The TV Tower in the Franga area

The TV tower It was in 1959 when the first regular TV show was broadcast in Sofia, Bulgaria. Interest in such kinds of shows rapidly increased but the specific character of signal reception prevented their broadcasting throughout the country. Soon a decision was made to develop a net of 12 broadcasting stations: the retransmitting station on mount Botev started functioning in the end of 1965; another one located in Sunny Beach started operating in November, 1967, etc. The Varna retransmitting station, built on the Franga plateau to the north of the city, was also a part of that net. 

The FM transmitter of the national radio, 100.9 MHz The famous Black Seaside resorts were not far away from Varna - an advantage taken into consideration for the building of the Varna retransmitting station. Its building was supposed to finish in 1961 and it was expected to begin functioning the following year. Its actual operation, however, started in September 1966. Preliminary testing activities stated that the signal was received in the nearby towns of Dobrich, Provadiya and Kavarna. All this cleared the way for the appearance of a TV set production industry in Bulgaria and meanwhile about 20 TV sets had already been brought to Varna.

The radioroom Varna TV retransmitting station was built on the Franga plateau to the north of the cityat an elevation of 301 m. The exact position of its antenna was chosen on the very edge of the plateau slope descending to the city. Thus the transmitter could emit a very strong signal to the whole of the city, as well as to its southern regions.The TV tower complex consists of a 6-floor building and a metal tower, on top of which the transmitting antennae are fixed. A transmitting appliance is installed in the building and a radio-relay hall can be found on its last floor. Its technical equipment was imported from the German companies "Siemens" and "Rohde & Schwarz". The tower reaches 52 m in height and its transmitting antennae consisted at first of 6 four-dipole whole-wave panels located on two floors. The image capacity of the transmitter is 600 W, and its sound capacity is 150 W. The horizontal transmitting diagram has three maximums - to the south, west and north. The TV programme for the region of Varna is received on 9th channel. After 1970 a colour signal transmitter was also installed. 

The TV tower complex In 1976 a second antenna was built which transmitted the programmes of Radio Varna, Horizon, and Christo Botev. Later on the special services installed an antenna in the complex region to jam the "enemy's" radio stations, but it is no longer used. Nowadays the Tower is used not only as a TV retransmitting station, but also as a carrier of international and inter-city telephone traffic.

In December 1986 a second TV transmitter was tested. It was built in Lazur (Dzhanavara) region, on the southern side of Varna Lake. At first it transmitted a Soviet TV programme. Nowadays it transmits TV Varna programme and doubles Channel 1 and BTV.

Special thanks to Esin Halid for the translation of this page.

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