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The first association that arises in thoughts at the mention of France is the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Without exception, all excursions in Paris include a visit to it, leaving a bright mark on the memory of tourists. All the power of the building, its grandeur and beauty makes them stand at the foot of the tower for a long time and, raising their heads, try to catch with their eyes its peak, lost somewhere high in the sky.
EIFFEL TOWER: A LITTLE HISTORY
Built in 1889, the Eiffel Tower originally served as a temporary structure as an entrance arch to the Paris World's Fair. The project assumed its 20-year existence, then disassembly. But its famous and enduring fate was determined by the love of tourists and the commercial component, which contributes a significant share to the city budget due to its ongoing popularity among travelers.
The process of building the Eiffel Tower
The author and implementer of the idea was the architect Gustave Eiffel, who had considerable experience in the construction of railway bridges. There is a version that the Milan gallery of King Victor Emmanuel II inspired him to create the layout.
Gustave Eiffel – father of the Eiffel Tower Wikipedia
Even then, when submitting the project, it was possible to assess the power of the future structure: Eiffel presented about 5 thousand drawings of the elements of the tower on the scale of the original to the commission. The competition considered the work of 107 applicants, and only the Eiffel project was approved. The final construction budget was 7.8 million francs, which paid off immediately, during the exhibition.
Protests against the construction of the tower
The iron landmark has not always aroused such admiration. Immediately after the construction, the tower seemed awkward and cumbersome to the inhabitants of the French capital. According to the local bohemia represented by writers, sculptors, artists, it violated the original beauty of Paris, suppressing its unique architecture. They were supported by ordinary citizens.
Paul Verlaine, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas-son and other famous personalities advocated that she be removed from the Parisian street. A massive protest was sent to the municipality, signed by many members of the Parisian intellectual elite. Guy de Maupassant, also criticizing the construction, dined every day in the restaurant of the tower, explaining his behavior as follows: only from here it is not visible.
Poster for the opening of the 1889 World's Fair in Paris Wikipedia
Despite the episodic rejection of the project, construction went on as usual. In a 5-meter pit, 4 10-meter blocks were installed under each support of the tower. To ensure an accurate horizontal level, each of the 16 supports of the tower was equipped with hydraulic jacks. Initially, Eiffel planned to place decorative statues at the corners of the platforms. But then he changed his mind, leaving only openwork arches, which successfully “diluted” the severity of the design.
Drawings used in the construction of the tower (Wikipedia)
Construction of the Parisian giant
The construction process was facilitated by the availability of detailed drawings, as well as the fact that parts of the future structure arrived at the construction site in finished form. All metal components were made at the Eiffel factory near Paris. The design used 18 thousand metal parts, 2.5 million rivets, 2/3 of which were pre-installed in the right places, which made it possible to save time on drilling holes and fitting parts.
300 workers participated in the project implementation. It took them 26 months to build it: the foundation laying took 5 months, the metal parts were assembled in 21 months. In the course of the work, new equipment and construction equipment were born. As guides in Paris say, it is a monument to the great technical achievements of that period.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris proudly rises 324 meters above the city. With a metal structure weighing 7300 tons, it clearly testifies to the audacity of an architectural solution, so unusual and unacceptable for that time.
The Eiffel Tower towering over Paris
In the 80s of the last century, the tower was reconstructed, replacing centuries-old metal structures with stronger and lighter ones.
Separately, it is worth mentioning the lighting of the “iron lady”. It was turned on for the first time on the opening day and was represented by 10,000 gas lamps and two searchlights. This beauty was crowned with a lighthouse at the top with the symbolic colors of the French flag. Electric lamps on the tower were installed in 1900. The Eiffel Tower in Paris received golden lighting in 1985, for the New Year.
In the summer of 2003, the structure was “dressed” in new lighting clothes from 20,000 light bulbs installed on 40 km of wires. A new custom-made illumination cost the French treasury €4.6 million.
The tower's lighting was last upgraded in 2015. To save energy, electric lamps have been replaced by LEDs. At the same time, 2 wind turbines, thermal panels, rainwater collection systems were installed.
On important days for the country or in honor of some public holidays, the Eiffel Tower is decorated with special colored illumination. So, in 2008 (the year when France assumed the functions of the EU presidency), it was for some time illuminated by the colors of the EU flag.
The Eiffel Tower in the colors of the European Union Wikipedia
THE MAIN PARISIAN SYMBOL OF MODERNITY
Engineer Eiffel had no idea how durable his building would be. Even some members of the commission, who made the fateful decision regarding the adoption of this project, were skeptical about the construction, they say, it will stand for a maximum of 20 years, and then, if it is not demolished, it will collapse to the ground. No one could have imagined how reliable, popular and profitable it would be.
The current state of the Eiffel Tower
Today, the Eiffel Tower, confidently rising on the Champ de Mars, is a true must visit for tourists who decide to see Paris. 125 years have passed since its official opening, and the tourist flow does not dry out, amounting to 7 million travelers a year. The Parisians are proud and love her, allegorically calling her “our lady”. The symbol of Paris is available for visiting on any day, and for Easter and May holidays, the schedule is longer.
Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France
Phone: +33(1)4411 2345
Opening hours: 9:30 am to 11:00 pm< /p>
Official site: http://www.toureiffel.paris/
Surprisingly, no matter how tired you are from seeing local attractions, this iron giant is fascinating. Especially with the onset of dusk, when the tower begins to glow with thousands of lights. This spectacle is impossible to forget.
By the way, in theory, the tower illuminated at night cannot be photographed without the permission of SETE, which maintains it. Lighting (but not the building itself) is a copyright, which prohibits unauthorized publication of photographs of the illuminated tower. But, of course, inquisitive and admiring tourists take pictures of it without thinking about such formalities.
Three tiers of the tower are located at a height of 57, 115, 276 m. wishing to the third level.
Dimensions of the Eiffel Tower
The reliability of the Eiffel Tower is beyond doubt. Eiffel, an experienced bridge builder, took into account all kinds of risks, making the design with curved columns very stable. The amplitude oscillations of the structure during hurricane winds do not exceed 15 cm. The average deviation from the axial center is 6-8 cm.
Ticket offices are located at the foot of the tower. Here, at the service of tourists – information stands with brochures and booklets. There are souvenir shops in each of the columns of the tower. You can send a postcard from the famous place from the post office in the south column. As part of the tour, you can see the old hydraulic machines that once raised elevators.
Since the floors of the structure contain not only observation platforms, but also other objects of interest to tourists, each of them should be described separately.
• First floor
The first floor of the structure is within walking distance, it is overcome 347 steps. Since the ticket costs one and a half times more, many people prefer to climb on foot. The disadvantage is that those who do not use the elevator cannot go up to the third floor.
There is a restaurant and gift shop here. You can learn a lot of interesting things by visiting the Cineiffel Center with an animation demonstration about the history of the object. A lot of objects are devoted to this topic here: photographs, posters, all kinds of illustrations. The French people have something to be proud of!
An unforgettable experience from visiting the first floor of the Eiffel Tower will give a transparent floor and glass balustrades. Do not be afraid of the visual fragility of these elements – all the technical nuances of the building were carefully thought out by the architect at one time.
Here you can also see the remains of the old staircase leading to the office of Gustave Eiffel. You can relax and just look at Paris in the recreation area.
View from the first floor of the Eiffel Tower bewilder2009
• Second floor
From the platform of the 2nd floor, the columns of the tower merge into a single structure. From the 115-meter height of the tier, a delightful, indescribable panorama of Paris opens up. There are 674 steps leading up here, but before you take the hike up, you should think: maybe taking the elevator will give you more pleasure?
At this level, you can visit another souvenir shop and a historical gallery that tells about the construction of the tower, in particular, about the operation of elevators. On the observation deck, equipped with large panoramic windows, you get great photos.
Tourists will be offered a sumptuous lunch at the Le Jules Verne restaurant, which serves exquisite French cuisine. You can get here directly from the ground using the south column elevator.
Second floor of the Wikipedia tower
• Third floor
The third floor of the Eiffel Tower is the Mecca of all travelers. Climbing up to the observation deck, elevated 276 meters above the city, in an elevator with transparent windows, you can see a stunning view of Paris, getting vivid impressions of a lifetime. The staircase to the top has 1710 steps (originally – 1665), but you can only get here by elevator.
The area of the last floor is small, only 250 sq. m. At the same time, about 400 visitors can fit here. In addition to the coveted observation deck, here is the personal office of the architect Eiffel with wax figures and the preserved original interior. Tourists are offered panoramic maps with directions to other sights and cities. The scale model of the floor from the time of the opening looks impressive. If you want to fix in your memory a pleasant trip to the top, you can appreciate the taste of French champagne in the bar (Champagne Bar) located here.
Restaurants on the territory of the tower are quite expensive, but they do not experience a lack of visitors. If you want to have lunch or dinner, it is better to book tables in advance. You can have a snack at affordable prices in buffets located on each floor.
In addition to three levels, the tower has a platform at the base of the structure and a platform with a lighthouse. Today, the lighthouse is controlled by software and only workers are allowed access. The tower is crowned with a spire, added later and repeatedly modified. It is assigned the function of a flagpole, in addition, radio and television antennas are fixed on it. By the way, the first radio broadcast was conducted from here in 1921. During various holidays, the Eiffel Tower in Paris serves as a venue for light shows.
Stunning view of Paris from the third floor of the Eiffel Tower
INTERESTING ABOUT THE EIFFEL TOWER
A lot of interesting things are connected with the tower and its history. It is possible that some of the known can be questioned, but the bulk of the data is well founded. Here are just a few of the information we found.
Personal tower color
All over the world, only the Eiffel Tower has its own “personal”, patented color – Eiffel Brown. The current color, which mimics bronze, was approved in 1968. Every 7 years, the color coating of the structure is updated. Its purpose is not so much decorative as practical. With 57 tons of paint applied in 2 layers, this landmark successfully resists corrosion and environmental damage.
The procedure for restoring the coating is very complicated. Old paint is removed with high pressure steam. Worn structural elements become visible, which are replaced, then the entire structure is covered with new paint. All work is done manually, with ordinary brushes.
An interesting fact: the color of the tower, which seems to us uniform, is actually different: the shades from below and from above are different. This is necessary to create the illusion of its monotony.
Jump into eternity
In 1912, an unlucky tailor jumped from the height of the 1st floor with a parachute of his own invention, the jump ended in failure.
Advertisement on the Eiffel Tower
In 1925, the Eiffel Tower took over as the tallest advertising medium in history. Huge advertising bought by André Citroën glowed on 3 sides of the tower. The surname of the owner of the Citroen concern and its name, located vertically, were visible for 40 km around. In addition, flights of comets, bright starry rain, signs of the zodiac alternately flashed on the high-rise. Later, signs and clocks were added to the backlight. This lighting was dismantled in 1934.
Advertisement for Citroen Wikipedia
The Hitler Case
During the occupation by the Germans, the tower proved its patriotism to the people with a curious case. Hitler, having arrived in Paris, expressed a desire to climb to its top. Literally the day before, the elevator broke down in the tower, so the Fuhrer failed to fulfill his intention. For 4 years, German craftsmen tried to fix the complex mechanism, but their attempts were in vain. The French workers shrugged their shoulders, referring to the lack of necessary spare parts. It is noteworthy that in 1944, on the day of the liberation of Paris, the elevator suddenly started working. It looks like it was a “sabotage for good.”
Hitler against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower, June 23, 1940 Wikipedia
• The Eiffel Tower has repeatedly become a tasty morsel for various kinds of scams. In 1954, a citizen of Sweden, imagining himself the general director of a joint-stock company, made a proposal to cover the structure with anti-corrosion paint. Either he was very convincing, or the creditors were too gullible, but the swindler was given a loan to purchase 50 tons of paint, after which he disappeared.
• Another large-scale scam for those times was carried out in 1925. A certain Victor Lustig, having seized the moment when Paris could no longer finance the tower, persuaded two wealthy people to finance it. Having received the funds, the fraudster disappeared to no one knows where.
• In 1960, a greengrocer from England, David Sams, sold the Paris memo as scrap metal to a Dutch company. Arguing with false documents, he said that the city municipality had instructed him to dismantle the structure. As a result of the “event”, the company lost its money, and the fraudster himself ended up in jail.
And someone even takes the tower as a husband!
• Incredible but true fact: in 2007 Erica La Tour, who lives in San Francisco, married the Eiffel Tower. Driven by her love of high-profile real estate, she took the surname Eiffel. The authorities allowed the American woman to change her name, but the marriage was not recognized.
The same Erica La Tour
Clones around the world
The Eiffel Tower is successfully “cloned”. There are small copies of it of various sizes in Varna (Bulgaria), the city of Slobozia (Romania), Las Vegas (USA), Aktau (Kazakhstan), Copenhagen (Denmark).
A clone of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas
There have been false reports of mining the structure more than once. Naturally, the height of the Eiffel Tower cannot but attract people prone to suicide. There have been cases like this as well. There is a story of a woman who jumped from a tower, landed on the roof of a car and subsequently married its owner. A lot of interesting things happen to the tower to this day. It is understandable: such a remarkable tourist site will never lose attention, delighting travelers with its majestic beauty.
Watch this video showing the Eiffel Tower in all its glory!