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The Eiffel Tower

Champ de Mars, Paris

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Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
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Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
Click here to license this image for your business.
Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Photograph © Wayne Lorentz. Licensed to Artefaqs Corporation
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Click to buy prints for your home or office.

Location

Address

Champ de Mars, Paris, Île-de-France, France
Champ de Mars, Paris, Île-de-France, France

Bordering Streets

Quai Branly
Avenue Gustav Eiffel
Alèe des Refuzniks
Avenue Pierre Loli
Alèe Jean Paulhan

Neighborhood

7th District
7e Arrondissement

Fast Facts

Built

1889

Maximum Height

1,063 feet / 324 meters

Undoubtedly, one of the great monuments of the world, the Eiffel Tower only narrowly escaped demolition shortly after it opened. Built for the 1889 International Exposition -- the equivalent of today's World's Fair -- the tower was erected to mark the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution and straddled the main entrance to the fair. While the Eiffel Tower has welcomed 32,250,297 people to L'exposition de Paris, Parisians did not welcome the tower at first. This icon sparked protests, and much grumbling among the people of the time who felt it was dangerous, ugly, and did not reflect their city's culture. In an attempt to appease the opponents, the space between the tower's four legs is filled in by ornate arches. In spite of their appearance, these massive spans serve no practical function. They are strictly ornamental and do not help support the structure, which was the first object built to withstand the forces of the wind as well as gravity. Only now, more than one hundred years later, can we see the tower in context. It has aged gracefully and no longer stands in stark contrast to the ornate architecture that has survived in modern Paris. Once the exposition was over, plans were made to dismantle the Eiffel Tower. The monument that brought howls of displeasure because it represented that which was modern, new, and very un-Parisian, was actually saved by technological advances. Engineers realized that the structure would make a perfect broadcasting tower. Even today, a television mast stands at the top of the Eiffel Tower, bringing its overall height to 1,056 feet. The potential destruction of the tower became the basis for one of the greatest con jobs in history. Several companies were fleeced for millions of dollars by a man who convinced them he was working for the French government and took bribes in order to sway the nonexistent demolition contract their way. The tower gets its name from Gustave Eiffel, the man who designed the monument, and also did the girder work for the Statue of Liberty now in New York harbor. Looking at its open frame, it comes as no surprise that Eiffel was a bridge engineer when he entered the competition along with 100 other people to design this lasting monument to French culture. It was his knowledge of trusses and spans that allowed the tower to reach a maximum height with minimal construction. In fact, it took just two years for it to reach its pre-television height of 984 feet. In spite of this height, the Eiffel Tower has just four floors. All are served by specially designed elevators that, instead of running up a vertical track, move along a curve dictated by the tower's sloping form. Reaching the top level presents visitors with a visual delight -- a 40-mile view of Paris and its environs sprawled out in a spider web pattern inconceivable from the ground.

Raw Data

Construction Start

1887

Construction End

1889

By The Numbers

• Rivets: 2,500,000.
• Weight: 10,000 tons.
• Steel: 7,000 tons.
• Thermal expansion: 6 inches in summer.
• Sway: 2-3 inches.
• Deaths during construction: one.

Size[Explanation ♐]

Maximum Height: 1,063 feet / 324 meters
Pinnacle Height: 984 feet / 300 meters

Noteworthy Facts

• This tower was built to be the gateway to the 1889 Universal Exposition. It was originally designed for the exposition a year earlier in Spain, but Barcelona turned it down.
• Gustave Eiffel had his office in the tower.
• The tower has its own post office, with its own postmark.
• The Tower is made of 12,000 pieces of pre-formed steel put together like a big puzzle.
• The tower is repainted every seven years.
• This was the first tower tall enough that it had to be designed to counter the effects of wind.
• The passenger elevators run along the same tracks that the construction cranes used during assembly.
• A piece of iron from the Eiffel Tower is sealed in a time capsule at the top of the John Hancock Center in Chicago.
• One of the Eiffel Tower's restaurants was disassembled, and shipped to the United States and reopened in New Orleans.
• It is said that Hitler captured France, but not the Eiffel Tower. Parisians sabotaged the tower's elevators, preventing Hitler from ascending the structure and surveying the city.

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Your Thoughts

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“The Eiffel Tower is a continuous feast. Everytime I see it - it's like I never saw it before. ”
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Elaine Cook in Inglewood, United States Flag of United States —Saturday, January 19th, 2013 @ 11:55am

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Attributes

• tower - See more: (local) (region) (global)
• observatory - See more: (local) (region) (global)
• restaurant - See more: (local) (region) (global)
• commercial - See more: (local) (region) (global)
• monument - See more: (local) (region) (global)
• museum - See more: (local) (region) (global)
• government - See more: (local) (region) (global)

People and Companies

Architect

Gustave Eiffel

Timeline

• March 31, 1889: Construction finished.
• March, 1909: Scheduled demolition of the tower. It didn't happen.
• September 12, 1914: During World War I, the Eiffel Tower went from hated to beloved when police used its radio transmitter to tell all taxi drivers in Paris to take soldiers to the front line, saving the city from being overrun by the German army.
• 1930: At 1,047 feet, the Chrysler Building in New York took the "world's tallest building" title away from the Eiffel Tower.
• 1957: An antenna was added to the top of this tower, raising its total height to 1,063 feet
• March 31, 1984: American pilot Robert Moriarity flew a small plans through the legs of the tower.
• 1987: An unknown pilot flew a small plane through the legs of the tower.
• June, 2001: A 38-year-old Frenchman parachuted off of the Eiffel Tower because his friends bet him he wouldn't do it. The man went in with a group of tourists and hid until after closing time. He jumped from the 940-foot level and was arrested as soon as he touched ground.
• 2002: The tower received its 200 millionth visitor.
• July 22, 2003: A fire broke out in an equipment room at the top of the tower. 8,000 tourists were evacuated and the monument closed while smoke billowed into the Paris sky. The blaze was caused by overheated cables.
• December 10, 2004: A skating rink opened on one of the Eiffel Tower's observation decks. The rink was 188 feet off the ground, and slightly larger than a standard tennis court. It could handle 80 skaters at a time.
• January, 2005: The skating rink closed closed.

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