London unveils Europe's tallest building, for now
A view of the iconic Tower Bridge, right, over the river Thames, and The Shard, left, a newly-constructed high-rise building that is western Europe’s tallest in London on Wednesday, July 4, 2012. (AP / Lefteris Pitarakis)
Published Thursday, July 5, 2012 3:27PM EDT
LONDON -- Europe's tallest building has been officially unveiled in London, but its tenure as the continent's highest skyscraper will be brief.
The Shard, a 95-story tower which stands at 310 meter (1,016 feet), dwarfs almost everything around it, including nearby Tower Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral.
It was officially named Thursday as the highest tower in Europe, in a ceremony carried out by Britain's Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.
However, it is expected to be surpassed before the end of the year by Russia's planned 332 meter (1,089 feet) Mercury City Tower.
Named for its resemblance to a sliver of glass, The Shard is to include apartments, offices, restaurants and a five-star hotel.
Developer Irvine Sellar says the giant building will prove to be a success, despite Britain's sluggish economy.