The Eiffel Tower is Paris’s most famous landmark and probably Europe’s best known landmark. You would not visit Paris, France without seeing or taking note of the Eiffel Tower. You will be able to see the top of the tower from nearly every part of Paris, even if you do not plan to visit this famous structure. Once the tallest tower of its kind built in the world, it raises a total of 984 feet high or 300 m. When it was completed at the end of the 19th century, it was as twice as high as the Washington monument, which was the tallest structure built at the time.
The World Exhibition 1889
The Eiffel Tower was the key feature built for the World Exhibition in 1889, which was held in celebration of the French Revolution in 1789.
The construction of the tower was only meant to last for the duration of the exhibition, yet it still stands today. Contemporary artists of the time feared that the structure would lead to more structures without “individuality,” while many other Parisians feared that the structure would not fit into the architecture of the city.
Nowadays, the citizens of Paris do not have such an aversion to the structure as it has become a prominent world symbol and the key symbol for the City of Light.
Gustave Eiffel – Gustave Eiffel was the man behind the building of the Eiffel Tower. Eiffel was well known for his building techniques, as he took part in the building of the great viaduct at Garabit in 1884. He was also well known for the construction of the iron framework of the Statue of Liberty.
The entire structure took more than 2 years to complete, with each one of the 12,000 iron pieces being designed separately to give them the exact shape they needed. Using nearly 7 million nails, all the pieces were prefabricated to fit together.
The tower is roughly the size of an 81-storey building, which made it the largest man-made structure in the world for some 41 years until it was bested in 1930 by the New York City Chrysler Building.
The tower features 3 levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second level. The upper level is an observatory located some 900 feet or 276 m off the ground. Tickets can be purchased to ride the lift up the tower; however, patrons can ascend the tower by way of steps up to the second level. Typically, the third level is inaccessible by stairs and can be reached by an elevator.