List of tallest buildings and structures
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The world's tallest artificial structure is the 829.8-metre-tall (2,722 ft) Burj Khalifa in Dubai (of the United Arab Emirates). The building gained the official title of " tallest building in the world" and the tallest self-supported structure at its opening on January 9, 2010. Burj Khalifa was developed by Emaar properties, designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and built by BESIX, Samsung Construction and Arabtec . The second-tallest self-supporting structure and the tallest tower in the world is the Tokyo Skytree. The tallest guyed structure is the KVLY-TV mast.
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an organization that certifies buildings as the "World's Tallest", recognizes a building only if at least 50% of its height is made up of floor plates containing habitable floor area.  Structures that do not meet this criterion, such as the CN Tower, are defined as " towers".
There are dozens of radio and television broadcasting towers which measure over 600 metres (about 2,000 ft) in height, and only the tallest are recorded in publicly available information sources.
The assessment of the height of artificial structures has been controversial. Various standards have been used by different organizations which has meant that the title of world's tallest structure or building has changed depending on which standards have been accepted. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat has changed its definitions over time. Some of the controversy regarding the definitions and assessment of tall structures and buildings has included the following:
- the definition of a structure, a building and a tower
- whether a structure, building or tower under construction should be included in any assessment
- whether a structure, building or tower has to be officially opened before it is assessed
- whether structures built in and rising above water should have their below-water height included in any assessment.
- whether a structure, building or tower that is guyed is assessed in the same category as self-supporting structures.
Within an accepted definition of a building further controversy has included the following factors:
- whether only habitable height of the building is considered
- whether communication towers with observation galleries should be considered "habitable" in this sense
- whether rooftop antennas, viewing platforms or any other architecture that does not form a habitable floor should be included in the assessment
- whether a floor built at a high level of a telecommunications or viewing tower should change the tower's definition to that of a "building"
This category does not require the structure to be "officially" open but does require it to be "topped out."
The tallest artificial structure is Burj Khalifa, a skyscraper in Dubai that reached 829.8 m (2,722 ft) in height on January 17, 2009.  By April 8, 2008 it had been built higher than the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, USA.  That September it officially surpassed Poland's 646.38 m (2,120.7 ft) Warsaw radio mast, which stood from 1974 to 1991, to become the tallest structure ever built. Guyed lattice towers such as these masts had held the world height record since 1954.
The Petronius Platform stands 610 m (2,000 ft) off the sea floor leading some, including Guinness World Records 2007, to claim it as the tallest freestanding structure in the world. However, it is debated whether underwater height should be counted, in the same manner as height below ground is ignored on buildings. The Troll A platform is 472 m (1,549 ft), without any part of that height being supported by wires. The tension-leg type of oil platform has even greater below-water heights with several examples more than 1,000 m (3,300 ft) deep. However, these platforms are not considered constant structures as the vast majority of their height is made up of the length of the tendons attaching the floating platforms to the sea floor. Despite this, Guinness World Records 2009 listed the Ursa tension leg platform as the tallest structure in the world with a total height of 1,306 m (4,285 ft). The Magnolia Tension-leg Platform in the Gulf of Mexico is even taller with a total height of 1,432 m (4,698 ft).
Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan, set records in three of the four skyscraper categories at the time it opened in 2004; at the time the Burj Khalifa opened in 2010 it remained the world's tallest inhabited building 509.2 m (1,671 ft) as measured to its architectural height (spire). The height of its roof 449.2 m (1,474 ft) and highest occupied floor 439.2 m (1,441 ft) had been surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Center with corresponding heights of 487 and 474 m (1,598 and 1,555 ft). Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) was the highest in the final category: the greatest height to top of antenna of any building in the world at 527 m (1,729 ft).
Burj Khalifa broke the height record in all four categories for completed buildings.
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Due to the disagreements over how to measure height and classify structures, engineers have created various definitions for categories of buildings and other structures. One measure includes the absolute height of a building, another includes only spires and other permanent architectural features, but not antennas. The tradition of including the spire on top of a building and not including the antenna dates back to the rivalry between the Chrysler Building and 40 Wall Street. A modern-day example is that the antenna on top of Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) is not considered part of its architectural height, while the spires on top of the Petronas Twin Towers are counted.
Note: The following table is a list of the tallest completed structure in each of the structural categories below. For a list of structures by function see the list later in the article. There can only be one structure in each category, unless the tallest is the same for more than one structure in the same category.
There are some destroyed architectural structures which were taller than the tallest existing structure of their type. There are also destroyed structures omitted from this list that had been surpassed in height prior to being destroyed.
|Category||Structure||Country||City||Height (metres)||Height (feet)||Coordinates||Remarks|
|Guyed mast||Warsaw Radio Mast||Poland||Gąbin||646.38||2,121||Completed in 1974, collapsed on August 8, 1991|
|Scientific research tower||BREN Tower||United States||Nevada Test Site||462||1,516||Completed in 1962, demolished May 23, 2012 |
|Guyed tubular steel mast||Shushi-Wan Omega Transmitter||Japan||Tsushima||389||1,276||Completed in 1973, dismantled in 1998|
|Structure for scientific experiment||Smokey Shot Tower||United States||Nevada Test Site||213||700||Guyed mast, which carried 44 kt yield nuclear bomb "Smokey" (part of operation Plumbbob) on top until its explosion on August 31, 1957|
|Solar updraft tower||Manzanares Solar Chimney||Spain||Manzanares||195||640||Completed in 1982, the tower's guy-wires were not protected against corrosion and failed due to rust and storm winds causing the tower to collapse in 1989. Small-scale experimental model of a solar draft tower, newer proposals if built could become the tallest structure on earth.|
|Wooden structure||Mühlacker Wood Radio Tower||Germany||Mühlacker||190||623||Completed in 1934, destroyed on April 6, 1945, by the Germans to prevent usage by the Allies, replaced by mast radiator|
|Masonry building||Mole Antonelliana||Italy||Turin||167.5||549.5||Spire destroyed by a tornado in 1953 (rebuilt since then)|
|Pre-Industrial era building||Lincoln Cathedral||United Kingdom||Lincoln||160||524||Completed in 1311, spire blown off in 1549|
|Gasometer||Gasometer Zeche Nordstern||Germany||Gelsenkirchen||147||482||Completed in 1938, damaged at an air raid on May 13, 1940 in such a manner, that it was not usable any more and had to be demolished.|
|Storage silo||Henninger Turm||Germany||Frankfurt||120||394||Constructed in 1961, demolished in 2013|
|Mixed-use*||Burj Khalifa||United Arab Emirates||Dubai||830||2,722|
|Industrial||Petronius (oil platform)||United States||Gulf of Mexico||640||2,100|
|Office||Ping An Finance Center||China||Shenzhen||555||1,821|
|Residential||Central Park Tower||United States||New York City||472.4||1,550|
|Military||Large masts of INS Kattabomman||India||Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu||471||1,545|
|Hotel||Gevora Hotel ||United Arab Emirates||Dubai||356.3||1,169|
|Scientific research tower||Amazon Tall Tower Observatory||Brazil||160 km NE of Manaus||325 ||1,066|
|Educational||Moscow State University||Russia||Moscow||240||787|
|Religious||Hassan II Mosque||Morocco||Casablanca||210||689|
|Hospital||Outpatient Center, Houston Methodist Hospital||United States||Houston||156.05||511.8|
* "Mixed-use" is defined as having three or more real estate uses (such as retail, office, hotel, etc.) that are physically and functionally integrated in a single property and are mutually supporting. 
Up until the late 1990s, the definition of “tallest building” was not altogether clear. It was generally understood to be the height of the building to the top of its architectural elements including spires, but not including "temporary" structures (such as antennas or flagpoles), which could be added or changed relatively easily without requiring major changes to the building's design. Other criteria for height measurement generally were not considered, which occasionally caused some controversy.
One historic case involved the building now famous for the Times Square Ball. Known as One Times Square (at 1475 Broadway in Midtown Manhattan), it was the headquarters for The New York Times, which gave Times Square its name. Completed in 1905, it reached a height of 364 feet (111 meters) to its roof, or 420 feet (130 meters) including its rooftop flagpole, which the Times hoped would give it a record high status. But because a flagpole is not an integral architectural part of a building, One Times Square was not generally considered to be taller than the 390-foot-high (120 m) Park Row Building in Lower Manhattan, which was therefore still New York's tallest. 
A bigger controversy was the rivalry between two New York skyscrapers built in the Roaring Twenties — the Chrysler Building and 40 Wall Street. The latter was 927 feet (283 meters) tall, had a shorter pinnacle, and had a much higher top occupied floor (the second category in the 1996 criteria for tallest building).  In contrast, the Chrysler Building employed a very long 125-foot (38 m) spire secretly assembled inside the building to claim the title of world's tallest building with a total height of 1,048 feet (319 m), despite having a lower top occupied floor and a shorter height when both buildings' spires are not counted in their heights.  Although the architects of record for 40 Wall were H. Craig Severance and Yasuo Matsui, the firm of Shreve & Lamb (who also designed the Empire State Building) served as consulting architects. They wrote a newspaper article claiming that 40 Wall was actually the tallest, since it contained the world's highest usable floor. They pointed out that the observation deck of 40 Wall was nearly 100 feet (30 m) higher than the top floor of the Chrysler, whose surpassing spire was strictly ornamental and essentially inaccessible.  Despite the protest, the Chrysler Building was generally accepted as the tallest building in the world for almost a year, until it was surpassed by the Empire State Building’s 1,250 feet (380 meters) in 1931.
That was in turn surpassed by the 1,368-foot-high (417 m) twin towers of New York’s original World Trade Center in 1972, which were in turn surpassed by the Sears Tower in Chicago in 1974. Now called the Willis Tower (since 2009) it was 1,451 feet (442 meters) to its flat rooftop, or 1,518 feet (463 meters) including its original antennas.  But in 1978 One World Trade Center (commonly known as the north tower) attained a taller absolute height when it added its 360-foot (110 m) new broadcasting antenna, for a total height of 1,728 feet (527 meters). The WTC north tower maintained this height record (including its antenna) from 1978 until 2000, when the owners of the Willis Tower extended its broadcasting antennae for a total height of 1,729 feet (527 meters).  Thus the status of the Willis Tower as the “totally” tallest was restored in the face of a new threat looming in the Far East — the “ Siamese Twins.”
A major controversy erupted upon completion of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998. These twin towers, at 1,483 feet (452 meters), had a higher architectural height (spires, not antennas), but a lower absolute pinnacle height and a lower top occupied floor than the Willis Tower in Chicago. Counting buildings as structures with floors throughout, and with antenna masts excluded, the Willis was still considered the tallest at that time. Excluding their spires, which are 9 meters (30 feet) higher than the flat roof of Willis, the Petronas Towers are not taller than Willis. At their convention in Chicago, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) found the Willis Tower (without its antennas) to be the third-tallest building, and the Petronas Towers (with their spires) to be the world's two tallest buildings. 
Responding to the ensuing controversy, the CTBUH then revised their criteria and defined four categories in which the world's tallest building can be measured,  retaining the old criterion of height to architectural top, and adding three new categories: 
- Height to Architectural Top (including spires and pinnacles, but not antennas, masts or flagpoles). This measurement is the most widely used and is used to define the rankings of the 100 Tallest Buildings in the World.
- Highest Occupied Floor
- Height to Top of Roof (omitted from criteria from November 2009 onwards) 
- Height to Tip
The height-to-roof criterion was discontinued because relatively few modern tall buildings possess flat rooftops, making this criterion difficult to determine and measure.  The CTBUH has further clarified their definitions of building height, including specific criteria concerning subbasements and ground level entrances (height measured from lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance rather than from a previously undefined "main entrance"), building completion (must be topped out both structurally and architecturally, fully clad, and able to be occupied), condition of the highest occupied floor (must be continuously used by people living or working and be conditioned, thus including observation decks, but not mechanical floors) and other aspects of tall buildings.  
The height is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance. At the time, the Willis Tower held first place in the second and third categories, the Petronas Towers held the first category, and the original WTC north tower held the fourth (height to tip) category with its antenna.  In 2000, however, a new antenna mast was placed on the Willis Tower, giving it the record in the fourth category. On April 20, 2004, the 101-storey Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan, was completed, taking the world record for the first three categories. On July 21, 2007, it was announced that Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE, had surpassed Taipei 101. Since its completion in early 2010, Burj Khalifa leads in all categories (the first building to do so) with its spire height of 2,722 feet (830 meters).
Before Burj Khalifa was completed, Willis Tower led in the height-to-tip category with 1,729 feet (527 meters) after its antenna was extended in 2000, making Willis Tower slightly taller height-to-tip than the WTC north tower's antenna that measured 1,728 feet (527 meters). After the September 11, 2001, attacks, the WTC became the world's tallest two buildings to be destroyed or demolished. They took that distinction from the Singer Building, which stood 612 feet (187 meters) tall until the late 1960s where One Liberty Plaza now stands right across Church Street from the WTC site.
A different superlative for skyscrapers is their number of floors. The original World Trade Center set that record at 110 in the early 1970s, and this was not surpassed until the Burj Khalifa opened in 2010.
Structures such as the CN Tower, the Ostankino Tower and the Oriental Pearl Tower are excluded from these categories because they are not "habitable buildings", which are defined as frame structures made with floors and walls throughout. 
History of record holders in each CTBUH category
|Date (event)||Architectural top||Highest occupied floor||Roof||Tip|
|2010: Burj Khalifa completed||Burj Khalifa||Burj Khalifa||Burj Khalifa|
|2009: CTBUH omits Height to Roof category||Taipei 101||Shanghai World Financial Center||Willis Tower|
|2008: Shanghai World Financial Center completed||Taipei 101||Shanghai World Financial Center||Shanghai World Financial Center||Willis Tower|
|2003: Taipei 101 completed||Taipei 101||Taipei 101||Taipei 101||Willis Tower|
|2000: Willis Tower antenna extension||Petronas Towers||Willis Tower||Willis Tower||Willis Tower|
|1998: Petronas Towers completed||Petronas Towers||Willis Tower||Willis Tower||World Trade Center|
|1996: CTBUH defines categories||Willis Tower||Willis Tower||Willis Tower||World Trade Center|
Freestanding structures must not be supported by guy wires, the sea or other types of support. It therefore does not include guyed masts, partially guyed towers and drilling platforms but does include towers, skyscrapers (pinnacle height) and chimneys. (See also history of tallest skyscrapers.)
The world's tallest freestanding structure on land is defined as the tallest self-supporting artificial structure that stands above ground. This definition is different from that of world's tallest building or world's tallest structure based on the percentage of the structure that is occupied and whether or not it is self-supporting or supported by exterior cables. Likewise, this definition does not count structures that are built underground or on the seabed, such as the Petronius Platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Visit world's tallest structure by category for a list of various other definitions.
The tallest freestanding structure on land is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The building surpassed the height of the previous record holder, the 553.3 m (1,815 ft) CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, on September 12, 2007. It was completed in 2010, with final height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft).
The following is a list of structures that have held the title as the tallest freestanding structure on land.
|Record from||Record held (years)||Name and location||Constructed||Height (metres)||Height (feet)||Coordinates||Notes|
|c. 10000 BC||2000||Göbekli Tepe, Anatolia||c. 10000 BC||5-6||18||The earliest temple of humankind.|
|c. 8000 BC||4000||Tower of Jericho, West Bank||c. 8000 BC||8.5||28|
|c. 4000 BC||1350||Anu Ziggurat, Uruk||c. 4000 BC||13||40|
|c. 2650 BC||40||Pyramid of Djoser, Egypt||c. 2650 BC||62||203|
|c. 2610 BC||5||Meidum Pyramid in Egypt||c. 2610 BC||93.5||307||Shortly after completion Meidum Pyramid collapsed due to bad design/instability and is now 65 m (213 ft).|
|c. 2605 BC||5||Bent Pyramid in Egypt||c. 2605 BC||101.1||332||Angle of slope decreased during construction to avoid collapse.|
|c. 2600 BC||40||Red Pyramid of Sneferu, Egypt||c. 2600 BC||105||345|
|c. 2560 BC||3871||Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt||c. 2560 BC||146||481||By 1647, the Great Pyramid had eroded to a height of approximately 139 m (456 ft).|
|1311||238||Lincoln Cathedral in England||1092–1311||160||525||The central spire was destroyed in a storm in 1549. While the reputed height of 525 ft (160 m) is accepted by most sources,       others consider it doubtful |
|1549||20||St. Mary's Church in Stralsund, Germany||1384–1478||151||495|
|1569||4||Beauvais Cathedral in France||1225–1604||153||502||Spire collapsed in 1573 (the cross was removed in 1572); today, the church stands at a height of 67.2 m (220.5 ft).|
|1573||94 (20+74)||St. Mary's Church in Stralsund, Germany||1384–1478||151||495||The spire burnt down after a lightning strike in 1647. The current spire's height is 104 m (341 ft).|
|1647||227||Strasbourg Cathedral in France||1439||142||469||By 1647, the Great Pyramid had eroded to a height of approximately 139 m (456 ft) hence Strasbourg Cathedral was higher.|
|1874||2||St. Nikolai in Hamburg, Germany||1846–1874||147||483|
|1876||4||Cathédrale Notre Dame in Rouen, France||1202–1876||151||495|
|1880||4||Cologne Cathedral in Germany||1248–1880||157||515||;|
|1884||5||Washington Monument in Washington D.C., United States||1884||169||555||The world's tallest all-stone structure, as well as the tallest obelisk-form structure.|
|1889||41||Eiffel Tower in Paris, France||1887–1889||300||986||First structure to exceed 300 metres in height. The addition of a telecommunications tower in the 1950s brought the overall height to 324 m (1,063 ft).|
|1930||1||Chrysler Building in New York, United States||1928–1930||319||1,046|
|1931||36||Empire State Building in New York, United States||1930–1931||381||1,250||First building with 100+ storeys. The addition of a pinnacle and antennas later increased its overall height to 448.7 m (1,472 ft). This was subsequently lowered to 443.1 m (1,454 ft).|
|1967||8||Ostankino Tower in Moscow, Soviet Union||1963–1967||540||1,762||Remains the tallest in Europe. Fire in 2000 led to extensive renovation.|
|1975||32||CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario, Canada||1973–1976||553||1,815||The tallest in the Western Hemisphere.|
|2007||present||Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates||2004–2009||829.8||2,722||Holder of world's tallest freestanding structure. Topped out at 829.8 m (2,722 ft) in 2009.|
Notable mentions include the Pharos (lighthouse) of Alexandria, built in the third century BC and estimated between 115–135 m (377–443 ft). It was the world's tallest non-pyramidal structure for many centuries. Another notable mention includes the Jetavanaramaya stupa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, which was built in the third century, and was similarly tall at 122 m (400 ft). These were both the world's tallest or second-tallest non-pyramidal structure for over a thousand years.
The tallest secular building between the collapse of the Pharos and the erection of the Washington Monument may have been the Torre del Mangia in Siena, which is 102 m (335 ft) tall, and was constructed in the first half of the fourteenth century, and the 97-metre-tall (318 ft) Torre degli Asinelli in Bologna, also Italy, built between 1109 and 1119.
Timeline of development of world's highest observation deck since inauguration of Eiffel Tower.
|Record from||Record held (years)||Name and location||Constructed||Height above ground||Notes|
|1889||42||Eiffel Tower, Paris||1889||275||902||Two lower observation decks at 57 and 115 m (187 and 377 ft).|
|1931||42||Empire State Building, New York City||1931||369 ||1,250||On the 102nd floor – a second observation deck is located on the 86th floor at 320 m (1,050 ft).|
|1973||1||World Trade Center, New York City||1973||399.4||1,310||Indoor observatory on the 107th floor of South Tower opened on April 4, 1973. Destroyed on September 11, 2001|
|1974||1||Willis Tower, Chicago||1974||412.4||1,353||103rd floor Skydeck opened on June 22, 1974|
|1975||1||World Trade Center, New York City||1973||419.7||1,377||Outdoor observatory on the South Tower rooftop opened on December 15, 1975. Destroyed on September 11, 2001|
|1976||32||CN Tower, Toronto||1976||446.5||1,464.9||Two further observation decks at 342 and 346 m (1,122 and 1,135 ft).|
|2008||3||Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai||2008||474||1,555||Two further observation decks at 423 and 439 m (1,388 and 1,440 ft).|
|2011||3||Canton Tower, Guangzhou||2011||488||1,601||The rooftop outdoor observation deck opened in December 2011. There are also several other indoor observation decks in the tower, the highest at 433.2 m (1,421 ft).|
|2014||2||Burj Khalifa, Dubai||2010||555||1,821||Opened on October 15, 2014 on the 148th floor. There is another observation deck at 452.1 m (1,483 ft) on the 124th floor, which has been open since the building was opened to the public.|
|2016||present||Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China and Ping An Finance Centre (since 2017)||2015||562||1,841||Opened on July 1, 2016.|
Higher observation decks have existed on mountain tops or cliffs, rather than on tall structures. The Grand Canyon Skywalk, constructed in 2007, protrudes 21 m (70 ft) over the west rim of the Grand Canyon and is approximately 1,100 m (3,600 ft) above the Colorado River, making it the highest of these types of structures.[ citation needed]
As most of the tallest structures are guyed masts, here is a timeline of world's tallest guyed masts, since the beginning of radio technology.
As many large guyed masts were destroyed at the end of World War II, the dates for the years between 1945 and 1950 may be incorrect. If Wusung Radio Tower survived World War II, it was the tallest guyed structure shortly after World War II.
|Record from||Record held (years)||Name and location||Constructed||Height||Coordinates||Notes|
|1913||7||Central mast of Eilvese transmitter, Eilvese, Germany||1913||250||820||Mast was divided in 145 m by an insulator, demolished in 1931|
|1920||3||Central masts of Nauen Transmitter Station, Nauen, Germany||1920||260||853||2 masts, demolished in 1946|
|1923||10||Masts of Ruiselede transmitter, Ruiselede, Belgium||1923||287||942||?||8 masts, destroyed in 1940|
|1933||6||Lakihegy Tower, Lakihegy, Hungary||1933||314||1,031||Blaw-Knox Tower, insulated against ground, destroyed in 1945; rebuilt|
|1939||7||Deutschlandsender Herzberg/Elster, Herzberg (Elster), Germany||1939||335||1,099||Insulated against ground, dismantled 1946/1947|
|1946||2||Lakihegy Tower, Lakihegy, Hungary||1946||314||1,031||Blaw-Knox Tower, Insulated against ground, rebuilt after destruction in 1945|
|1948||1||WIVB-TV Tower, Colden, New York, USA||1948||321.9||1,056|
|1949||1||Longwave transmitter Raszyn, Raszyn, Poland||1949||335||1,099||Insulated against ground|
|1950||4||Forestport Tower, Forestport, New York, USA||1950||371.25||1,218||Insulated against ground, demolished|
|1954||2||Griffin Television Tower Oklahoma (AKA KWTV Transmission Tower), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA||1954||480.5||1,576|
|1956||3||KOBR-TV Tower, Caprock, New Mexico, USA||1956||490.7||1,610||Collapsed in 1960; rebuilt|
|1959||1||WGME TV Tower, Raymond, Maine, USA||1959||495||1,624|
|1960||2||KFVS TV Mast, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri, USA||1960||511.1||1,677|
|1962||1||WTVM/WRBL-TV & WVRK-FM Tower, Cusseta, Georgia, USA||1962||533||1,749|
|1963||0||WIMZ-FM-Tower, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA||1963||534.01||1,752|
|1963||11||KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, North Dakota, USA||1963||606.0||1,988||75 foot analog antenna was removed from the top of the structure in 2018 in digital repack construction[ citation needed]|
|1974||17||Warsaw Radio Mast, Gąbin, Poland||1974||646.4||2,121||Mast radiator insulated against ground, collapsed in 1991|
|2018||present||KRDK-TV mast, Galesburg, North Dakota, USA||1997||628.0||2,060|
Towers include observation towers, monuments and other structures not generally considered to be "habitable buildings", they are meant for "regular access by humans, but not for living in or office work, and are self-supporting or freestanding, which means no guy-wires for support", meaning it excludes from this list of continuously habitable buildings and skyscrapers as well as radio and TV masts.
Bridge towers or pylons, chimneys, transmission towers, and most large statues allow human access for maintenance, but not as part of their normal operation, and are therefore not considered to be towers.
The Tokyo Skytree, completed in February 2012, is 634 m (2,080 ft), making it the tallest tower, and second-tallest freestanding structure in the world.   
The following is a list of structures that have historically held the title as the tallest towers in the world.
|280 BC||1180 AD||Pharos Lighthouse||Alexandria, Egypt||122 m|
|1180||1240||Malmesbury Abbey Tower||Malmesbury, UK||131.3 m|
|1240||1311||Tower of Old St Paul's Cathedral||London, UK||150 m|
|1311||1549||Tower of Lincoln Cathedral||Lincoln, UK||159.7 m|
|1549||1647||Tower of St Mary's church||Stralsund, Germany||151 m|
|1647||1874||Tower of Strasbourg Cathedral||Strasbourg, France||142 m|
|1874||1876||Tower of St. Nikolai||Hamburg, Germany||147 m|
|1876||1880||Tower of Rouen Cathedral||Rouen, France||151 m|
|1880||1889||Tower of Cologne Cathedral||Cologne, Germany||157.38 m|
|1889||1958||Eiffel Tower||Paris, France||312.3 m|
|1958||1967||Tokyo Tower||Tokyo, Japan||332.6 m|
|1967||1975||Ostankino Tower||Moscow, Russia||540.1 m|
|1975||2010||CN Tower||Toronto, Ontario, Canada||553.33 m|
|2010||2011||Canton Tower||Guangzhou, China||600 m|
|2011||present||Tokyo Skytree||Tokyo, Japan||634 m|
The list categories are:
- The structures (supported) list uses pinnacle height and includes architectural structures of any type that might use some external support constructions like cables and are fully built in air. Only the three tallest are listed, as more than fifty US TV masts have stated heights of 600–610 metres (1,970–2,000 ft).
- The structures (media supported) list uses pinnacle height and includes architectural structures of any type that are not totally built in the air but are using support from other, denser media like salt water. All structures greater than 500 metres (1,640 ft) are listed.
- The freestanding structures list uses pinnacle height and includes structures over 500 metres (1,640 ft) that do not use guy-wires or other external supports. This means truly free standing on its own or, in similar sense, non-supported structures.
- The building list uses architectural height (excluding antennas) and includes only buildings, defined as consisting of habitable floors. Both of these follow CTBUH guidelines. All supertall buildings (450 m and higher) are listed.
- Eight buildings appear on the freestanding structures category list with heights different from another category. This is due to the different measurement specifications of those lists.
- Only current heights and, where reasonable, target heights are listed. Historical heights of structures that no longer exist, for example, for having collapsed, are excluded.
|Rank||Name and location||Year
|1||KVLY-TV mast, Blanchard, North Dakota, United States||1998||628.8||2,063||–|
|2||KRDK-TV mast, Galesburg, North Dakota United States||1986||627.8||2,060||–|
|3||KXTV/KOVR Tower, Walnut Grove, California, United States||1986||624.5||2,049||–|
|Structures (media supported)|
|1||Petronius Platform, Gulf of Mexico||2000||610||2,000||–|
|2||Baldpate Platform, Gulf of Mexico||1998||580||1,900||–|
|3||Bullwinkle Platform, Gulf of Mexico||1989||529||1,736||–|
|1||Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates||2009||829.8||2,722||163|
|2||Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo, Japan||2012||634||2,080||–|
|3||Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China||2015||632||2,073||128|
|4||Abraj Al Bait, Makkah, Saudi Arabia||2011||601||1,972||120|
|5||Canton Tower, Guangzhou, China||2010||600||1,969||–|
|6||Ping An Finance Centre, Shenzhen, China||2016||599||1,965||115|
|7||Goldin Finance 117, Tianjin, China||2020||596.6||1,957||128|
|8||Lotte World Tower, Seoul, South Korea||2016||555.7||1,823||123|
|9||CN Tower, Toronto, Ontario, Canada||1976||553||1,814||–|
|10||One World Trade Center, New York City, USA||2013||546.2||1,792||104|
|11||Ostankino Tower, Moscow, Russia||1967||540||1,770||–|
|12||Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, Guangzhou, China||2016||530||1,739||111|
|12||Tianjin CTF Finance Centre, Tianjin, China||2018||530||1,739||98|
|14||China Zun, Beijing, China||2018||528||1,732||108|
|15||Willis Tower, Chicago, United States||1974||527||1,729||108|
|1||Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates||2010||828||2,717||163|
|2||Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China||2015||632||2,073||128|
|3||Abraj Al Bait, Mecca, Saudi Arabia||2011||601||1,972||120|
|4||Ping An Finance Centre, Shenzhen, China||2016||599||1,965||115|
|5||Goldin Finance 117, Tianjin, China||2020||596.6||1,957||128|
|6||Lotte World Tower, Seoul, South Korea||2016||554.5||1,819||123|
|7||One World Trade Center, New York City, USA||2013||541.3||1,776||104|
|8||Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, Guangzhou, China||2016||530||1,739||111|
|9||Tianjin CTF Finance Centre, Tianjin, China||2018||530||1,739||98|
|10||China Zun, Beijing, China||2018||528||1,732||108|
|11||Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan||2004||509||1,670||101|
|12||Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, China||2008||492||1,614||101|
|13||International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong||2010||484||1,588||118|
|14||Lakhta Center, Saint Petersburg, Russia||2018||462||1,516||86|
|15||Landmark 81, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam||2018||461.2||1,513||81|
- List of tallest buildings
- List of tallest towers
- List of tallest structures
- List of tallest freestanding structures
- List of tallest freestanding steel structures
- List of tallest chimneys
- List of tallest bridges
- List of tallest dams
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- List of elevator test towers
- List of hyperboloid structures
- List of tallest cooling towers
- List of tallest oil platforms
- List of tallest statues
- List of tallest minarets
- List of tallest church buildings
- List of tallest wooden buildings
- List of tallest clock towers
- List of tallest residential buildings
- List of tallest industrial buildings
- List of tallest hotels
- List of tallest hospitals
- List of tallest educational buildings
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- "CTBUH Criteria for Defining and Measuring Tall Buildings". Retrieved May 5, 2015.
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The Cathedral Church of Lincoln: A History and Description of its Fabric and a List of the Bishops. London: George Bell & Sons. p.
The tall spire of timber, covered with lead, which originally crowned this tower reached an altitude, it is said, of 525 feet; but this is doubtful. This spire was blown down during a tempest in January 1547–8.
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- "Tokyo Skytree website" (in Japanese). Tobu Railway Co., Ltd. & Tobu Tower Skytree Co., Ltd. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
- height for inhabited buildings with floors; does not include TV towers and antennas