Arc de Triomphe
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower was built for the
International Exhibition of Paris of 1889 commemorating the centenary
of the French Revolution. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward
VII of England, opened the tower. Of the 700 proposals submitted
in a design competition, Gustave Eiffel's was unanimously chosen.
However it was not accepted by all at first, and a petition of 300
names - including those of Maupassant, Emile Zola, Charles Garnier
(architect of the Opéra Garnier), and Dumas the Younger -
protested its construction.
At 300 metres (320.75m including antenna), and 7000 tons, it was
the world's tallest building until 1930. Other statistics include:
2.5 million rivets.
300 steel workers, and 2 years (1887-1889) to construct
Sway of at most 12 cm in high winds.
Height varies up to 15 cm depending on temperature.
15,000 iron pieces (excluding rivets).
40 tons of paint.
1652 steps to the top.
It was almost torn down in 1909, but was saved because of its antenna
- used for telegraphy at that time. Beginning in 1910 it became
part of the International Time Service. French radio (since 1918),
and French television (since 1957) have also made use of its stature.
During its lifetime, the
Eiffel Tower has also witnessed a few strange scenes, including
being scaled by a mountaineer in 1954, and parachuted off of in
1984 by two Englishmen. In 1923 a journalist rode a bicycle down
from the first level. Some accounts say he rode down the stairs,
other accounts suggest the exterior of one of the tower's four legs
which slope outward.
However, if its birth was
difficult, it is now completely accepted and must be listed as one
of the symbols of Paris itself.
The tower has three platforms. A restaurant
(extremely expensive; reservations absolutely necessary), the Jules
Verne is on the second platform. The top platform has a bar, souvenir
shop, and the (recently restored) office of Gustave Eiffel.
From its platforms - especially the topmost - the view upon Paris
is superb. It is generally agreed that one hour before sunset, the
panorama is at its best.
Practical Info :
CHAMP DE MARS
RER: Bir Hakeim
Champ de Mars
Tél. : 01.44.11.23.23
Winter: 9.30 a.m.-11 p.m. - Summer: 9 a.m.-midnight
Standard: 1st floor 24 FF(3,66 E). Special rates: 14 FF(2,13 E)
Second floor: 45 FF(6,86 E). Special rates: 25 FF(3,81 E)
Third floor: 65 FF(9,91 E). Special rates: 35 FF(5,34 E)
For the stairs, 1st and 2nd floor: 20 FF(3,05 E) late night opening:
Every night - Group: Res. 48 hours - Guided Tours, Conferences:
Res. 1 month