The Eiffel Tower is the most recognizable landmark in Paris, named after its creator and receives more than 6 million visitors annually. The tower is located in the 7th arrondissement of the French capital, in the northwestern part of the Champ de Mars.
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Video: Eiffel Tower
Conceived originally as a temporary structure, the Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of France and an object of admiration. However, the history of the creation and construction of the impressive structure was dramatic. Many Parisians had only negative feelings about the tower – the townspeople thought that such a tall construction would not fit in the image of their beloved capital or would be destroyed at all. But over time, the French appreciated the Eiffel Tower and fell in love with it. Today thousands of people are photographed against the background of the famous landmark, all lovers tend to it to spend unforgettable moments. Every girl who has a date at the Eiffel Tower hopes that it’s there, taking the whole of Paris as witnesses, her beloved will propose her hand in marriage.
History of the Eiffel Tower
1886. In three years, the EXPO, the World Industrial Exhibition, will begin its work in Paris. The organizers of the exhibition announced a competition for a temporary architectural structure, which would serve as the entrance to the exhibition and represent the technical revolution of the time, the beginning of the tremendous changes in the life of mankind. The proposed structure had to meet the following requirements – to be profitable and easily dismantled. More than 100 competitors took part in the creative competition, which began in May 1886. Some of the designs were quite bizarre – for example, a huge guillotine, reminiscent of the revolution, or a tower built entirely of stone. Among the contestants was the engineer and designer Gustave Eiffel, who proposed a very unusual for that time project of a 300-meter metal structure. He got the idea for the tower from the drawings of Maurice Köchlin and Emile Nougier, both employees of his company.
Construction of the Eiffel Tower, 1887-1889
It was suggested that the structure be made of malleable iron, which was the most progressive and economical building material at the time. Eiffel’s project was in the top four winners. Thanks to some changes that the engineer had made to the decoration of the tower, the organizers of the competition gave preference to his “Iron Lady”.
The development of the artistic appearance of the Eiffel Tower was the work of Stéphane Sauvestre. The architect suggested adding arches between the pillars of the first floor to give the cast-iron structure greater sophistication. They symbolized the entrance to the exhibition and made the structure more elegant. Sowestr also planned to have large glazed halls on the various floors of the building and to round off the top of the tower.
For the construction of the tower was required 7.8 million francs, but the state has allocated Eiffel only a million and a half. The engineer agreed to contribute the missing amount from his own funds, but in exchange demanded to give him the tower on lease for 25 years. At the beginning of 1887, the French authorities, the mayor’s office of Paris and Eiffel concluded a corresponding agreement, and the construction began.
Old photos of the Eiffel Tower
All 18,000 parts were made in Gustave’s own factory at Levallois near the French capital. Thanks to careful drawings, the installation of the tower proceeded very quickly. The weight of the elements did not exceed 3 tons, which greatly facilitated its assembly. At first, tall cranes were used to lift the parts. Then, when the tower became higher than them, Eiffel used specially designed small mobile cranes moving on elevator rails. In two years, two months and five days, with the efforts of three hundred workers, the structure was completed.
From 1925 to 1934 the Eiffel Tower was a giant advertising vehicle
The Eiffel Tower instantly attracted thousands of curious people – only during the first six months of the exhibition more than two million people came to admire the new landmark. The appearance of a huge new silhouette against the background of Paris caused fierce controversy in French society. Many representatives of the artistic intelligentsia were categorically against the appearance of a tower equal in height to an 80-storey building – they feared that the iron construction would destroy the style of the city and suppress its architecture. Critics of Eiffel’s creation called the tower “the tallest lamppost”, “bell tower grill”, “iron monster” and other unflattering and at times insulting epithets.
But despite the protests and the discontent of some French citizens, the Eiffel Tower almost completely paid off during the first year of operation, and the further exploitation of the construction brought its creator solid dividends.
Hitler on the background of the Eiffel Tower
By the end of the lease it was clear that the tower’s dismantling could be avoided – by then it was being actively used for telephone and telegraph communications, as well as for the installation of radio stations. Gustave was able to convince the government and the country’s generals that in the event of war, the Eiffel Tower would be indispensable as a transmitter of radio signals. At the beginning of 1910, the lease of the tower by its creator was extended for 70 years. During the German occupation in 1940, French patriots broke all the lifting mechanisms to cut off Hitler’s way to the top of the tower. Because the elevators did not work, the aggressors could not plant their flag on the iron Frenchman. The Germans even called in specialists from Germany to repair the elevators, but even they could not get them to work.
With the development of television, the Eiffel Tower became in demand as a place to place antennas, of which there are now several dozen on it.
The designer, who at first used his structure for profit, later transferred the rights to it to the state, and today the tower is the property of the French people.
Eiffel could not have imagined that his creation would become a tourist magnet along with the other “wonders of the world. The engineer simply called it “the 300-meter tower,” not suggesting that it would glorify and immortalize his name. Today, the openwork metal structure towering over the French capital is recognized as the most photographed and visited landmark in the world.
Replicas of the Eiffel Tower can be found in more than 30 cities: Tokyo, Berlin, Las Vegas, Prague, Hangzhou, London, Sydney, Alma-Ata, Moscow and others.
The Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas The Tokyo Tower The Eiffel Tower in the village of Paris, Chelyabinsk region
The base of the Eiffel Tower is a pyramid formed by four pillars. At a height of about 60 meters the supports are connected by an arch on which there is a square platform of the first floor with sides of 65 meters each. From this lower platform the next four supports rise, forming another vault at a height of 116 meters. Here is the second floor platform, a square half the size of the first floor. The supports, which rise up from the second platform, gradually join to form a gigantic column, 190 meters high. On this colossal pylon, 276 meters above the ground, is the third floor, a square with sides of 16.5 meters each. On the third platform is the lighthouse, topped with a dome, above which, at a height of three hundred meters is a small platform of one and a half meters. The height of the Eiffel Tower today is 324 meters thanks to the television antenna mounted on it. In addition to television and radio equipment, there are cell phone towers on the structure, as well as a unique weather station, recording the data on the pollution of the atmosphere and the radiation background.
At the foot of the Eiffel Tower
At the foot of the Eiffel Tower is a ticket office and information desk with free brochures. There is a gift store in each pillar of the structure and a post office in the south pillar as well. There is also a snack bar on the ground level. Here is also the entrance to the rooms where you can see the outdated hydraulic hoists. But only organized sightseeing groups can access it.
On the first floor visitors are greeted by the 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant, another souvenir shop and the Cineiffel center where films about the construction of the Eiffel Tower are shown. Younger visitors will be delighted to meet Gus, the mascot of the tower and the hero of the tour guide book. In addition, on the first level there is a fragment of the old spiral staircase, leading to the next floors, as well as to the office of Eiffel himself.
58 Tour Eiffel Second level of the Eiffel Tower
Visitors arriving at the tower from the north are greeted by a gilded bust of its creator with a simple inscription: “Eiffel. 1832-1923”.
The second level is an observation deck. On this floor there is a restaurant “Jules Verne” and another souvenir store. Many interesting details about the construction of the tower can be gleaned from the information boards located on this level. In winter, a small ice rink is poured on the second floor.
The main goal of the overwhelming number of visitors is the third level. Elevators ascend to it, through the windows of which one can admire Paris. On the top floor those who wish can celebrate their ascent to the tower with champagne at the Champange Bar. A glass of pink or white sparkling drink costs 10-15 €. On the platform of the third floor there can be 800 people at a time. Earlier on the upper platform there was an observatory and the office of Eiffel himself.
View from the second level Jules Verne Restaurant Telescope on the third level of the Eiffel Tower Elevators
To get to the top of the structure you can take an elevator or a staircase consisting of 1,792 steps. The Eiffel Tower is served by 3 elevators, but they never operate at the same time due to safety concerns and constant maintenance of the structure.
During its existence, the tower has been both yellow and red-brown. Today the bronze color of the structure is officially patented and is called “brown-Eiffel”. Cosmetic repairs of the Eiffel Tower are carried out every 7 years, this process takes a year and a half. Before fresh paint is applied, the old layer is removed with high-pressure steam. Then the entire structure is carefully inspected, and unusable parts are replaced with new ones. The tower is then coated with two coats of paint, which takes 57 tons for the procedure. It is painted in different shades of bronze, from darker at the base to lighter at the top. This method of painting is used to make the structure look harmonious against the sky. What is interesting, even today the paint is applied with brushes.
In the 1980s, the tower was reconstructed – some parts were replaced by stronger and lighter.
Eiffel Tower at Night
Eiffel designed his brainchild in such a way that it is not afraid of storms – during the strongest wind the tower deviates from its axis by 12 centimeters maximum. The iron construction is much more susceptible to the sun: the iron elements expand so much due to the heat that the top of the tower sometimes tilts sideways by up to 20 centimeters.
Visitors first saw the tower illuminated in 1889, the opening day of the World’s Fair of Industry. The structure was lit by 10,000 gas lamps, two large searchlights and a lighthouse whose blue, white and red beams symbolized the national colors of the country. In 1900 the tower was equipped with electric light bulbs. In 1925 the owner of Citroen company placed a grandiose advertisement on the construction – with the help of 125 000 lamps images of the tower, zodiacal constellations, and products of the famous French automobile concern appeared on it. This light show lasted for 9 years.
In the 21st century, the Eiffel Tower lighting has been upgraded several times. In 2008, when France held the EU presidency, the structure was illuminated in blue, representing the flag of Europe. These days, the tower’s lighting is golden. It is switched on for 10 minutes, at the beginning of each hour, during the hours of darkness.
In 2015, the tower’s electric lights were replaced with LED lights to save energy and financial costs. In addition, thermal panels, two windmills, and a rainwater harvesting system were placed on the structure.
View from the Trocadero Square Stairs in the Eiffel Tower
Views from the Eiffel Tower
- The Eiffel Tower is the emblem of Paris and a high-rise antenna.
- The tower can hold 10,000 people at a time.
- The project was designed by architect Stéphane Sauvestre, but the tower was built by engineer Gustave Eiffel (1823-1923), better known to the public. Other works by Eiffel: Ponte de Dona Maria Pia, viaduct de Gharabi, the iron frame for New York’s Statue of Liberty.
- Since its appearance the tower has been visited by about 250 million people.
- The weight of the metal part of the structure is 7,300 tons and the whole tower is 10,100 tons.
- In 1925, a crook Victor Lustig managed to sell the iron structure for scrap metal, and he was able to pull this stunt twice!
- In good weather from the top of the tower you can view Paris and its surroundings within a radius of up to 70 kilometers. It is believed that the best time to visit the Eiffel Tower, which provides the best visibility is an hour before sunset.
- The tower also holds a sad record – about 400 people committed suicide by throwing themselves from its top platform. In 2009, the terrace was fenced with protective barriers and now this place is very popular with romantic couples making out in front of the whole Paris.
Address of the tower: Champ de Mars (Champ de Mars). Metro stations: Bir Hakeim (line 6), Trocadero (line 9).
Buses to the Tower: 42, 69, 72, 82 and 87.
Mode of operation. From June 15 to September 1 opening at 09.00. The elevator to the 2nd floor stops working at midnight; the ascent to the 3rd floor (the top) is until 23.00; the stairs to the 2nd floor close at 00.00; the entire tower is accessible until 00.45.
From September 2 to June 14, the Eiffel Tower receives visitors from 09:30. The elevator to the 2nd floor is open until 11 p.m.; the elevator to the top takes guests up until 10:30 p.m.; the stairs to the 2nd floor are open until 6 p.m.; the entire tower is open until 11:45 p.m.
During the spring and Easter vacations, access to the tower is open until midnight.
Sometimes the climb to the top of the tower is temporarily suspended – due to dangerous weather conditions or too many visitors on it.
Prices for admission tickets. Until September 1: Elevator to the 2nd floor – 9 € (for adults), 7 € (for visitors aged 12 to 24), 4.5 € (for children aged 4 to 11). Elevator to the top – 15.50 € (for adults), 13.50 € (for visitors aged 12 to 24), 11 € (for children aged 4 to 11). Stairs to the 2nd floor – 5 € (adults), 4 € (visitors 12 to 24 years old), 3.50 € (children 4 to 11 years old).
After September 1: Lift to the 2nd floor – 11 € (adults), 8.50 € (visitors aged 12 to 24), 4 € (children aged 4 to 11). Elevator to the top – 17 € (for adults), 14.50 € (for visitors aged 12 to 24), 10 € (for children aged 4 to 11). Stairs to the 2nd floor – 7 € (adults), 5 € (visitors 12 to 24 years), 3 € (children 4 to 11 years).
Visitors with disabilities can use an elevator to reach the second floor of the Eiffel Tower.
To get to the first and second platforms of the tower faster, it is better to use the stairs on the south side, as the elevators almost always have long lines.
If you want to get to the top of the “Iron Lady” without queuing, you should buy electronic tickets in advance on the official website of the tower – www.tour-eiffel.fr. The ticket must be printed out and paid for with a credit card. You must arrive at the tower 10-15 minutes before the time indicated on the ticket, bypassing the queue. Late arrivals are not allowed to see the landmark for more than half an hour, in which case the tickets will be canceled. It is necessary to purchase tickets in advance as early as possible, as their sale for a specific day begins 3 months in advance at 08.30 Paris time, and wanting to get to the tower without queuing.
In the restaurant “Jules Verne” a table must be booked several months in advance, the average check for dinner at a height of 175 meters – 300 €.
Eiffel Tower (Paris) – detailed description with photos, opening hours and ticket prices, location on the map.
Eiffel Tower (Paris)
The Eiffel Tower is the main landmark of Paris, a true symbol of the French capital. This huge metal construction of more than 320 meters high (the exact height is 324 meters) was built in 2 years and 2 months in 1889. It was named after engineer Gustave Eiffel, who built it. Eiffel himself called it simply “three hundred meter tower. Interestingly, the Eiffel Tower was built as a temporary structure for the World’s Fair held in Paris. But not only was it not dismantled, but it has become a real symbol of Paris and the most visited attraction in the world.
The Eiffel Tower at sunset
As darkness falls, the Eiffel Tower turns on a beautiful light illumination.
The light illumination of the Eiffel Tower
For the 1889 world exhibition, which marked the 100th anniversary of the French revolution, the city wanted to build an architectural structure that would be the pride of France. To this end, a competition was instituted among the engineering bureaus. Eiffel was also invited to take part. Gustave himself had no ideas. He rummaged through old sketches and unearthed a design for a high-rise steel tower by his collaborator Maurice Keschlain. The design was finalized and sent out for competition.
The Eiffel Tower
Four winners were chosen from 107 different projects. Among them, of course, was the Eiffel project. After making changes to the project to make it more architecturally appealing, it was declared the winner. In January 1887, a contract for the construction of the tower was signed between the Eiffel Bureau and the municipality of Paris. In doing so, Eiffel was granted not only a cash payment, but a lease on the tower for 25 years. The contract called for the tower to be dismantled after 20 years, but it became so popular that it was decided to keep it.
Interesting facts about the Eiffel Tower
- Over 5 million people visit the Eiffel Tower per year. During its existence the tower was visited by more than 250 million people. A colossal figure!
- The construction cost 7.5 million francs and paid for itself during the exhibition period.
- To build the tower was used more than 18 thousand metal parts and 2.5 million rivets.
- The weight of the construction is more than 10 thousand tons.
- Creative people of Paris took a negative view of this construction, considering that it does not fit in the architecture of the city. They have repeatedly sent petitions to the mayor’s office calling to stop the construction or to dismantle it. For example, one of its famous opponents, Guy de Maupassant, often dined in the restaurant located in the tower. When asked why he often ate here, he replied that it was the only place in Paris where he could not see it (the tower).
Mode of operation of the Eiffel Tower
Mode of operation of the Eiffel Tower is as follows:
To the 2nd floor by elevator
- Adults – 11 euros.
- Young people from 12 to 24 years old – 8,5 euros
- Children up to 12 years old – 4 euros
To the 2nd floor by stairs
- Adults – 7 euros.
- Young people 12 to 24 years old – 5 euros.
- Children under 12 years old – 3 euros.
To the top on the elevator
- Adults – 17 euros.
- Youth from 12 to 24 years old – 14,5 euros
- Children up to 12 years old – 8 euros.
You can buy tickets online here – http://ticket.toureiffel.fr
How to get there
- RER – line C, Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel
- Metro – line 6, Bir Hakeim, line 9, Trocadero.
- By bus: 82, 87, 42, 69, tour Eiffel or Champ de Mars.
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