From an “eyesore” to a French cultural icon, the Eiffel Tower’s history and design are fascinating. Join us as we explore interesting construction facts and nearby tourism options, including transportation and popular restaurants.
The Eiffel Tower, one of the world’s most iconic landmarks, has a fascinating history. Built for the 1889 World’s Fair using advanced techniques and materials ahead of its time, it initially faced opposition from Parisians. Today, it is synonymous with the City of Love and attracts millions of visitors yearly. It has played a vital role in shaping France’s cultural heritage, being the tallest structure in the past, serving as a radio transmitter during WWI, and functioning as an observatory and tourist attraction.
The Eiffel Tower, or La Tour Eiffel, was the tallest structure in the world until the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York City in 1930. As one of the most famous landmarks in the world, the Eiffel Tower has been the inspiration for the creation of many replicas and similar towers. An early example is Blackpool Tower in England. The mayor of Blackpool, Sir John Bickerstaffe, was so impressed on seeing the Eiffel Tower at the 1889 exposition that he commissioned a similar tower to be built in his town.
The Eiffel Tower was designed by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World’s Expo to showcase technological advancements. It took over two years to construct using advanced techniques and materials. Originally intended to be dismantled, it was saved as a radio antenna and has become an iconic symbol of Paris.
Artists’ protest in Europe
During its construction, many artists and intellectuals protested against it. They saw it as an eyesore that would ruin the beauty of Paris. Their opposition was so strong that they wrote a petition to stop the construction. However, Gustave and his team continued with the construction and created a structure that was both beautiful and functional. It quickly became a symbol of Paris and an icon of modern engineering, attracting millions of visitors each year who marvel at its unique design and intricate details.
Today, the Eiffel Tower remains one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, standing as a testament to human ingenuity and creativity.
The construction of the Eiffel Tower was a monumental feat of engineering and design. 18,000 pieces of iron were used to construct it, with each piece carefully measured and fixed with rivets to ensure stability. It was completed in just over two years, standing at a height of 324 meters (1,063 feet). Its 1st floor is outdoors while its impressive size and intricate construction continue to awe visitors not only from London but from around the world. The tower’s architectural height reaches an impressive 300 m (984 ft), making it an iconic landmark in Paris.
Inauguration and the 1889 exposition in France
The Eiffel Tower’s inauguration on March 31, 1889, was a significant moment in history. Gustave Eiffel, the noted bridge engineer, and his team spent over two years creating a structure commemorating the French Revolution’s centenary. The tower attracted over two million visitors during the exposition and instantly became a Parisian landmark. Its continued success as a tourist attraction and engineering marvel is a testament to the vision and expertise of engineer Gustave Eiffel. The Eiffel Tower’s debut served as the entrance gateway to the exposition, showcasing Eiffel’s remarkable design and engineering prowess.
Photo Credits: @toureiffel
The Eiffel Tower is a marvel of innovation and a testament to human ingenuity, with its unique shape and size. Eiffel and his team used advanced techniques, including wrought iron lattice construction and hydraulic elevators, to ensure stability and safety.
Eiffel conducted wind tunnel tests to create a structure that could withstand gusts. The tower’s lattice construction allows wind to pass through without causing significant damage.
Passenger lifts to ascent the tower
The passenger lifts of the Eiffel Tower are a crucial part of the experience, providing stunning views and a taste of history. Renovated for safety while retaining their unique design, they feature ornate ironwork and glass cabins for an aesthetically pleasing ride that adds to the charm of this iconic structure.
The Eiffel Tower’s iconic lattice structure was inspired by bridge building principles and designed to serve as a tall radio antenna. Its unique design offers stability, aesthetic appeal, and breathtaking panoramas of Paris.
The tower’s bronze-gray hue has become synonymous with the city, making it one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks. Additionally, as they curve inward, the piers are connected to each other by networks of girders at two levels that afford viewing platforms for tourists. By contrast, the four semicircular arches at the tower’s base are purely aesthetic elements that serve no structural function.
The Eiffel Tower is a global tourist attraction. Visitors can reach the top observation deck via stairs or elevator to enjoy stunning views of Paris and also take a guided tour. Additionally, the tower has been used for scientific experiments and technological advancements.
You can also purchase priority access, to skip the queues, buy an Eiffel Tower ticket, or get information about visiting the Eiffel Tower from here.
Transport along the Seine
Reaching the tower is hassle-free due to its central location and excellent transport options. Visitors can take the metro, bus or walk from nearby locations like Champs de Mars or Trocadéro. Ample parking is available for those who drive. A unique view of the tower is also possible via the Seine River cruise, which you can book from here.
The Eiffel Tower houses several restaurants that offer more than just a meal. Enjoy panoramic city views while dining at Le Jules Verne and 58 Tour Eiffel on the 2nd floor, offering both fine dining and casual bistro-style options. Visit the Champagne Bar on the top floor for a unique experience and enjoy a glass of champagne. Reserve beforehand to secure your spot at one of Paris’s most sought-after locations.
The design of the Eiffel Tower has inspired replicas worldwide, some almost identical to the original and others with creative variations. These buildings, like the Blackpool Tower and Space Needle, show its impact on culture and architecture. Tokyo Tower and CN Tower are also influenced by its design.
The Eiffel Tower’s lighting system, featuring 336 projectors, is a mesmerizing sight and protected by copyright. Reproduction or use requires permission from SETE, which manages the tower’s operations. The lighting upgrade in 1985 has made it one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks.
Over the years, the height of the Eiffel Tower has undergone multiple changes. Initially, it stood at 300 meters as a temporary structure. But with the addition of antennas and equipment, it now stands at 324 meters. Although no longer the tallest human-made structure in the world, it remains an engineering marvel and an iconic symbol of Paris that attracts millions of visitors annually.
How long does it take to walk up the Eiffel Tower stairs?
It is generally estimated to take around 30-45 minutes to climb the staircase to the second level of the Eiffel Tower, which is approximately 674 steps. Keep in mind that climbing all the way to the top would take longer and may not be recommended for everyone.
What is there at the top of the tower?
At the top of the Eiffel Tower, visitors can experience breathtaking panoramic views of Paris from two observation levels, the first level is indoor and the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower is outdoor. The first floor is at 57 meters and the second floor is at 115 meters. Gustave’s private apartment, where he used to host guests like Thomas Edison, is on the third level.
Tours and Tickets
Tours and tickets to visit the Eiffel Tower are in high demand, so it is advisable to plan ahead and book in advance. There are various options available, depending on your preferences. You can choose to take a guided tour, where knowledgeable guides will provide insights into the history and architecture of the tower. Alternatively, you can opt for a self-guided tour, allowing you to explore at your own pace.
Tickets can be purchased online or on-site, but be prepared for long queues during peak tourist seasons. To make the most of your visit, consider booking a ticket that includes access to the top of the tower. From there, you can enjoy breathtaking views of Paris and its landmarks.
The Eiffel Tower, a symbol of French culture and innovation, remains popular among tourists worldwide. It’s a must-see for everyone, whether you’re visiting Paris for the first time or residing there for long. If you have enjoyed reading this article, don’t forget to checkout our other blogs for more things to do in Paris!