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17 sensational observation towers that aren't in Paris

By: Matt Hickman on Aug. 5, 2016, 10:39 a.m.
The Euromast in Rotterdam

Photo: zoetnet/flickr

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Erected in 1960 for a decennial Dutch gardening exhibition, Euromast predates the port city of Rotterdam's emergence as a hotbed of contemporary architecture that can best be described as audacious, avant-garde and a wee bit loony. When compared to the rest of Rotterdam's singular, skyscraper-heavy skyline, this 606-foot-tall modernist observation tower built from reinforced concrete looks, well, dated.

Still, this "landmark maritime monument" complete with a "crow’s nest" observation deck remains a beloved Rotterdam institution and a popular tourist draw particularly amongst lovebirds (in addition to the public observation areas, the tower's panoramic views can be enjoyed from two luxury hotel suites where a bottle of champagne is included with the rate) and adrenaline junkies (the tower serves as an abseiling hotspot as it's the only structure in Europe that visitors can rappel down the side of on a rope).

It's also worth pointing out that Euromast is actually two towers-in-one. In 1970, in order to reclaim its status as Rotterdam's tallest structure, the Space Tower was built atop the roof of the original tower adding an additional 279 feet of height. The Euromast's Space Tower is classified as a gyro tower, a special type of observation tower in which an observation platform both rotates and moves up and down a central mast.