From the top of its 312 metres, the Eiffel Tower invites us to scale its 3 floors to admire the views on offer. This monumental grand old lady of Paris leaves no visitor indifferent. It symbolises Paris the world over. It’s nice to look at it throughout the day when you live in Paris; catch a glimpse of it between two buildings, when it shimmers, at any time of night….
A little history…
At the time of its construction, it had many detractors. Writers and architects – Guy de Maupassant, Alexandre Dumas, Charles Garnier – denounced it in an open letter dated February 14, 1887; the ugliness of such a tower and the dishonour that awaited Paris if the construction of such a building were to go continue.
At the idea of welcoming the Universal Exhibition to Paris once again during the centenary of the French Revolution, the government of the Troisième République was enthusiastic about the construction of a tower that would form a triumphal entrance. On June 12, 1886, the project by the engineer Gustave Eiffel, under the patent “for a new layout allowing the construction of pillars and metal pylons to a height that may exceed three hundred metres” was unanimously adopted. On January 30, 1887, the building of the monument began and was completed one month before the opening of the universal exhibition in 1889.
During the event, around 12,000 visitors scaled the 1,652 steps of this 312-metre tall tower every day. It proved to be a success and its supporters considered it to be a symbol of modernity. However, from the outset, the tower had been planned as a temporary work. Despite this, Gustave Ferrié (1868-1932), an engineer and general of the French army, a pioneer in telegraphs, proposed in 1903 to place an antenna at the top of the Eiffel Tower. The trial was conclusive and allowed the tower, which was destined to certain destruction, to be saved. As early as 1906, it was transmitting over 3,000 km. In 1910, it provided the international time service and in 1957 a television antenna was installed.
Nowadays, the Eiffel Tower remains an unprecedented attraction. Film directors regularly record it for their scenes set in Paris. It offers unparalleled views over Paris, the Champ de Mars and Trocadéro await those who climb it… It dresses in its most beautiful lights for the fireworks display on July 14th each year.
And quite simply, it enchants us every single day. We like to catch a glimpse of it between two buildings. In the evening time, the Eifel Tower shines and sparkles every hour on the hour. It’s a wonderland show.
The bravest visitors can still take the staircase, but there are also lifts available.
Summit €14, 2nd floor by lift €8.50, 2nd floor by stairs €5.
Lovers of the Eiffel Tower can improve their knowledge of its history by visiting the museum devoted to the subject on the first floor.
Lovers of good food can enjoy the dishes on offer at the star restaurant “Jules Verne” that overlooks the capital.
Finally, on the North pillar, a statue by the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929) pays homage to Gustave Eiffel.
Source images Paris-is-beautiful.com / Happiness as an Art de Vivre :
312N, 312O, 312P, 312Q, 312R-TOUR-EIFFEL : Source : François Rollet / 312S, 312T, 312U, 312V-TOUR-EIFFEL : Source : Anna Kèsz?