Eiffel Tower Paris

Eiffel Tower facts

Learn more about the history and construction of the Eiffel Tower, and discover the curiosities and all the must-know facts here.

History

In 1889 the Universal Exhibition was held in Paris. This date was not chosen by chance, as it was also the centenary of the French Revolution.

To celebrate it with the necessary grandeur, it was decided to hold a great contest. The intention was to design the largest tower in the world, which would illuminate the center of Paris, and with which Paris would definitively leave its mark as the capital of art and architecture..

The contest was won by the 2 engineers Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguie. They worked for the office of the well-known engineer Gustave Eiffel, who had previously made the Statue of Liberty in New York.

The works began in 1887 and lasted 2 years. The tower was dedicated on March 31, 1889 and officially opened to the public on May 6.

Eiffel Tower construction in 1888
Eiffel Tower in 1888
image of the Eiffel Tower in the past

Initially, there was much criticism of this new monument. Many Parisians felt that this ‘tragic lamppost’ disturbed the urban landscape. The intention was that the tower would be demolished after 5 years, but since the tower functioned as a radio mast, it remained standing. After a while public opinion changed, the population saw the benefits of this new monument and embraced it as the emblem of the city.

The ‘Iron Lady’ incited other architects, engineers and artists to go to extremes to push new limits in the construction of monumental works of art.

Timeline of the Eiffel Tower

  • 1887
    Beginning of the construction of the Tower.
  • March 31, 1889
    Official inauguration of the Eiffel Tower.
  • January 12, 1908
    The first long-distance radio message was successfully sent from the Eiffel Tower.
  • January 3, 1956
    The top of the Eiffel Tower was damaged by fire. A year later, the current antenna was installed.
  • 1991
    The Eiffel Tower is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • 2000
    The Eiffel Tower was modernized with a sophisticated lighting system, in total there are now 20,000 lights on the Tower. These are lit every night at 10pm, which always results in a spectacular light show.
  • 2021
    French President Emmanuel Macron spectacularly announces the Paris 2024 Olympic Games from the Eiffel Tower.

Construction

The Eiffel Tower was built between 1887 and 1889, and more than 250 metal workers worked on it.

Eiffel Tower construction timeline

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Who built the Eiffel Tower?

Alexander Gustave Eiffel, the man credited for designing this magnificent structure, was born on the December 15, 1832. He studied architectural engineering and gradually became an expert in designing metal bridges and railways. His career got a major breakthrough when he built the 525 feet long bridge for the railways called the ‘Ponte Maria Pia’. This bridge soon became quite famous because it aided in traveling between the cities of Portuguese and Lisbon. The credit of designing another famous railway bridge known as ‘Garabit viaduct’ constructed in the year 1884 also goes to Gustave Eiffel. The Statue of Liberty was also designed by the same man in the year 1885. Later, he proposed and designed the Eiffel Tower. After getting the formal approval, the construction began in the year 1887. He used 18,038 pieces of iron fitted together with three million rivets.

Other names that are often included in the designing of the Eiffel Tower are his assistant engineers and designers, Maurice Koechlin, Emile Nouguier and Stephen Sauvestre. This tower was formerly inaugurated on 31st March 1889 and was opened to public visit on 6th May the same year.

Facts & figures

  • The creation of the tower was started on 26 January 1887.
  • The erection was finished on 31 March 1889.
  • The main architect who designed of this tower was Alexandre Gustave Eiffel.
  • The main engineers were Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier and the construction of the tower was handled by Jean Companion.
  • The height of the tower is 324 meters.
  • The highest quality puddle iron was used to create the giant Eiffel Tower.
  • 9441 tons of wrought iron has been used to make the tower.
  • To create the tower, total 18,038 pieces of wrought iron were joined together.
  • To paint this huge tower some 60 tons of paint is necessary.
  • The tower is painted at a duration of every seven years with three different shades of brown color. The darkest shade could be seen at the bottom.
  • Still the method of painting is used with brushes.
  • From the top of the tower, with clear weather, you can take glance of nearly 42 miles.
  • The foot of the tower covers 100 square meters of area.
  • The tower has total 1710 steps to the topmost third level small platform, 674 steps to the second level, and 347 to the first. All of them were counted from the ground.
  • Disabled visitors who take support of the wheelchair can visit the Eiffel Tower up to the second level through the elevator.
  • The tower also has restaurants situated on the first and second platform.
  • • More than 300 million people visited this famous landmark since its inception.
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