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The Eiffel Tower

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La Tour Eiffel

gustave eiffel, la tour eiffel, the eiffel tower, photos, information, tourAbout the Eiffel Tower

The dominating presence of the Eiffel Tower (La Tour Eiffel) stands boldly as the tallest structure in Paris, visible from much of the city including the air, when descending into Paris by plane. For a time it stood as the tallest structure in the world, until New York City built the Chrysler Building. The Eiffel Tower’s name is derived from its engineer - Gustave Eiffel (more details on Gustave below), and today, stands as the most visited monument in the world – impressive for a structure that was supposed to be torn down after 20 years..

the eiffle tower, red sky, sunrise

The Eiffel Tower was built between 1887 and 1889 for the 1889 World Fair (Exposition Universelle), the centennial celebration of the French Revolution, and was opened by the English King, Edward VII. Surprisingly only one man was killed during its construction, during the fitting of the eiffle tower, basethe Otis Elevator: Gustave had been particularly meticulous when it came to safety.

In the early 1900’s the tower was used for radio transmissions, and for a period during German occupation in World War II, the Germans used it for their television broadcasts. During this occupation, French saboteurs cut the lift cables forcing Adolf Hitler to climb the stairs to the summit – he later ordered the destruction of the tower, but the German General instructed to carry this out refused his orders for fear of the infamy history would bestow upon him. Since 1957, the tower is used for transmission of TV and radio.

Eiffel Tour Statistics and Facts

Visitor Numbers Approximately 6 million visitors a year
Height 324 metres (1063 feet)
Weight 10,000 tonnes
Steps 1660
Construction Period 2 years, 2 months, 5 days
Rivets 2.5 million
Steel Pieces 18,038
Workers 300 Steel workers, laboured on its construction
Maintenance Painted every 7 years, using 50 tonnes of paint. Requires 25 men painting throughout the year.
Wind Design Built to withstand the elements, it can sway 6 or 7 cm.

Alexander Gustave Eiffel (1832 - 1923)

the eiffle tower, early morning sunrisethe eiffle tower, la tour eiffelGustave Eiffel was the engineer not only behind the Eiffel Tower, but many other structures including the Statue of Liberty.

Eiffel was born in Dijon, France, and was educated at the central school of arts and manufacture in Paris. Following on from his education, Eiffel took a role as a project manager for a railway bridge in France. Gustave was responsible for the building of a number of cast iron railway bridges in the Massif Centrale region of France, and other parts of the country.

During the opening of the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris, the Eiffel Tower drew millions of visitors to Paris, and despite initial criticism, soon became the national symbol of France.

the eiffle tower, view from a distance the eiffle tower, red sky, sunsetThe Statue of Liberty was a gift given to the United States. Gustave Eiffel’s engineering skills, as used on the Eiffel Tower, were employed in the internal framework of the Statue of Liberty. Some grateful American ex-patriots living in France, built a quarter scale bronze model Statue of Liberty which stands no more than a mile from the Eiffel Tower, and other miniature version of the Statue of Liberty can be found around Paris.

In his later years Eiffel studied aerodynamics, using a special developed wind tunnel. He contributed much towards the field of aerodynamics, which proved invaluable research to such institutions as NASA.



the eiffel tower