04-Jan-2004 -- In wintertime the TV tower close to 52°N / 5°E is converted into the tallest illuminated Christmas tree of the world. Although in general known as the "Lopik-tower" to the town of lopik, the official name is Gerbrandy tower, to a former prime minister of the Netherlands. Due to a reorganisation of the borders of communities the tower is now situated in IJsselstein.
Almost every year, during the weeks around Christmas, special cables with electric bulbs are connected to the TV tower of IJsselstein. A very bright light is mounted on top of the mast. This light is 375 m (1230 ft) above the ground. Four cables are connected to each of the three anchor blocks at 215 m (700 ft) of the base of the tower. In total 150 electric lights are applied.
Photograph #1 shows the view of the tower as seen from the confluence. The image is taken with a digital camera, supported by an available pole (once again I forgot a tripod). The small pole is one of the two poles visible in the centre of photograph #5 of visit #2, the blue traffic sign with white arrow is now seen from the backside. Photograph #8 gives a slightly different view. The yellowish spot of light just below the tower at the left side is the dashboard light of my car with my wife waiting. The whole reddish illuminated front area of both images is within 100m of the confluence.
The tower itself is 100m, carrying a mast of 175m. 23 floors are occupied by electronic equipment for communications and for broadcasting radio and TV signals. In our flat country the VHF and UHF signals, can be received at 100 km distance. The tower serves about 50% of our small country. The tower is owned by KPN, the Dutch communication company and the mast on top of it is owned by NOZEMA (Nederlandse Omroep ZEnderMAatschappij) which means "Dutch Broadcast Transmitter Company". An image of the illuminated tower is broadcast by Dutch TV during idle time (see photograph #2).
I had in mind to take a picture of the tower against a sky coloured by the rising sun. As the weather forecast was good my plan was set to 31-Dec-2003. Waking up early in the morning I checked the horizon for visibility and decided to continue. After showering, getting dressed and breakfasting I took the car. Arriving at the confluence a morning fog had developed and the tower was invisible. Following the new road Eastwards I drove in the direction of the tower and arrived at one of the anchor blocks. From that distance the lower part was visible. The tethers and the cables with the lights disappeared in the fog (see photographs #3 and #4).
Sunday 4 January 2004 my wife and I returned at about 11 pm from the South of the country. The weather was crystal clear and the Christmas tree showed up just in front of me while still 15 km away. So we decided to leave the motorway, which passes at a few km the tower and went to the anchor block first. The tower is that tall I needed a double photograph to picture it (see photograph #5).
Finally we proceeded to the confluence to take the ultimate pictures #1 and #8.
In image #6 the trip by bike (see visit #2), the trip of 31-Dec-2003 and this trip are plotted in a map with 7.5m per pixel. Details around the confluence and around the tower are plotted in image #7 with 7.5m per pixel.
The text in the upper left corner of photograph #2 means "NOZEMA wishes you a prosperous 2004
In 2004 a webcam is mounted at 220m altitude: see http://www.nozema.nl/overnozema/WebcamIndex2.html (in Dutch, sorry).
Don't hesitate to click at the three links at the right-hand side of the webcam image:
Meer informatie = More information,
foto galerie = Photograph Gallery, and
Panoramafoto's = Panoramic photographs.