La Tour Eiffel
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 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
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
||Approximately 6 million
visitors a year
||324 metres (1063 feet)
||2 years, 2 months, 5 days
||300 Steel workers, laboured on its construction
||Painted every 7 years, using 50 tonnes of paint. Requires
25 men painting throughout the year.
||Built to withstand the elements, it can sway 6 or 7
Alexander Gustave Eiffel (1832 - 1923)
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.
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.
Click for a GUIDE
TO THE EIFFEL TOWER