The Eiffel Tower is one of the most famous monuments in the world. The iconic metallic structure known as “Tour Eiffel” by the French is located on the Champ de Mars in the 7th arrondissement in Paris.
The Eiffel Tower: a bit of history
The Eiffel Tower was built between 1887 and 1889 to mark the centenary of the French Revolution.
The tower takes its name from its architect, Gustave Eiffel, however he was not the only one to work on realising his dream: two engineers from his company, Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, were also credited for their input into the project. Between 120 and 200 men worked on the site and more than 300 in the workshops at Levallois-Perret (in the North-West suburb of Paris).
It was made of puddled iron which came from the iron factories of Messieurs Dupont et Fould (since closed down), based in Pompey, a suburb of Nancy, Lorraine. The Pompey factory needed to supply Eiffel with 18,038 pieces of puddled iron which were then connected using 2,500,000 rivets by three hundred workers.
Gustave Eiffel had the 72 names of French engineers, mathematicians, and scientists inscribed all around the first platform of the tower.
Bordering the River Seine, it was the monumental entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair and led to the exhibition pavilions set up along the Champ de Mars.
The Eiffel Tower today
When completed, the Eiffel Tower was 300 metres tall. Today, its height (including antenna) reaches 325 metres tall and still stands today as the tallest structure in the Paris region and France’s second after the Millau Viaduct (343 m). It is of similar height to the Chrysler Building in New York City which was built in 1930.
The tower has three platforms opened for visitors: the first level is 57 m high and the second stands at 115 m. The last level reaches 276 m with a view stretching for 70 km, as far as the outskirts of Paris, Charles de Gaulle airport and the countryside beyond its suburbs.
The Eiffel Tower is the world’s most visited paid monument. More than 250 million people have climbed the tower since its construction in 1889. In 2011, the Eiffel Tower welcomed 7.1 million visitors, including 75% foreigners.
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