Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Science and Technology of France

The Eiffel Tower

Home | The Eiffel Tower | Picture of Eiffel Tower | Le Ponte De Normandie | The Concorde | Picture of Concorde | L'Observatoire de Paris | French Traffic Signs | French Companies | French Inventions | French Names | French Scientists | French Mathematicians | French Doctors | French Architects | Technology in France | Sources

A BIT OF HISTORY

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, one was unanimously chosen, a radical creation from the French structural engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (b. Dec. 15, 1832, d. Dec. 28, 1923), who was assisted in the design by engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, and architect Stephen Sauvestre.

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. The petition read, "We, the writers, painters, sculptors, architects and lovers of the beauty of Paris, do protest with all our vigour and all our indignation, in the name of French taste and endangered French art and history, against the useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower."

Built to celebrate the science and engineering achievements of its age, soaring 300m / 984 ft. (320.75m / 1,052 ft. including antenna) and weighing 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 it.

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.

1671 steps to the top. .

Nature lovers thought that it would interfere with the flight of birds over Paris. But the Eiffel Tower was admired by Rousseau, Utrillo, Chagall, and Delaunay. It was almost torn down in 1909 at the expiration of its 20-year lease, 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. In the 1960s, it was the subject of a wonderful study by semiologist Roland Barthes.

First level: 57.63 meters (189 feet). Observatory from which to study the movements of the Eiffel Tower's summit. Kiosk presentation about the mythic painting of the Eiffel Tower. Space CINEIFFEL: offers an exceptional panorama of sights from the Tower. Souvenir shops (yes, every tourist MUST have a miniature replica). Restaurant "Altitude 95" (phone 01-45-55-20-04). Post office, with special stamps "Paris Eiffel Tower ". Panoramic gallery displaying the Monuments of Paris.

Second level: 115.73 meters (379 feet, 8 inches). Panorama of Paris. Telescopes, shops. Animated displays on the operation of the elevators. Jules Verne Restaurant (extremely expensive, reservations absolutely necessary; phone 01-45-55-61-44).

Third level: 276.13 meters (905 feet, 11 inches). Exceptional panoramic views, day or night, of Paris and its surroundings. Recently restored office of Gustave Eiffel, showing him welcoming Thomas Edison. Panoramic guide displays to aid orientation. Dioramas presenting the history of this platform.

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.

Politics have also played a role in its life. During World War II, the Germans hung a sign on it that read: "Deutschland Siegt Auf Allen Fronten" ("Germany is victorious on all fronts"). In 1958, a few months before Fidel Castro's rise to power, Cuban revolutionaries hung their red-and-black flag from the first level, and, in 1979, an American from Greenpeace hung one that read: "Save the Seals". In 1989, the Tower celebrated its centennial with music and fireworks (the show lasted 89 minutes).

Click Here ----> Live Webcam of the Eiffel Tower <---- Click Here

Eiffel Tower Under Construction
eiffelapril1888.jpg
April 1888

eiffeljuly1888.jpg
July 1888

eiffeldecember1888.jpg
December 1888

eiffelmay1889comp..jpg
Completed May 1889

French II 4th Period Danielle Montalvo