasting TV and radio programs extends the construction by another 118 m (387 ft). The Oriental Pearl TV Tower belongs to the World Federation of Great Towers. It was the tallest structure in mainland China from 1994–2007, when it was surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Center.
The Oriental Pearl TV Tower features 11 spheres, big and small. The two biggest spheres, along the length of the tower, have diameters of 50 m (164 ft) for the lower and 45 m (148 ft) for the upper. They are linked by three columns, each 9m (30 ft) in diameter. The highest sphere is 14 m (46 ft) in diameter. The entire building is supported by three enormous columns that start from underground. The design of the building is based on a verse of the Tang Dynasty poem Pipa Song by Bai Juyi about the wonderful sprinkling sound of a pipa instrument, like pearls, big and small falling on a jade plate. Seen from afar, the Yangpu Bridge and the Nanpu Bridge seem like two Chinese dragons frolicking with the pearls of the Oriental Pearl tower.
The tower has fifteen observatory levels. The highest (known as the Space Module) is at 350 m (1148 ft). The lower levels are at 263 m (863 ft) (Sightseeing Floor) and at 90 m (295 ft) (Space City). The elevator takes you to observation decks in the three spheres. In the tower, there is a double-decked elevator which can hold fifty people at a time and two speed elevator which can run at speed of 7 metres per second. Go to the top sphere you can have a 360-degree bird’s eye view of the city.
There are also a lot of other facilities in the tower, including a revolving restaurant at the 267 m (876 ft) level, a 20 room hotel called the Space Hotel between the two large spheres and shopping mall, etc. On the first floor is the Shanghai History Museum, which is well worth exploring.
The tower looks more splendid at night, when it flashes with colored lights against the classic beauty of the Bund.
Add: No.1 Pudong Century Avenue, Shanghai
Tel: +86 21 58791888 Opening Hours: 8:00am-21:30pm
The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel goes to the Tower after crossing the river;
The closest metro station to the tower is Lujiazui Station on Metro Line 2. Get out from Exit 1 and you can see the tower.