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The Eiffel Tower to be taken down in 20 years! - by Martyn Davis

The Eiffel Tower in Paris has become an icon for France and is known around the world for its daring and unusual structure.

 

This Paris landmark was named after its engineer designer Gustave Eiffel and was constructed between 1887 and 1889, and was built as the entrance arch for the Exposition Universelle, which was a World's Fair marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution, with the Eiffel Tower being inaugurated on 31 March 1889, and opened on 6 May 1889.

 

With 200,000,000 people having visited the Eiffel Tower since its construction, it makes this monument the most visited paid monument per year and being the tallest monument in the world until 1930 and still the tallest in Paris, the Eiffel Tower has seen some major events over its time.

 

But when the Eiffel Tower was built, it was met with resistance, as the public felt it was an eyesore, even though the people of Paris today would not wish to be without it, as it is widely considered to be a striking piece of structural art! 

 

People were also shocked at the daring shape, questioning Gustave Eiffel wondering if he really was a good engineer, but being that he and his engineers were renowned bridge builders, he came back with comments stating that it was based on mathematical calculations utilising wind resistance. 

 

And including the 24m antenna, the Eiffel Tower is 324m high, weighs in at 7,300 tons and can sway 6 to 7cm in the wind and due to the thermal expansion of the metal on the side facing the sun, depending upon the ambient temperature, the top of the tower may shift away from the sun by up to 18cm.

 

Due to the fact the Gustave Eiffel was only given a permit for the Eiffel Tower to stand for 20 years, as it passed to the city, the Eiffel Tower was to be taken down in 20 years, but because it became valuable as a communications resource, it was allowed to remain in place even after the permit had expired.

 

And because the Eiffel Tower was originally meant to be a temporary structure, it now has to be repainted every 7 years, just to stop this famous monument from rusting!

 

There are three levels in all and the stairs begin at the south towers, but both the first and second levels are accessible by stairs and lifts.  Yet the third level summit is only accessible by lift.  On the first platform, the stairs continue up from the east tower. 

 

Taking the steps is not for the feint hearted, as the actual count of stairs includes 9 steps to the ticket booth at the base of the Eiffel Tower, 328 steps to the first level, 340 steps to the second level, and 18 steps to the lift platform on the second level.  And when exiting the lift at the third level, there are another 15 more steps to ascend to the upper observation platform.  Whether you think this a good idea or not, the actual step count is printed periodically on the side of the stairs to give you an indication of your progress and there are a total of 710 steps!!! 

 

At least you can always have dinner at the restaurant to catch your breath before going back down to the bottom, or if you are more energetic then you could go ice skating, which has been held at the Eiffel Tower every winter since 2004!

 

And although most people have the idea that the Eiffel Tower can be seen from almost anywhere in Paris, this is actually not the case and there are only a few of the taller buildings that can get a clear view of the tower.

 

Even if people hadn’t heard of the Eiffel Tower before, if they like James Bond movies, then they were sure to know of it after the 1985 movie A View to a Kill as James Bond chases May Day played by actress Grace Jones at the Eiffel Tower as she parachuted from the tower.  The video of the movie's theme also included several scenes of the pop group Duran Duran staged on the tower as well.

 

On New Year's Eve of 2000 for the Millennium celebrations, the Eiffel Tower played a major role in Paris, as it had fireworks that exploded from the whole length of the tower in a spectacular display.

 

So if you haven’t ever had the opportunity to visit the Eiffel Tower, then it is well worth the effort, as the views over Paris as you are ascending is breath taking and a sight you will not forget.



http://www.placesinfrance.com

 

Martyn Davis European Traveller, Author and Business Development Manager

 

For all your French holiday needs and travel guide to France, with tourist information, landmarks and attractions.

 

http://www.placesinfrance.com/eiffel_tower_paris.html



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