The Eiffel Tower is the most recognizable landmark in Paris, a symbol of France, named after its creator Gustav Eiffel. It is a place of true pilgrimage for tourists. The designer himself called it simply – a 300-meter tower.
Eiffel Tower (Paris) – a symbol of France
In 2006, 6,719,200 people visited the tower, and over its entire history – over 250 million people, which makes the tower the most visited attraction in the world. The Eiffel Tower was conceived as a temporary building – it served as the entrance arch of the Paris World Exhibition in 1889. From the demolition planned 20 years after the demolition exhibition, the tower was saved by the radio antennas installed at the very top – this was the era of the introduction of radio.
Where is the Eiffel Tower
If we talk about where the Eiffel Tower is located specifically, it stands on the Champ de Mars opposite the Jena bridge across the River Seine.
The question of how to get to the Eiffel Tower is also very simple: you need to focus on the Bir-Hakeim station of line 6 of the Paris Underground. Another option is line 9 Trocadero station. Bus routes to the Eiffel Tower: 42, 69, 72, 82, and 87.
Eiffel tower height
The height of the Eiffel Tower is 324 meters.
For over 40 years, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest building in the world, almost 2 times higher than the tallest buildings in the world at that time – the Cheops Pyramid (137 m), Cologne Cathedral (156 m) and Ulm Cathedral (161 m), until 1930 it was not surpassed by the Chrysler Building in New York.
throughout its history, the tower has repeatedly changed the color of its painting – from yellow to red-brown. In recent decades, the Eiffel Tower has invariably painted in “brown-Eiffel” – an officially patented color close to the natural shade of bronze.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris was created specifically for the 1889 World Exhibition, which was organized by the authorities for the centenary of the French Revolution.
The famous engineer Gustave Eiffel submitted to the Paris administration his project for a 300-meter iron tower, he did not actually deal with. On September 18, 1884, Gustav Eiffel received a joint patent with his employees for the project and subsequently redeems the exclusive right from them.
On May 1, 1886, the French competition for architectural and engineering projects for the future World Exhibition opened, where 107 applicants took part. The Eiffel project becomes one of the 4th winners.
In January 1887, the Eiffel, the state and the municipality of Paris signed an agreement according to which the Eiffel was granted personal use of the tower for 25 years, and also provided for a cash subsidy of 1.5 million gold francs, which amounted to 25% of all expenses tower construction. On December 31, 1888, in order to attract the missing funds, a joint-stock company with a statutory fund of 5 million francs is created. Half of this amount – funds contributed by three banks, the second half – personal funds of Eiffel himself.
The final construction budget amounted to 7.8 million francs. The tower paid off during the exhibition, and its subsequent operation turned out to be a very profitable business.
Eiffel tower construction
Construction work for over two years – from January 28, 1887, to March 31, 1889 – was carried out by 300 workers. The record-breaking construction dates were facilitated by extremely high-quality drawings indicating the exact dimensions of more than 12,000 metal parts, for the assembly of which 2.5 million rivets were used.
To complete the construction of the Eiffel Tower on time, Eiffel used, for the most part, prefabricated parts. Initially, high cranes were used. When the design outgrew them in height, mobile cranes specially designed by Eiffel. They moved along the rails laid for future elevators.
The first elevators on the tower were powered by hydraulic pumps. Up to now, two historical elevators of the Fives-Lill company have been used, installed in 1899 in the eastern and western supports of the tower. Since 1983, their operation has been provided by an electric motor, and the hydraulic pumps are stored and available for inspection.
The second and third floors of the tower were connected by a vertical elevator, created by engineer Edu (Eifel’s classmate at the Central High Technical School) and consisting of two mutually equal cabins.
In 1983, this lift, which could not work in the winter, was replaced by an Otis brand electric lift. It consisted of four cabins and provided direct communication between two floors. The construction of the Eiffel Tower required special attention to the safety issues of continuous operation. This was Eiffel’s greatest concern. During the construction work, there was not a single death, which was a significant achievement for that time.
Eiffel Tower (France): public reaction
The construction was a tremendous and immediate success. Over the six months of the exhibition, more than 2 million visitors came to see the “Iron Lady”. By the end of the year, three-quarters of all construction costs were recovered.
Since 1906, a radio station has been permanently located on the tower. January 1, 1910, Eiffel extends the lease of the tower for a period of seventy years. In 1921, the first direct broadcast from the Eiffel Tower took place. Broadcasting was made possible by the installation of special antennas on the tower.
In 1925, the first attempts were made to relay a television signal from a tower. The transmission of regular television programs began in 1935. Since 1957, a television tower has been located on the tower, increased the height of the steel structure to 320.75 m.
During the German occupation of 1940, they damaged the elevator drive just before the arrival of Adolf Hitler, so the Fuhrer never climbed it.
In August 1944, as the Allies approached Paris, Hitler ordered General Dietrich von Koltitz, the military governor of Paris, to destroy the tower along with other city attractions. But Von Koltitz did not obey the order.
Eiffel Tower: interesting facts
- The weight of the metal structure is 7,300 tons (total weight 10,100 tons). Today, three towers could be built from this metal at once. The foundation is removed from concrete massifs;
- The lower floor is a pyramid (129.2 m each side at the base), formed by 4 columns connected at an altitude of 57.63 m by an arch vault;
- Stairs (1792 steps) and elevators lead to the tower.
The halls of the restaurant were erected on the first platform; on the second platform, there were tanks with machine oil for a hydraulic lifting machine and a restaurant in a glass gallery. The third platform housed an astronomical and meteorological observatory and a physical office. The light of the lighthouse was visible at a distance of 10 km.
Together with his engineers – specialists in bridge construction, Eiffel was involved in calculating wind power, realizing that if they build the tallest structure in the world, they must first make sure that it is resistant to wind loads.
The original contract with the Eiffel was to dismantle the tower 20 years after construction. As you might guess, it was never realized, and the history of the Eiffel Tower continued.
Eiffel Tower Lighting
For the first time, lighting on the Eiffel Tower was turned on on the day it was opened in 1889. Then it consisted of 10 thousand gas lamps, two searchlights, and a lighthouse installed at the top, the light of which was painted in blue, white, and red – the colors of the national flag of France. In 1900, electric lamps appeared on the constructions of the Iron Lady. And the current golden lighting was first turned on December 31, 1985, and it can be seen on a variety of photos of the Eiffel Tower, taken in recent years.
In the summer of 2003, the tower “dressed” in a new lighting robe. For several months, a team of thirty climbers entangled the tower structure with 40 kilometers of wires and installed 20 thousand light bulbs made by the special order of one of the French companies. The new illumination, which cost 4.6 million euros, resembled the one that first turned on the tower on New Year’s Eve, when the tower, usually illuminated by golden yellow lanterns, dressed in a few seconds in a fabulous radiance, winking with silver lights.
The Eiffel Tower consists of four levels: lower (ground), 1st floor (57 meters), 2nd floor (115 meters) and 3rd floor (276 meters). Each of them is remarkable in its own way.
- At the lower level, there are ticket offices where you can buy tickets to the Eiffel Tower, an information stand where you can grab useful brochures and booklets, as well as 4 souvenir shops – one in each tower column.
- On the 1st floor, which you can climb on foot if you wish, will delight tourists with another souvenir shop and restaurant.
- On the 2nd floor, the first thing that attracts attention is the general panorama of Paris, opening from a 115-meter height.
- On the 3rd floor is the main goal of many tourists, in fact, the top of the tower, located at an altitude of 276 meters, where elevators with transparent glasses lead, so that already on the way there is a stunning view of the French capital.
Eiffel Tower Restaurants
Lunch or just skip a glass of wine in one of the restaurants located on the Eiffel Tower, admiring the view of Paris – many people dream about it, so once you go upstairs you should not deny yourself the pleasure of visiting the restaurant on the Eiffel Tower. In total, the tower has two excellent restaurants, a bar, and several buffets.
58 Tour Eiffel
The 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant, which opened not so long ago on the 1st level of the Eiffel Tower, offers its visitors both light lunches and classic dinners, which can be enjoyed in the cozy and friendly atmosphere, looking at Paris from a 57-meter height.
The restaurant on the 2nd floor of the tower, named after the famous writer, is an excellent example of modern and refined French cuisine.
The Champagne Bar, located on top of the Eiffel Tower, and a glass of sparkling drink drunk in it, is a kind of logical conclusion to the ascent to the main attraction of Paris. You can choose pink or white champagne, which cost between 10-15 euros per glass.
Eiffel Tower: tickets
Ticket offices are located at the lowest level of the tower. The cost of an adult ticket to the top of the tower is 13.40 euros, to the 2nd floor – 8.20 euros. Other tickets can be found on this page in a separate section. In addition, tickets to the Eiffel Tower can be purchased online at the attractions site.
In this case, an electronic ticket is sent to e-mail, which must be printed out and taken with you on the day of the visit. Tickets can be purchased at least a day before the visit. You can book tickets for the Eiffel Tower on the website, where all instructions are also indicated.