Who has never heard of Eiffel Tower? The landmark of Paris is one of the most recognizable land structures in the world. Located in Champ de Mars, Paris, the Eiffel Tower (or “La Tour Eiffel” as the French people call it), is nicknamed “La dame de fer” which means “The iron lady,” referring to its wrought iron material.
Eiffel Tower is recorded as the tallest tower in Paris at 324 meters. The fact that Paris is the most visited city in the world and those who go to Paris would never miss Eiffel Tower, the landmark also claims the title as the most visited monument in the world.
Who built it and when was it built?
Gustave Eiffel is the name of the engineer who built the monument that held record as the tallest building in the world until Chrysler Building was built in 1930. Obviously, the tower got its name from the very man who built it. Gustave Eiffel was chosen to build Eiffel tower not only by luck. Previously, he was already famous for his revolutionary bridge building techniques when he helped with the great viaduct construction at Garabit in 1884. That was also the reason why Gustave Eiffel designed the Eiffel Tower as a giant iron structure.
It took two years to complete the Eiffel Tower. The construction was started in 1887 and completed in 1889. Eiffel was assisted by Émile Nouguier, Maurice Koechlin, and architect Stephen Sauvestre in building the famous landmark.
Why was it built?
As any other landmark in the world, Eiffel Tower was built for a purpose. It was supposed to serve as the entrance arch for Exposition Universelle or The World Exhibition in 1889. The Exhibition itself is an event held as celebration of the 100th anniversary of French Revolution in 1789.
The interesting thing is the Eiffel Tower was only meant to last for the Exposition period. Yet the construction still stands strong until now despite the objections from people who thought that the huge object was a sore to the eye and feared that it would not fit into Paris’ architecture atmosphere. Well, they were certainly proved wrong since now the Eiffel Tower is the first thing that comes to people’s mind when they hear the word “Paris”.
Eiffel Tower Maintenance and Aesthetic Considerations
Today, the France government allocates 50 to 60 tons of paint every seven years to protect the iron from rust. The color of the paint is changing all the time but it always follows a certain arrangement. For aesthetic purpose, three hues of one color are applied, each to one of three levels of the tower. The lowest level is painted with the darkest hue and the hue gets lighter to the top.
Visiting Eiffel Tower
Since its building, Eiffel Tower already has over 200,000,000 visitors. If you are lucky enough to visit Paris, do not just stare the tower from afar. You need to get inside and experience the view of Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
There are elevators available to take you from one level to the next. Each level has something interesting to offer so make sure that you don’t miss any of them. There are souvenir shops and presentation about painting on the first level. A restaurant called Le 58 tour Eiffel is also ready for you whenever you want to experience French culinary right in Eiffel Tower.
Second level offers you much exotic view with telescopes. More shops and a Michelin star restaurant, Le Jules Verne, will not disappoint you. Third level has the most beautiful view, day or night, to experience. You can find new-restored office and featuring wax figures of Gustave Eiffel and Thomas Edison in conversation.
Don’t go back to your hotel too early because Eiffel Tower will look really different at night. With thousands of light bulbs decorating it, the Eiffel Tower defines the Paris’ nickname as “The City of Light.”
You can reach Eiffel Tower by taking Métro to Trocadéro Station and then walk from Palais de Chaillot to Seine. While you are in Palais de Chaillot, enjoy the free shows from dancers and acrobats performing their best acts there. Also relax yourself with the green esplanade scenery of Parc du Champs-de-Mars beneath the tower.