Landmarks Paris - Eiffel Tower Paris France

Lets face it, a visit to Paris can not be completed without a visit to the most famous of steel erections in all of France let alone just romantic Paris.

Standing in the 7th Arrondissement, one can visit the most famous landmark in Paris, the Eiffel Tower. It is impossible to avoid it. You can see it from any point in Paris as it dominates the skyline.

Erected as the symbol of a world's fair called the Universal Exposition of 1889, it would hold the record as the world's tallest structure, rising 984 feet (300 meters) above the fairgrounds, until 1930.

Hotels Near the Eiffel Tower


Eiffel Tower

At the inception of its idea, artists who decried a loss of individuality and a visually scarred skyline raised huge protests. Clearly, such protests have been proven to be hollow.

Picture of the tower from belowThe creator of New York's Statue of Liberty and many bridges in France, Gustave Eiffel, a structural engineer, built the Eiffel Tower to show how steel and iron could be used to erect tall structures. Eiffel was responsible for financing the construction of the tower, which cost more than 1 million dollars. It was supposed to last only until the end of the Universal Exposition but its massive success, since about 2 million people visited the tower in the first year paying the building costs, convinced the government to keep it, thank goodness!

It was completed on March 21st, 1889 having taken just over 2 years to build. Some interesting trivia are that it has 1665 steps, weighs 7300 tons, and has over 18000 pieces and at least 2.5 million rivets. Over 200 million people have visited it since it's opening.

The building was extremely intricate but at the same time theoretically simple as the tower was treated as a giant puzzle to be put together piece by piece. Each steel piece was accurately laid within a millimetre. The concrete foundations are only a few metres deep and the weight of each corner and pillar is spread in such a way that only a minimum of pressure is applied per square centimetre, therefore allowing for movement of the tower itself. Cranes were built and used to pull up the pieces and they themselves were then moved up as the building progressed.

A viewing deck was built so that people could gaze on the City of Light, but the problem of getting up there was then posed. Of course, walking up over 1600 steps was close to folly not to say possibly fatally exhausting, so elevators were built, but as no one had built them to go up such heights, new techniques based on hydraulics and looped chains were developed. They have been replaced and renovated over the years. The renovations of the 1980s updated the safety standards, modified the spiral staircase to a rectilinear one and added a third elevator between the 2nd and 3rd levels.

Such a height demands to be illuminated at night. Over the years, gas, electricity, incandescent to neon lamps have lit up the tower and thus the Parisian sky. Andre Citroen was one of the first to use its lighting for an ad campaign in 1925. The present scheme is based on over 350 sodium lights placed on the inside of the structure. Such a vision was most effectively used during the 2nd Millennium celebrations. There are also 2 light beams that are seen up to 80km away and synchronised such that they form a 360-degree pivoting cross.
Picture of the Eiffel Tower Paris France

The Eiffel Tower stands in a park called the Champ de Mars, near the Seine River. The building includes observation decks and restaurants. The tower has been the set of many a film, including Superman II and A View to a Kill.

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