Discover the Eiffel Tower, Paris’ iconic monument

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The Eiffel Tower is one of the most famous monuments in the world. The iconic metallic structure (“Tour Eiffel” in French) rises 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, had the idea of the project first.

  • Between 120 and 200 men worked on the construction site.
  • More than 300 worked remotely in the workshops at Levallois-Perret (in the North-West suburb of Paris).
Gustave Eiffel in 1888 by Nadar

Gustave Eiffel in 1888 by Nadar

The tower consists of puddled iron which originates from the iron factories of Messieurs Dupont et Fould (since closed down), based in Pompey, near 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.
Eiffel Tower - construction stages

Construction stages of the tower

Gustave Eiffel had the 72 names of French engineers, mathematicians, and scientists inscribed all around the first platform of the tower.

Eiffel Tower - names of scientists © French Moments

Some of the 72 names of scientists on the tower © French Moments

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.

Paris World's Fair in 1889

Paris World’s Fair in 1889

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The monument today

The Eiffel Tower today © French Moments

Paris’ iconic monument © French Moments

When completed, the iron tower was 300 metres tall. Today, its height (including antenna) reaches 325 metres tall and still stands today as the tallest monument in the Paris region. It is France’s second tallest structure after the Millau Viaduct (343 m). It is of similar height to the Chrysler Building in New York City which dates from 1930.

Eiffel Tower summit © French Moments

The top of the tower © French Moments

The tower has three platforms opened for visitors:

  • The first level is 57 m high.
  • 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.
Eiffel Tower - the second platform © French Moments

The second platform © French Moments

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 monument welcomed 7.1 million visitors, including 75% foreigners.


  • Our pages on the EIFFEL TOWER


  • The Eiffel Tower Quiz


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    Paris: always a good idea © French MomentsParis by night © French Moments

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    About Author

    Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management.

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