Eiffel Tower under construction

Eiffel Tower: History and Construction

Did you know that Parisian public and artists absolutely hated the Eiffel Tower When it was first introduced to public?

A woman with ‘object fetish’ even married the Eiffel Tower in 2008!

A world renowned con-artist “sold” the Eiffel Tower. Twice.

The Eiffel Tower is one of the most travelled destination in the entire globe.

It’s a world famous landmark of Paris. If you return from Paris the first questions your friends might ask you is “So, how was Eiffel Tower?” and then “is it truly as extraordinary as the books and movies?”

In this blog I will take you through a journey from the history to it’s structural design to the constitution and it’s construction. I will also discuss a bit about the best things to do in the area of Eiffel tower, as well as some fun facts related to it.

History of Eiffel Tower:

Eiffel tower construction
©wikipedia
Eiffel Tower had a very interesting history. Its initial design was rejected by Gustave Eiffel himself. The local public of Paris along with the artist societies protested against the construction of tower, claiming that it was incredibly ugly.

Let me tell you about the history of this magnificent building, one of the biggest tourist attractions in the entire world. The how and why of it’s origin to the present times.

Eiffel Tower Origins:


Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nougier, two senior engineers that were planning for campaign des Établishments Eifel are given the actual credit for designing the Eiffel Tower.

It was admitted by Eiffel that Latting observatory of New York City was the inspiration for building a tower.
Gustave Eiffel wasn’t very interested or hyped up about the project to build a tower at the starting. However, he did approve of more thorough approach to the design and a bit more research and study into it before he could be any certain.

Stephen Sauvestre, who was the head of the architectural department of the company, was approached later on, to ask for design contribution from him, on this strange project to build a gigantic tower.

Sauvestre turned out to be good with finer details. His innovative touch with glass panel, addition of decorative arches as well as other finer changes made the design much more appealing to Eiffel. Ultimately gaining his support.

Eiffel bought the design copyrights and patent as well. He presented the design at the exhibition of decorative art in 1884. In 30th March 1885 Eiffel disclosed his plans about the tower to Société des Ingénieurs Civils;

“Not only the art of the modern engineer, but also the century of Industry and Science in which we are living, and for which the way was prepared by the great scientific movement of the eighteenth century and by the Revolution of 1789, to which this monument will be built as an expression of France’s gratitude.”

Although plans were made, design copyrights and patent bought, but there was not much progress seen, at least not until 1886.
After Édouard Lockroy was chosen as minister along with Jules Grevy, who was re elected as president of France and this project was finally passed by the government.

Instance duction better than endangering his own company for the morning test budget that is needed to build the tower I felt acted as as as one representative and got the contract signed on 8 January of 1887.

Although the projected cost for the construction of the tower was estimated to be around 6.5 million francs, he was only granted 1.5 million francs.

In it’s place, he was allotted leave to receive any and all revenue coming for next 20 years, that came from the marketable usages of the tower during that time period.

Why was Eiffel Tower built?


The idea of Eiffel Tower was born as France’s entry to show the craft and technical abilities in 1889 Exposition Universelle, a celebration of centennial of the French Revolution.

The magnificent construction was built and design by the engineer Gustave Eiffel and his team, later on it was named after him. Constructed during 1887-89, it was nicknamed “La dame de fer” by Parisians.

How big is Eiffel Tower?

Eiffel Tower, Paris
©free stock
Eiffel Tower is 1063 feet tall or 324 metres high, the base measures up to equal dimensions on each side of 125 metres or 410 ft.

The famous landmark of Paris even crossed Washington monument to take its place as the tallest man made structure in the globe for 41 years. The Chrysler building took it’s place in New York City, as the tallest man made structure after it was finished building back in 1930.

The tower consists of 3 levels accessible to visitors. Climbing from ground level to first level takes about 300 steps. Alternatively, you can choose to take the lift from ground to first or second levels. Both the levels consist of restaurants for visitors as well.

The third layer and the highest platform accessible to visitors stands about 276 metre from the ground.
If you are visiting Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, you will need to purchase the tickets that will let you enter through lift or ascent up the stairs to first or second levels.

When was the Eiffel Tower built?


The Eiffel Tower was built in a period of under two years wireless work started on this foundation back in 28 January 1887 the construction The construction was finished in 1889.

Time scale of Eiffel Tower construction;
On 18 July 1887 direction of the metal works started for Eiffel Tower depicting the true billing of the start of building down after the foundations were built completely.

7th December 1887 was the day when, the legs and scaffoldings of the tower were started to be worked upon.

20th March 1888 became the monumental date of the formation of first level of the tower.

Beginning of building of the second phase started on 15th May 1888.

The second tier was fully built on 21st August 1888.

With 26th December 1888, started the building of upper stages of the tower.

On 15th March of 1889, the cupola of the tower was built.

How to get up the levels of Eiffel Tower?


There are two major ways you can go up the different stages of Eiffel Tower accessible to public. One is the good old way of climbing up the stairs manually and the 2nd is by taking the lift to the upper levels.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that, to do either of those above, you will have to buy your tickets first of all.

Lifts: Ever since the beginning of the building of the tower, creating proper lifts to go up the levels was a major concern for the committee overseeing its construction.

If you think about it, it is quite obvious in hindsight, that while many people may choose to go up the levels while climbing the stairs, most if not all will prefer lift, because, the easier the better.

The lifts for first level were relatively manageable and the contract for this construction was given to Combulazier & Lepape and Roux in East and West legs, two lifts were to be fitted.

While the lifts for first level was actually straight forward to install, the lifts for second level was a conundrum that French companies found themselves in.

None of the French construction companies succeeded in putting forth a good plan for creating the lifts for second level. Otis brothers and Company, a European branch, put forth a proposal for the lift, but it was dismissed.

The government wanted the work to stay in France, the companies and materials involved to be French as well, however none of the French companies were up to the task.

The problem with the lift for second level was, that it was not in a straight line like the common one for first level, there was a slight curve to the space from first level ending to the peak of second, which became the problem.
The lift for second to third level was provided by Léon Edoux.

Design of the Eiffel Tower

Design of the Eiffel tower
©wikipedia

How does the Eiffel Tower stand against wind resistance?

When the Eiffel Tower was built at first people objected to the fact that it was designed with artistic connotation in mind rather than technical aspects that should have been put into more consideration.

It was thought that the basic principles of engineering were disregard it completely to make it Decorative and fanciful.

However, The company that built this the team of designers along with engineers and builders had considered all angles from the very beginning. All of them were experts for their own field and something as basic as consideration of wind forces was taken into account before the building process even started.

In fact after closer examination love the tower design it was revealed that all the bots on the tower were Bogdan at length, even going sometimes the extra length to ensure that there will be no chances of any future problems related to resistance from wind forces.

Accommodations in the Eiffel Tower:
At the start the first level of the tower comprised of three restaurants, one Russian, one Flemish, one French and a bar which was Anglo American in nature.

The Flemish bistro was later renovated into a theatre with 250 seats in total. There were even some laboratories that were used to conduct some experiments.

Gustave Eiffel used to live there occasionally in a small flat at the top where he entertained his guests. Presently the lodgings has been opened to the public. It now contains realistic figures of various celebrity guests that visited the quarters as well as of Gustave Eiffel himself.

Recently a lodging was built on the first level of the tower for the four winners of UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament in Paris that occurred in June.

The immortalised engraved names of the Eiffel tower creators


One of the most notable things about the Eiffel Tower is perhaps the names engraved on it the girl recognition to the building of the tower to its creators.

These engravings contain the names of the engineers, mathematicians and about 72 French scientists that took part and its construction and design.

You would be surprised to inow that the names at the very start of 20th century but later on during 1986 to 87 société nouvelle d’exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, the company in charge of managing the tower, had the engravings restored.

The Aesthetics and decorations of the tower

Eiffel tower, Paris©asianage.com
Although venue visit Paris to see Eiffel Tower you can clearly see by yourself that the tower is mostly practical and design. it has been built with countering the wind resistance in design.

At the beginning the artists even protested vehemently against its construction. They thought it will put a damper on the artistic beauty of other buildings in Paris and called it a gigantic monstrosity as well.

Who thought that later on it will become the landmark of France of Paris one of the most travel destinations in the entire world as well as the best place in the entire world for couples to visit.

It is not always all that apparent and look and structure but sometimes the concepts behind the structures win over the norms of beauty fixed by society.

The tower has been colour in three shades that is considerably lighter towards the top an it gets darker at its bottom. The lighter shade at the top matches with the Parisian sky, giving it an etheral feeling.

In 1968 it was renovated and the original reddish Brown colour was altered into a relatively bronze hue, which is nowadays known as Eiffel tower Brown.

While most of the tower has been built with functionality in mind, the decorative curves added by Sauvestre, which eventually convinced Gustave Eiffel to take up the cause of getting the tower erected, are perhaps the only non-structural aspect of the tower.

Travel to Eiffel Tower:


Before you plan to travel to Eiffel you must be prepared with the transport and a bit of prior research is recommended.

The closest form of transport to Eiffel Tower is Bir-Hakeim of Paris Metro Station. Champ De Mars Tour Eiffel is the nearby RER station that you should look into if you plan to visit the tower.

Things to do near Eiffel Tower:

  1. Have a fun picnic at Champ De Mars with your loved ones
  2. Take a stroll along the nearby Trocadero Gardens
  3. Explore the Parais De Chaillot
  4. Relish the modern art at Modern Art Museum
  5. Become an art connoisseur at the art show at Palais De Tokyo
  6. Loosening up on a cruise at the river Seine
  7. Check out the Napoleon Tomb at hotel Des Invalides

Fun Facts about the Eiffel Tower:


• A world renown con-artist Victor Lustig, “sold” the Eiffel Tower. Twice.

• The tower is a construct of metal, hence it shrinks about 6 inches every cold season.

• The tower is about 324 meters tall presently, after the antenna was included,Just want to get to know more about the cultural history of Paris and how the landmark of Paris slated with the nations history then you can click here to get to know more about it it also weighs about 10,100 tonnes.

• Before the Chrysler building of New York was built in 1930, it remained the world’s tallest building for about 41 consecutive years.

• Around 250 million visitors have been to Eiffel tower ever since it was built till now.

• A women even married the Eiffel Tower in 2008, she was known to have an ‘object fetish’.

If you visit France you must visit Paris. If you visit Paris, Eiffel Tower is perhaps the one travel destination to go, if you had to choose one place to go.

If you want to know a bit more about the culture and history of the nation that houses the extraordinary tower then you can click here, my previous post will tell you more in-depth facts about it.

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