Eiffel Tower 1945

Eiffel Tower 1945

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Eiffel Tower 1945

Picture from the collection of Dennis Burt

Original Caption: 1945 Paris 'does this look familiar'

Copyright Gary Burt 2013

Many thanks to Gary for providing us with these photos from his father's collection.

Eiffel Tower (1887-89) Paris

Architectural Terminology
For a guide to terms used,
see: Architecture Glossary.

Evolution of Art
For a chronological guide to arts, crafts and
architecture throughout the ages, please see:
History of Art Timeline (2,500,000 BCE - Present)

The Eiffel Tower (La tour Eiffel) - Paris's most iconic landmark and the most recognizable masterpiece of nineteenth century architecture - is a 324 metre-high iron lattice tower located near the Seine, on the Champ de Mars to the west of the city. It was erected in 1887-89 as part of Exposition Universelle (World Fair) of 1889, held in Paris to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution, and named after Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923) whose company built it. It was co-designed by Maurice Koechlin (1856-1946), Emile Nouguier (1840-98), with the assistance of Stephen Sauvestre (1847-1919), all of whom worked for Eiffel. Although at the time the tower's aesthetics attracted a storm of controversy, today it is acknowledged to be a unique work of modern art as well as an outstanding technical achievement, and fully justifies Eiffel's claim to be one of the greatest architects of the modern era, in France. The tower remains the tallest building in Paris and receives nearly 7 million visitors per year, making it one of the most-visited monuments in the world. See also Victorian architecture (1840-1900).

For another important architectural and cultural landmark in Paris, see Notre Dame Cathedral (1163-1345).

Facts About the Eiffel Tower

Conceived in 1884, construction of the tower began in 1887 and involved some 50 engineers, 100 iron workers, and 121 construction workers. It was completed on March 31, 1889, at a cost of 7,800,000 French gold francs. The main structure of the tower is composed of wrought-iron, coated (at present) with bronze paint. It is 324 metres (1,063 ft) in height, weighs a total of 10,000 tonnes (73 percent wrought-iron), and for 41 years it remained the tallest man-made structure in the world, until superceded by New York's Chrysler Building, designed by William van Alen (1883-1954), in 1930. Ironically, the height of the tower was raised in 1957 when an aerial was added to the top of the structure, making it 5.2 metres (17 feet) taller than Chrysler. The height of the building varies by 15 centimetres (5.9 inches) due to temperature, and the structure sways a mere 7 centimetres (2ן inches) in the wind. The tower has three levels, with restaurants on the first and second. The third level observatory is 276 metres (906 feet) above ground level. Of the 40 or so replicas of the Eiffel Tower, only two are full size: the Tokyo Tower in Japan and the Long Ta communications tower in China.

In May 1884 the Swiss structural engineer Maurice Koechlin, together with the French civil engineer and architect Emile Nouguier - both taken on by Gustave Eiffel's company to help with the tower's architecture - made the first outline drawing of the structure, which they described as a huge pylon, made up of four lattice girders set apart at the base and coming together at the top, connected by metal trusses at regular intervals. Allowed to pursue the project further by Eiffel, they consulted Stephen Sauvestre - head of company's architectural department - who suggested adding decorative arches to the base, as well as other minor embellishments. Eiffel approved and purchased the rights to the design, which he exhibited at the Exhibition of Decorative Arts in the autumn of 1884.

In May 1886, following the re-election of Jules Grevy (1807-91) as President of France and Edouard Lockroy (1838-1913) as Minister of Commerce and Industry, a commission was set up to judge entries for the Exposition Universelle, which (for whatever reason) determined to choose Eiffel's architectural scheme with little or no consideration of the 100 or so alternatives. A contract was therefore signed in January 1887, which caused amazement as well as a wave of criticism, on both technical and aesthetic grounds. A committee was formed to fight the proposal, under the leadership of the renowned architect Charles Garnier (1825-98), which included a number of important figures in French arts, such as the academic painter Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905) and the writer Guy de Maupassant (1850-93). Later of course opinions changed, and in 1964 the Tower was officially designated a historical monument by Minister of Cultural Affairs Andre Malraux (1901-76). In August 1944, as Allied forces were about to enter Paris, Hitler ordered the city's military governor to blow-up the tower along with several other important cultural sites. Luckily the governor disobeyed the order.

Construction and Architecture

After winning the contract to build the tower, Gustave Eiffel discovered that the Exposition Committee would only contribute about 25 percent of the finance needed to build it. They wanted Eiffel himself to pay the balance, which he agreed to do provided he was allowed complete control over the tower and its profits for twenty years. The committee agreed, the tower paid for itself in the first year, and Gustave Eiffel made a fortune.

Work on the foundations began on 28 January 1887. The open-lattice iron structure consisted of four massive arched legs, set on masonry piers, that curve inward until they meet in a single, tapered tower. Each leg rests on four concrete slabs (each 6 m thick), which required foundations of up to 22 m (72 feet) in depth. The iron base of the tower was connected to the stonework by bolts which were 10 centimetres (4 inches) in diameter and 7.5 metres (25 ft) in length. In total 18,000 pieces were used to build the tower, joined by two and a half million thermally assembled rivets. Every piece was tooled specifically for the project and manufactured in Eiffel's factory in Paris.

Amazingly the entire building project was completed in less than 2 years and 7 weeks, and despite the fact that 300 workers were employed on-site, there was only one health and safety death - thanks largely to Eiffel's strict safety precautions.

One of the key features of the Eiffel Tower was its system of elevators. The glass-cage machines selected by Eiffel were made by Otis Elevator Company in the United States - as no French company was able to meet the technical specifications laid down - who helped to establish the tower as one of Europe's major tourist attractions.

It opened to the public on May 15, 1889 and by the close of the Exposition on October 31st had received 1,896,987 visitors, including the British Prince of Wales, the inventor Thomas Edison, the actress Sarah Bernhardt, and the cowboy Buffalo Bill Cody. Since then, more than 250 million tourists have visited the tower.

Other Similar Structures

Although it was the world's tallest man-made structure when first built, the Eiffel Tower has since fallen in the rankings as the tallest lattice tower and as the tallest structure in France. Taller lattice towers include:

• Tokyo Skytree (2011) 634 metres (2,080 ft) Tokyo, Japan.
• Kiev TV Tower (1973) 385 metres (1,263 ft) Kiev, Ukraine.
• Tashkent Tower (1985) 375 metres (1,230 ft) Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
• Pylons of Zhoushan Island (2009) 370 metres (1,214 ft) China.
• Pylons of Yangtze River Crossing (2003) 347 metres (1,137 ft) China.
• Dragon Tower (2000) 336 metres (1,102 ft) Harbin, China.
• Tokyo Tower (1958) 333 metres (1,091 ft) Tokyo, Japan.
• WITI TV Tower(1962) 329 metres (1,078 ft) Wisconsin, USA.
• WSB TV Tower (1957) 328 metres (1,075 ft) Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Who Was Gustave Eiffel?

Born in Dijon, Gustave Eiffel was a French civil engineer and architect. After graduating in 1855 from the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, he specialized in metal construction, notably bridges, such as the Garabit viaduct (1884). Although best known for the Eiffel Tower, he also designed a number of other major structures including: the Budapest Nyugati Palyaudvar (Western railway station), Hungary (1877) the Ponte Dona Maria railway bridge (Douro Viaduct) (1877) Porto, Portugal. In 1881 he was contacted by Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904) who needed an engineer to help him complete the Statue of Liberty, following the death of architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc (1814-79). Eiffel was selected because of his expertise with iron and wind stresses. Eiffel, helped by Maurice Koechlin, a young graduate of the Zurich Polytechnikum, designed a structure made up of a four legged pylon to support the body of the statue. (The statue's pedestal was designed separately by Richard Morris Hunt: 1827-95.) The complete statue was first erected at Eiffel's works in Paris before being dismantled and shipped to America. Later in life he focused on meteorology and aerodynamics. While fortunate to be working at a time of rapid industrial growth in France, Eiffel was also highly attuned to the merits of wrought-iron in architectural design, and willing to explore new techniques of prefabrication. He also adapted new techniques invented by others, such as compressed-air caissons and hollow cast-iron piers, while all the while paying close attention to accuracy in architectural drawing and site safety.

As it was, Eiffel's preference for metal frames was widely confirmed when iron and steel rapidly replaced stone in the design and construction of tall buildings around the world. For details of this form of Skyscraper Architecture, see William Le Baron Jenney (1832-1907) - leader of the Chicago School of Architecture - whose Home Insurance Building - most of which was composed of cast and wrought iron - was built in Chicago four years prior to Eiffel's tower.

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In 1889, Paris hosted an Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) to mark the 100-year anniversary of the French Revolution. More than 100 artists submitted competing plans for a monument to be built on the Champ-de-Mars, located in central Paris, and serve as the exposition’s entrance. The commission was granted to Eiffel et Compagnie, a consulting and construction firm owned by the acclaimed bridge builder, architect and metals expert Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. While Eiffel himself often receives full credit for the monument that bears his name, it was one of his employees𠅊 structural engineer named Maurice Koechlin—who came up with and fine-tuned the concept. Several years earlier, the pair had collaborated on the Statue of Liberty’s metal armature.

Did you know? The base pillars of the Eiffel Tower are oriented with the four points of the compass.

Eiffel reportedly rejected Koechlin’s original plan for the tower, instructing him to add more ornate flourishes. The final design called for more than 18,000 pieces of puddle iron, a type of wrought iron used in construction, and 2.5 million rivets. Several hundred workers spent two years assembling the framework of the iconic lattice tower, which at its inauguration in March 1889 stood nearly 1,000 feet high and was the tallest structure in the world𠅊 distinction it held until the completion of New York City’s Chrysler Building in 1930. (In 1957, an antenna was added that increased the structure’s height by 65 feet, making it taller than the Chrysler Building but not the Empire State Building, which had surpassed its neighbor in 1931.) Initially, only the Eiffel Tower’s second-floor platform was open to the public later, all three levels, two of which now feature restaurants, would be reachable by stairway or one of eight elevators.

Gourmet cuisine 125 metres above the capital

By 1983, the construction of the Jules Verne restaurant on the second floor was finished, an homage to the famous novelist and spokesperson for literary, scientific, and industrial progress. Customers enjoy privileged access via the South pillar elevator, reserved exclusively for use by the restaurant.

The restaurant earned Michelin-Stars with its successive Chefs, Alain Reix, and Alain Ducasse. Since October 1st, 2018, Triple Michelin-starred chef Frédéric Anton has taken the helm of this legendary restaurant where the view is always unique, both day and night. After some significant renovation et refurbishment works, the mythical spot reopened to the public in summer 2019. It has already become, since then, a "must see and taste" spot in the gastronomic Paris.

Its construction in 2 years, 2 months and 5 days was a veritable technical and architectural achievement. "Utopia achieved", a symbol of technological prowess, at the end of the 19th Century it was a demonstration of French engineering personified by Gustave Eiffel, and a defining moment of the industrial era. It was met immediately with tremendous success.

Only intended to last 20 years, it was saved by the scientific experiments that Eiffel encouraged, and in particular by the first radio transmissions, followed by telecommunications. For example, the radio signals from the Pantheon Tower in 1898 it served as a military radio post in 1903 it transmitted the first public radio programme in 1925, and then broadcast television up to TNT more recently.

Since the 1980s, the monument has regularly been renovated, restored and adapted for an ever-growing public.

Over the decades, the Eiffel Tower has seen remarkable achievements, extraordinary light shows, and prestigious visitors. A mythical and audacious site, it has always inspired artists and challenges.

It is the stage for numerous events of international significance (light shows, the Tower’s centenary, the Year 2000 pyrotechnic show, repainting campaigns, sparkling lights, the blue Tower to mark France’s Presidency of the European Union or the multicoloured Tower for its 120th birthday, unusual fixtures, such as an ice rink, a garden etc.).

Like all towers, it allows us to see and to be seen, with a spectacular ascent, a unique panoramic view of Paris, and a glittering beacon in the skies of the Capital.

The Tower also represents the magic of light. Its lighting, its sparkling lights, and its beacon shine and inspire dreams every evening.

As France’s symbol in the world, and the showcase of Paris, today it welcomes almost 7 million visitors a year (around 75% of whom are foreigners), making it the most visited monument that you have to pay for in the world.

A universal Tower of Babel, almost 300 million visitors regardless of age or origin have come from all over the planet to see it since its opening in 1889.

From ‘eyesore’ to icon: a brief history of the Eiffel Tower

The wrought-iron lattice Eiffel Tower is now an iconic part of the Paris skyline – but when it was first built in the late 19th century, it faced opposition, with some branding the design an 'eyesore'. Find out more about its construction here, with this guide from BBC History Revealed

This competition is now closed

Published: March 31, 2020 at 11:39 am

On 31 March 1889, after two years, two months and five days of construction the world welcomed the newest addition to the Paris skyline: the Eiffel Tower. Its creator, Gustave Eiffel, unfurled the Tricolore on the third level, signalling that the wrought-iron edifice was now open. Lit by 10,000 gas lamps, it was a spectacle unlike anything the world had seen before today it is one of the most visited monuments in the world, welcoming almost seven million people every year.

Out of 107 proposed designs, Eiffel’s tower was chosen to represent the 1889 World’s Fair (the Exposition Universelle), and commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution. The fair was to be a showcase of technology and innovation, and it was suggested that a suitably awe-inducing structure be built to demonstrate French technological prowess – and, by virtue of its position on Champ de Mars, serve as a gateway to the exhibition.

DID YOU KNOW? During the Nazi occupation of France, Adolf Hitler called for the Eiffel Tower’s demolition. Thankfully for its fans, the order was not carried out.

Who designed the Eiffel Tower?

The tower was the brainchild of entrepreneur Gustave Eiffel, architect Stephen Sauvestre, and engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier. Eiffel’s reputation preceded him – he owned a metal works business and was the genius behind the steelwork frame of New York’s Statue of Liberty, built three years earlier.

Construction of the Eiffel Tower required 7,300 tonnes of iron, the sweat of more than 300 labourers, and a fleet of steam-powered cranes and hydraulic jacks to manoeuvre the giant girders. Work began in January 1887, and was completed relatively quickly, in just 796 days, a feat that trumpeted French industrial accomplishment as much as the completed tower itself. At 300m high, it immediately entered the records books as the tallest structure in the world, a position it held until the unveiling of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930.

At the base of the Eiffel Tower were four wooden pavilions, which housed restaurants to serve visitors to the exposition, each of which could seat 500 people. They are likely to have been very busy indeed, as the Tower received 1,953,122 visitors during the almost six months of that year’s World’s Fair.

What were the first reactions to the Eiffel Tower?

Not everyone was so welcoming of the new structure – many Parisians thought the Tower was an eyesore that clashed with the older, grander architecture of the French capital. Novelist Guy de Maupassant would often eat in one of the restaurants at the base of the Eiffel Tower, as it was the only place he could do so without having to look at it. Along with other Parisian artists and authors, de Maupassant wrote a letter to the city’s government protesting against the construction. Some were also concerned for the safety of those who had to climb to its upper reaches.

But the Tower became much more than a tourist attraction, doubling as a testing ground for serious scientific experiments that proved its wider worth. Gustave Eiffel installed a laboratory within the structure and invited scientists to use it: a version of Foucault’s pendulum was installed to demonstrate the Earth’s rotation, and a wind tunnel was also built beside it. The structure became an astronomical observation point, as well as a beacon and communications post. To symbolically ensure the Tower’s place in science history, Eiffel had the names of 72 scientists, mathematicians and engineers engraved into the Tower’s arches during construction.

Initial plans for the Eiffel Tower stated that it was only intended to stand for 20 years but, in 1909, it was given the green light to remain. In the intervening two decades it had proven vital in sending wireless telegraph messages around the world. During World War I, the Tower’s radiotelegraphic transmitter was used to intercept enemy communications and even helped uncover the double agent Mata Hari.

Such longevity comes at a price, however. The Eiffel Tower (and the 2.5 million rivets holding it together) have to be repainted every seven years – by hand – and though the 10,000 gas lamps are long gone, 20,000 golden bulbs now illuminate it.

The building of the Eiffel Tower is explored in an episode of Witness History on the BBC World Service.



The design of the Eiffel Tower is attributed to Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, two senior engineers working for the Compagnie des Établissements Eiffel. It was envisioned after discussion about a suitable centrepiece for the proposed 1889 Exposition Universelle, a world's fair to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. Eiffel openly acknowledged that inspiration for a tower came from the Latting Observatory built in New York City in 1853. [4] In May 1884, working at home, Koechlin made a sketch of their idea, described by him as "a great pylon, consisting of four lattice girders standing apart at the base and coming together at the top, joined together by metal trusses at regular intervals". [5] Eiffel initially showed little enthusiasm, but he did approve further study, and the two engineers then asked Stephen Sauvestre, the head of company's architectural department, to contribute to the design. Sauvestre added decorative arches to the base of the tower, a glass pavilion to the first level, and other embellishments.

The new version gained Eiffel's support: he bought the rights to the patent on the design which Koechlin, Nougier, and Sauvestre had taken out, and the design was exhibited at the Exhibition of Decorative Arts in the autumn of 1884 under the company name. On 30 March 1885, Eiffel presented his plans to the Société des Ingénieurs Civils after discussing the technical problems and emphasising the practical uses of the tower, he finished his talk by saying the tower would symbolise:

[n]ot only the art of the modern engineer, but also the century of Industry and Science in which we are living, and for which the way was prepared by the great scientific movement of the eighteenth century and by the Revolution of 1789, to which this monument will be built as an expression of France's gratitude. [6]

Little progress was made until 1886, when Jules Grévy was re-elected as president of France and Édouard Lockroy was appointed as minister for trade. A budget for the exposition was passed and, on 1 May, Lockroy announced an alteration to the terms of the open competition being held for a centrepiece to the exposition, which effectively made the selection of Eiffel's design a foregone conclusion, as entries had to include a study for a 300 m (980 ft) four-sided metal tower on the Champ de Mars. [6] (A 300-metre tower was then considered a herculean engineering effort). On 12 May, a commission was set up to examine Eiffel's scheme and its rivals, which, a month later, decided that all the proposals except Eiffel's were either impractical or lacking in details.

After some debate about the exact location of the tower, a contract was signed on 8 January 1887. This was signed by Eiffel acting in his own capacity rather than as the representative of his company, and granted him 1.5 million francs toward the construction costs: less than a quarter of the estimated 6.5 million francs. Eiffel was to receive all income from the commercial exploitation of the tower during the exhibition and for the next 20 years. He later established a separate company to manage the tower, putting up half the necessary capital himself. [7]

Artists' protest

The proposed tower had been a subject of controversy, drawing criticism from those who did not believe it was feasible and those who objected on artistic grounds. Prior to the Eiffel Tower's construction, no structure had ever been constructed to a height of 300 m or even 200 m for the matter, [8] and many people believed it was impossible. These objections were an expression of a long-standing debate in France about the relationship between architecture and engineering. It came to a head as work began at the Champ de Mars: a "Committee of Three Hundred" (one member for each metre of the tower's height) was formed, led by the prominent architect Charles Garnier and including some of the most important figures of the arts, such as William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Gounod and Jules Massenet. A petition called "Artists against the Eiffel Tower" was sent to the Minister of Works and Commissioner for the Exposition, Adolphe Alphand, and it was published by Le Temps on 14 February 1887:

We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects and passionate devotees of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris, protest with all our strength, with all our indignation in the name of slighted French taste, against the erection … of this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower … To bring our arguments home, imagine for a moment a giddy, ridiculous tower dominating Paris like a gigantic black smokestack, crushing under its barbaric bulk Notre Dame, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Louvre, the Dome of les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, all of our humiliated monuments will disappear in this ghastly dream. And for twenty years … we shall see stretching like a blot of ink the hateful shadow of the hateful column of bolted sheet metal. [9]

Gustave Eiffel responded to these criticisms by comparing his tower to the Egyptian pyramids: "My tower will be the tallest edifice ever erected by man. Will it not also be grandiose in its way? And why would something admirable in Egypt become hideous and ridiculous in Paris?" [10] These criticisms were also dealt with by Édouard Lockroy in a letter of support written to Alphand, sardonically saying, [11] "Judging by the stately swell of the rhythms, the beauty of the metaphors, the elegance of its delicate and precise style, one can tell this protest is the result of collaboration of the most famous writers and poets of our time", and he explained that the protest was irrelevant since the project had been decided upon months before, and construction on the tower was already under way.

Indeed, Garnier was a member of the Tower Commission that had examined the various proposals, and had raised no objection. Eiffel was similarly unworried, pointing out to a journalist that it was premature to judge the effect of the tower solely on the basis of the drawings, that the Champ de Mars was distant enough from the monuments mentioned in the protest for there to be little risk of the tower overwhelming them, and putting the aesthetic argument for the tower: "Do not the laws of natural forces always conform to the secret laws of harmony?" [12]

Some of the protesters changed their minds when the tower was built others remained unconvinced. [13] Guy de Maupassant supposedly ate lunch in the tower's restaurant every day because it was the one place in Paris where the tower was not visible. [14]

By 1918, it had become a symbol of Paris and of France after Guillaume Apollinaire wrote a nationalist poem in the shape of the tower (a calligram) to express his feelings about the war against Germany. [15] Today, it is widely considered to be a remarkable piece of structural art, and is often featured in films and literature.


Work on the foundations started on 28 January 1887. [16] Those for the east and south legs were straightforward, with each leg resting on four 2 m (6.6 ft) concrete slabs, one for each of the principal girders of each leg. The west and north legs, being closer to the river Seine, were more complicated: each slab needed two piles installed by using compressed-air caissons 15 m (49 ft) long and 6 m (20 ft) in diameter driven to a depth of 22 m (72 ft) [17] to support the concrete slabs, which were 6 m (20 ft) thick. Each of these slabs supported a block of limestone with an inclined top to bear a supporting shoe for the ironwork.

Each shoe was anchored to the stonework by a pair of bolts 10 cm (4 in) in diameter and 7.5 m (25 ft) long. The foundations were completed on 30 June, and the erection of the ironwork began. The visible work on-site was complemented by the enormous amount of exacting preparatory work that took place behind the scenes: the drawing office produced 1,700 general drawings and 3,629 detailed drawings of the 18,038 different parts needed. [18] The task of drawing the components was complicated by the complex angles involved in the design and the degree of precision required: the position of rivet holes was specified to within 1 mm (0.04 in) and angles worked out to one second of arc. [19] The finished components, some already riveted together into sub-assemblies, arrived on horse-drawn carts from a factory in the nearby Parisian suburb of Levallois-Perret and were first bolted together, with the bolts being replaced with rivets as construction progressed. No drilling or shaping was done on site: if any part did not fit, it was sent back to the factory for alteration. In all, 18,038 pieces were joined together using 2.5 million rivets. [16]

At first, the legs were constructed as cantilevers, but about halfway to the first level construction was paused to create a substantial timber scaffold. This renewed concerns about the structural integrity of the tower, and sensational headlines such as "Eiffel Suicide!" and "Gustave Eiffel Has Gone Mad: He Has Been Confined in an Asylum" appeared in the tabloid press. [20] At this stage, a small "creeper" crane designed to move up the tower was installed in each leg. They made use of the guides for the lifts which were to be fitted in the four legs. The critical stage of joining the legs at the first level was completed by the end of March 1888. [16] Although the metalwork had been prepared with the utmost attention to detail, provision had been made to carry out small adjustments to precisely align the legs hydraulic jacks were fitted to the shoes at the base of each leg, capable of exerting a force of 800 tonnes, and the legs were intentionally constructed at a slightly steeper angle than necessary, being supported by sandboxes on the scaffold. Although construction involved 300 on-site employees, [16] due to Eiffel's safety precautions and the use of movable gangways, guardrails and screens, only one person died. [21]

50 Fun Facts About Eiffel Tower and History

Eiffel tower has a history that makes it become part of French national heritage. This tower was built by Gustave Eiffel in 1889 and decades later it has become the symbol of Paris and France especially. When the store was built it was done and meant to be temporal in the Parisian landscape and today it is one of the most favorite landmarks in Paris.

You’ll get to know everything about the history of Eiffel tower Paris on this page.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris has been known to be the core tourism attraction and the most popular tourist place to visit in France for the past 127 years thereby generating huge revenue for the French government.
the Eiffel tower has been known to be the symbol of France after it was built to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the French revolution.

It would interest you to know that this power structure came out of a competition that was organized in order to celebrate this great event. The aim of this structure is to build a tower on the champ de Mars with a square base 30 m high and 125 m wide. Over 107 proposals were submitted officially but Gustave Eiffel’s proposal was chosen. This great feat was not achieved by himself alone but he had the help of professional engineers like Emile Nouguier, Maurice Koechlin, and architect Stephen Sauvestre.

Achieving the incredible structure of the Eiffel tower was not an easy feat because at a particular time there was an uprising against the construction of the structure due to several concerns. at a point in time, there was a letter that was titled “artists against Mr Eiffel’s tower” in the letter they stated that the tower would be a big threat against the beautiful nature of Paris. According to them erecting an iron tower is unacceptable and in contrast to the beauty of the city some even called it “The skeleton of Beffroi”. This means that the gigantic appearance of the structure might disfigure the city.

Eiffel tower construction History

Despite all the uproar that came up in concern of the structure the building still came up and this is the breakup of the construction:

The construction of the Eiffel tower lasted for two years, 2 months, and 5 days (1887-1889).

  • June 1884: this is the beginning of the project and the first drawings was done.
  • January 28th, 1887: The work kicks off
  • April 1st, 1888: The completion of the first stage
  • August 14th, 1888: the completion of the second stage
  • March 31st, 1889: the completion of the third and final stage and that is also the entirety of the project.
  • March 31st, 1889: the inauguration of the eiffel tower. During the inauguration of the tower, Gustave Eiffel climbed 1710 steps to the top of the tower where he placed the tri-colored French flag at its summit. The tower was 313 meters high.

After the establishment of the structure, it was revealed that the licensing rights for the construction of the tower would only last for 20 years which would be followed by imminent destruction however this building had made a huge impact on the French society because over two million people had visited the tour during the universal exposition. it is safe to say that currently the structure is now the symbol of the French industrial power and it is just as successful as the 1900 universal exposition. You know whether to avoid the destruction of the tower after the expiration of the licensing Gustave Eiffel put in great efforts in order to prove the scientific utility of the structure.
the structure underwent scientific experiments which we have conducted using physiology and astronomy but what made the structure very useful was it used as a radio antenna tower and this was being used for military communications then permanently used for communications in radiotelegraphy. this tour was greatly utilised during the First World war and it could be said to be a very crucial part of the French history.

Design 18,038 metallic parts
5,300 workshop designs
50 engineers and designers
Construction 150 workers in the Levallois-Perret factory
Between 150 and 300 workers on the construction site
2,500,000 rivets
7,300 tonnes of iron
60 tonnes of paint
5 lifts
Duration 2 years, 2 months and 5 days of construction

On a yearly basis, over 7 million visitors climb the Eiffel tower. It is now really difficult to imagine Paris without the Eiffel tower.

The Eiffel tower is currently known to be the most visited attraction in Paris and even the rest of the world.

Eiffel Tower Fun Facts

Here are amazing facts about the Eiffel tower:

1. From March 31, 1889, until the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930, the tower was the world’s tallest man-made structure for 41 years.

2. It stands 324 meters tall and weighs 10,100 tons (including antennas).

3. Before the building of a military transmitter in the town of Saissac in 1973, it was France’s tallest tower. The Millau Viaduct, which opened in 2004, is 343 meters long.

4. Climbing to the top is possible, but there are 1,665 steps. The majority of people use the elevator.

5. The lifts cover a total distance of 103,000 kilometers per year, which is almost twice the diameter of the Earth.

6. On two occasions, con artist Victor Lustig “sold” the tower for scrap metal.

7. The tower shrinks by about six inches in the winter.

8. Gustave Eiffel, the tower’s engineer and architect, was also involved in a failed French effort to construct a canal in Panama, and his reputation suffered as a result of the fiasco.

9. The interior of the Statue of Liberty was designed by Eiffel.

10. Beethoven’s 5th symphony was playing when he died.

More than 250 million people have visited the tower since it first opened.

12. Today, the tower attracts almost 7 million visitors a year, making it the world’s most visited paid-for landmark.

13. It took two years, two months, and five days to construct, which is 180 years less than Notre Dame, Paris’s other main attraction.

14. The tower’s lift cables were cut during the German occupation, and the tower was closed to the public. After that, Nazi soldiers tried to affix a swastika to the top, but it blew away and had to be replaced with a smaller one.
15. When the Allies invaded Paris in 1944, Hitler directed Dietrich von Choltitz, the city’s military governor, to demolish the tower and other parts of the city. The general turned down the offer.

16. It takes 60 tonnes of paint to repaint the tower every seven years, which happens every seven years.

17. The tower was the centerpiece of the Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) in 1889, which commemorated the French Revolution’s centennial.

18. Sir John Bickerstaffe, Mayor of Blackpool, was one of the attendees at the 1889 World’s Fair. He was so taken with the new attraction that he had a version constructed on the English seafront.

19. A View to a Kill, a Bond film from 1985, features the tower. There’s a fight in the stairwell and a scene in the Jules Verne restaurant.

20. In the Beatles song I Am the Walrus, Semolina Pilchard scales the Eiffel Tower.

21. There are many other replicas around the world, including one in Las Vegas and another in Shenzhen, China’s Window of the World theme park.

22. In 1914, the tower was instrumental in the Allied victory at the First Battle of the Marne. One of its transmitters disrupted German radio communications, preventing them from moving forward.

23. It was supposed to be demolished after 20 years, but its use as a wireless telegraph transmitter (in cases like the one above) meant it was allowed to remain.

24. Between 1925 and 1934, French car maker Citroen used the tower as a giant billboard, with the company logo emblazoned on the tower using a quarter of a million light bulbs, and the Guinness Book of Records declared it the world’s largest advertising.

25. In 2008, an object fetishist married the Eiffel Tower, renaming herself Erika La Tour Eiffel in honor of her “partner.”

26. The tower is made up of 18,000 metal pieces connected by 2.5 million rivets.

27. The British Virgin Islands issued a special tower-shaped $10 coin to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower’s completion.

28. A number of pilots have flown an aircraft under the tower’s arches. After a failed attempt in 1926, Leon Collet was killed.

29. In the storm, the tower sways between six to seven centimetres (2-3 inches).

30. Gustave Eiffel kept a tiny third-floor apartment for entertaining guests. It is now open to the general public.

31. Margaret Thatcher’s nickname for the Eiffel Tower is La Dame de Fer (“The Iron Lady”).

32. In 1960, Charles de Gaulle suggested deconstructing the tower and transporting it to Montreal for Expo 67. The proposal was turned down.

33. The names of 72 architects, scientists, and mathematicians who contributed to the tower’s construction are etched on its side.

34. In the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, an airstrike destroys the tower.

35. The Eiffel Tower has 20,000 lightbulbs that make it sparkle every night.

36. Have you ever desired to build your own Eiffel Tower? There is a LEGO set for that – 10181. (it contains 3,428 bricks).

37. The cost of taking the lift to the roof is €19.

38. The majority of tourists (10.4 percent) are French, followed by Italy and Spain (8.1 percent each), the United States (7.9%), the United Kingdom (7.4%), Germany (5.8%), and Brazil (5.8%). (5.5 percent ).

39. A local newspaper organized a stair climbing competition at the tower in 1905. A M.Forestier was the winner, reaching the second stage in three minutes and 12 seconds.

40. In 1923, Pierre Labric cycled down the tower’s stairwell. While he won a bet, he was arrested by local cops.

41. If there was any justice in naming it, it would have been named the Koechlin-Nouguier Tower, after the two engineers who came up with the concept in the first place. Of course, it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as “Eiffel Tower”!

42. The building of the tower took 2 years, 2 months, and 5 days.

43. The Eiffel Tower is approximately 10,000,000 kilograms (22 million pounds) in weight.

44. The Eiffel Tower was almost twice as tall as the building it replaced for the title of world’s tallest when it was completed. The Washington Monument stands at 172 meters and the Eiffel Tower stands at 300 meters.
However, the Eiffel Tower was only the world’s tallest structure for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building surpassed it in 1930.

45. The Eiffel Tower is now 324 meters tall, equal to an 81-story building, due to the addition of radio towers on top.

46. The Eiffel Tower is painted with 50,000 kilograms (110 tons) of paint.

47. The tower is painted in three different shades of color to give it the proper perspective from the ground — so that it “looks” the same from the top as it does from the bottom.

48. The Eiffel Tower is repainted every few years. It has been repainted 18 times as of 2020, one every six to seven years.

49. The golden-brown hue of the Iron Lady hasn’t always been the case. She was painted yellow for the 1900 Universal Exposition.

50. During the building of the tower, 2,500,000 rivets were used.

51. The highest level, Level Three, has over 1,700 levels. (Fortunately, you can no longer walk up them, but you can walk to the second floor, which is just 700 steps!)

52. The first stage is 57 meters high, the second is 115 meters, and the third is 274 meters. (190, 380, and 900 feet, respectively.)

Eiffel Tower: The Iron Woman

The Eiffel Tower, located in the center of the French capital, Paris, is considered a symbol of the industrial revolution in France, and the French call it La Dame de Fer, meaning the Iron Woman.

The reason for its creation:

In a competition to design a memorial to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution in 1884, the idea of ​​the tower design came to Eiffel et Compagnie and its design was the winner of 100 designs

The engineer, Gustave Eiffel, was one of the owners of the company, and the memorial was attributed to him, even though one of the company’s engineers, named “Maurice Kechelin”, came up with the design concept. Gustav and Morris have previously collaborated in installing the statues of the Statue of Liberty.

Gustav is said to have rejected Morris's original plan to build the tower and ordered that more pieces be added to the decoration.

Eiffel Tower,paris


The excavation and construction process continued within two years, reaching the height of the Eiffel Tower 300 meters, and it is located on a base with a height of 5 meters (17 feet), and after placing a television antenna above its top, the total height reached 324 meters.

Despite its unprecedented height, the Eiffel Tower construction took a relatively small strength of 300 workers for only two years. 18,000 ironworks were manufactured at the Eiffel Foundry in the Levallois-Perret suburb, where they were transported to Champ de Mars and raised in place by steam cranes. Many decorative motifs in Sauvestre were abandoned as work continued, reducing the cost of construction and the weight of the tower. Surprisingly, there was only one work-related death.

Eiffel Tower during construction

The materials used in building the tower

The Eiffel Tower has 108 floors, and it was built entirely of open wrought iron. It required 7300 tons of iron, which is 18 thousand pieces of wrought iron, and 60 tons of paint to cover all its parts, and has since been repainted 18 times. After its construction was completed, the tower was the entrance gate to the exhibition held on the occasion of the centenary celebration of the French Revolution.

The Eiffel Tower consists of four iron lattice piers placed in a square, rising from an initial slope of 54 degrees and bending to the top until they meet, at which point the tower rises with one skill hierarchically, until the camp is at its summit. Its shape was dictated primarily by concerns about winds at high altitudes, an issue that even affected the size and position of nails holes in the iron members of the tower. Three floors are open to visitors, with the first and second levels suspended between the four and third berths in the camp, 324 meters above the ground. Before construction began, Eiffel calculated that the tower would weigh 6,500 metric tons and would cost 3,155,000 francs When built, the Eiffel Tower weighs 7,300 tons and costs two and a half times as expected.

At the opening of the Eiffel Tower the first time in 1889 the color of the paint was reddish brown, and after a decade, it was repainted with yellow, then yellowish brown, then chestnut, before the current brown color of the tower was darkened as a final color in 1968, and because of the towering height of the tower The color will be in three dark shades of them at the bottom, and light at the top. It is known that the tower is repainted every 7 years to renew its youth.


The tower was initially not welcomed by many French people, and about 300 artists also expressed concern about the building of the tower in a speech entitled "Protest against the Tower of Monsieur Eiffel". The opponents say that the tower constituted a threat to the aesthetic nature of Paris, and they considered it contrary to the elegance and beauty spread in the city.

The growing tower sparked enthusiastic reactions from the French who watched it rise along the Seine. Its wrought iron frame, seen as a symbol of the widening rift between architecture and engineering, was an outrage of much of the city's art community. Some denounced the tower as "brutal and unnecessary," while others compared it to a "massive black factory chimney". Among its critics is the architect Charles Garnier, who has repeatedly eaten their food in the tower in later years, claiming it is "the only place in Paris where I shouldn't see it."

Eiffel Tower

The opposition to the project proved to be fruitless, and Gustave Eiffel raised the French three colors over the completed tower in March 1889, one month before the deadline, to persuade the French to be proud of having the highest flag of a country in France, which indicates control and influence in the world. It was opened to the public two months later, attracting a large number of visitors who wish to monitor Parisis they had not had before. Also, dinner is at one of the four restaurants. The elevator system and ladders were designed when opened to allow 5,000 people to visit the Eiffel Tower every hour.

The symbolism of the Zodiac

The construction permits for the tower were linked to an agreement that guaranteed the tower’s survival for only 20 years, after which the fate of removal and destruction would be met. However, the amazing success achieved by the tower after visiting two million people during the centenary celebration of the French Revolution, made the building a symbol of French industrial strength.

Eiffel Tower at night

The scientific uses of the constellation

Gustav Eiffel is determined to keep the tower and made great efforts to prove its scientific benefit. Scientific experiments were conducted in the tower after Gustav installed a meteorological laboratory on the third floor of the tower, and invited scientists to use the laboratory in studying everything from gravity to electricity.

It was also used in 1910 as a radio telegraph transmitter, and the French army used it to communicate wirelessly with ships in the Atlantic Ocean, intercepting enemy messages during World War I.

There are still more than 120 antennas on the tower, used to broadcast radio and television signals throughout Paris and beyond.

The use of the Eiffel Tower in science

During World War II, the French army used the Eiffel Tower wireless station to intercept enemy messages from the German capital Berlin, and it is said that one of the messages intercepted by the tower was a coded message between Germany and Spain displaying customer details H-21. Based on this message, Margarita Gertrude or as known as "Mata Hari" was arrested on charges of spying for Germany.

The tallest building in the world

For 4 decades, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest building in the world until the construction of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930, which was more than 318 meters high

The Eiffel Tower was used as the largest billboard in the world between 1925 and 1936. With the moments of sunset coming, a quarter of a million colored lights on three sides of the tower were illuminating vertically with the letters Citroën as an advertisement for the French car company "Citroen".

In the last century, the Eiffel Tower has returned from the edge of demolition to become one of the most important monuments in the world. She held the title of the tallest building in the world for forty years, and by the time she lost this honor to the Chrysler Building in New York City, she had acquired greater and greater importance for the people of France. The distinctive nature of the Eiffel Tower has turned into a symbol for both its nation and the city of Paris, with many replicas being built in cities around the world. Seven million people visit the tower each year, with the same desire of their predecessors in 1889: to see the "city of lights" from a stunning sight made possible by industrial innovation, national enthusiasm and human scientific progress.

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1-The Eiffel Tower: Marvels of Engineering. 2014: Marvels of Engineering.

Gustave Eiffel's Secret Apartment

When the Eiffel Tower opened in 1889 to much wonder and acclaim, designer Gustave Eiffel soaked up the praise, but as if that wasn’t enough, it was soon revealed that he had built himself a small apartment near the top of the world wonder garnering him the envy of the Paris elite in addition to his new fame.

Located on the third level of the tower, Eiffel’s private apartment was not large, but it was cozy. In contrast to the steely industrial girders of the rest of the tower, the apartment was reported to be, “furnished in the simple style dear to scientists.” The walls were covered in warm wallpaper and the furniture included soft chintzes, wooden cabinets, and even a grand piano, creating a comfortable atmosphere, perched nearly 1,000 feet in the air. Adjacent to the small apartment were some laboratory areas equipped with the experimentation gear of the day.

Once word got out about Eiffel’s cozy little nest in the sky, Parisian high society turned simultaneously green with jealousy. Eiffel is said to have received a number of sky-high (pun intended) offers to rent out the space, even for one night. He declined them all, preferring to use the space for quiet reflection and to entertain prestigious guests such as Thomas Edison himself who gifted Eiffel one of his newfangled phonograph machines.

Know Before You Go

Today, after being off limits for years, the apartment can be viewed through a window by visitors who buy a ticket to the top. Much of the furnishings remain the same and there are a couple of rather wan-looking mannequins of Eiffel and Edison.


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