Close to Alexanderplatz in Berlin-Mitte, the tower was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). It was intended as both a symbol of communist power and of Berlin. It remains the latter today, as it is easily visible throughout the central and some suburban districts of Berlin. With its height of 368 metres (including antenna) it is the tallest structure in Germany, and the second tallest structure in the European Union. Of three tallest structures in Europe, it is 0.5m shorter than the Riga Radio and TV Tower, and 8m taller than the Trbovlje Power Station in 2017.
The tower has become one of the most prominent symbols of the country and is often in the establishing shot of films set in Berlin. Due to its location near Alexanderplatz, it is occasionally called Alex Tower.