The Eiffel Tower is an iron tower built beside the river Seine in Paris. Originally intended as a structure to commemorate the French Revolution, nobody could have guessed that 100 years later The Eiffel Tower would become the symbol of Paris itself.
The Eiffel Tower has its name after the engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel. For two years, 1887-1889, three hundred steel workers struggled to join together
18038 pieces of steel by using 2,5 million steel bolts. When thinking about safety-measurements in the 19th century it is remarkable that only one worker died during the construction of the tower.
In all they used 7300 tons of steel to form the tower’s three distinct levels. Those levels currently house two restaurants and a snackbar. Altitude 95 is one the first level, the Jules Verne restaurant on the second level and the snackbar on the third level. The Jules Verne Restaurant even has one star in the Michelin guide.
The Eiffel Tower is 300 metres high, without the 21 metre antenna which is mounted on the top, and in order to get to the top visitors must climb 1665 steps. The number of steps has varied over the years with different renovations. Luckily visitors can use one of the many elevators in order to get to the top.
By far the tallest structure in Paris, the tip may bend away from the vertical by as much as 18cm (7in) due to expansion of its 7,300 metric tons of iron because of heat from the sun. Warming by the sun heats one side more than the other. That’s all the more remarkable since wind shear is usually the major problem with tall structures. But, the engineering is so well-thought out that the strongest winds cause no more than five inches of deflection.
In the beginning The Eiffel Tower met a lot of resistance, there were widespread petitions to have it torn down by some who considered it ugly and intrusive. That might have succeeded if it hadn’t been in use as an antenna for the then-leading-edge technology of telegraphy. In 1909 a permanent underground radio center was built and since 1957 it’s been used as a transmission tower for both FM radio and television. The tower has even been part of scientific research. In 1910, Wulf used it to make measurements that resulted in the discovery of cosmic rays.
The Eiffel Tower was the world’s tallest structure until 1930, the record was then overtaken by The Chrysler Building in New York.
A visit to Paris is not complete without a visit to The Eiffel Tower, it is a must. From the top visitors can se 67 km into the French landscape, it is truly a remarkable sight. If it is not appealing to stand in the long line , which you must do in order to enter the tower, it is very nice just to stand beside or beneath the tower and enjoy it. It is also a good idea to take a picnic in the nearby park.
To visit the tower, take the Metro – the Paris subway – to the Trocadero station. Then, walk from the Palais de Chaillot to the Seine. From there you can’t miss it.