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Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is the most recognizable landmark in Paris and is known worldwide as a symbol of France. Named after its designer, Gustave Eiffel, it is a premier tourist destination, with over 5.5 million visitors per year. The tower received its 200,000,000th guest on November 28, 2002.

The tower was built from 1887-1889 for the Exposition Universelle (1889)[?], a World's fair at the centennial celebration of the French revolution and was inaugurated on March 31, 1889 and opened on May 6. 300 steel workers joined together 18,038 pieces of steel, using two and a half million rivets[?]. Considering the safety standards in place at the time, it is remarkable that only one worker died in the construction of the tower.

Perhaps predictably, the tower met with resistance from the public when it was first built, many thought it would be an eyesore. Today it is widely considered to be one of the most striking pieces of architectural art in the world.

Originally, Eiffel had a permit to leave the tower standing for 20 years, but as it proved valuable for communication purposes, it was allowed to stay after the end of the permit. On January 12, 1908 the first long-distance radio message was sent from the tower.

The Eiffel Tower was once "sold" to a dupe by con artist Victor Lustig.

The tower is 300 metres tall, (986 feet), not including the television antenna on top, which adds another 20 meters. Maintenance on the tower includes 50 tons of dark brown paint every 7 years.

One of the great Hollywood movie clichés is that the view from a Parisian window always includes the Eiffel Tower.

In the 1980s an old restaurant and its supporting iron scaffolding midway up the tower was dismantled; this was purchased and reconstructed in New Orleans, Louisiana, originally as the Tour Eiffel Restaurant, more recently known as the Red Room.

In the year 2000, flashing lights and several high power searchlights were installed on the tower. Since then the light show has become a nightly event. The search lights on top of the tower make it a beacon in Paris' night sky.

View from the Tower down the Champ de Mars[?], with the Tour Montparnasse (Montparnasse Tower) in the distance.

View from the Tower across the River Seine, showing the Trocadero[?] gardens and the Palais de Chaillot[?]. A pleasure boat cruises on the river.

Several reproductions of the Eiffel Tower (often smaller-scale) are found in:

In the late 19th Century there was a proposal to build a tower at Wembley. Several designs were put forward; the winning entry was a six-legged metal tower. Eventually the proposal was dropped, perhaps because the tower would have looked too similar to the Eiffel Tower.


  • Metro: Trocadéro (9) or Bir-Hakeim (6)
  • RER: Champs-de-Mars - Tour-Eiffel (C)

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