Detailed History of Eiffel Tower | Design Proposal, Construction, Controversy & More
The most-visited paid monument in the world, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic and instantly recognizable buildings across the globe. The wrought-iron lattice tower is 324 meters tall, making it the tallest structure in all of Paris. Constructed between 1887 and 1889 for the World Fair, the Eiffel Tower has become synonymous with the city of Paris and no trip to the City of Lights is complete without stopping by the Eiffel Tower.
The rich architecture and awe-inspiring design of the tower are reasons enough to visit the renowned landmark, but the Eiffel Tower is more than just a steel structure. Over the years, the Eiffel Tower has come to represent the spirit of Paris; vibrant, beautiful, and full of verve. Read on to find out more about the history of this beautiful metallic structure.
History of Eiffel Tower Explained
Creation Of Eiffel Tower Design
It was initially designed by Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier who were engineers at Gustav Eiffel’s engineering firm. Eiffel was not initially impressed but when the chief architect Stephen Sauvestre added ornamental embellishments, he approved the final design. The design was to create a 300 m tall tower made entirely of an iron lattice with a square base. It was an ambitious project since nothing that tall had ever been constructed till then.
Submitted to the committee in charge of the Exposition Universelle which wanted to create a French architectural masterpiece that would commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. They unanimously selected this design amongst 100 other designs. The tower was to be dismantled after 20 years.
Despite their selection, a few artists did not accept the idea that a metal tower in the midst of other architectural marvels would be aesthetic or even stable. A 300 meter tower was an unheard of structure. There was minor opposition against its construction but that did not stop its construction.
Construction of the Tower
Construction began on 28 January. The concrete base was first created. The metal lattice work was done and joined together using rivets. Each part was created with a lot of precision and detail. This was then brought to the site and assembled on site. Each of the 4 base structures was to be constructed on concrete slabs. The foundation was laid in the next few months and the first level took a year to complete. The arches and the top of the tower were completed by early 1889 when it was inaugurated.
The Tower was completed by March 1889. It was the tallest structure in the modern world at 300 meters. It was structurally sound and aesthetically built and this silenced its critics and some of them even became its ardent admirers!
The top of the tower could be reached by stairs. In the first couple of months of its completion, the tower witnessed around 30,000 visitors. It became an instant success. It was a highlight during the Exposition Universelle of 1889 and was marveled by statesmen and dignitaries of many countries.
Tower Takes On New Purposes
The Tower’s license was extended since it had proved to be an invaluable location to conduct scientific research and experiments. Gustav was aware that he needed to make the tower not just beautiful but also relevant. He encouraged scientists to use it as a location for conducting meteorological, aerodynamic, and other scientific experiments.
The tower was used for wireless telegraphy and telegrams of utmost importance were received because of it. It helped change the fate of the world wars and soon became a fixture in the Parisian landscape. Even today it is used to install satellite dishes and television antennas.
Architecture of the Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower Today
Frequently Asked Questions About The Eiffel Tower History
A. The tower is now approximately 132 years old and going strong. It was built in 1889.
A. The Eiffel Tower is located in Paris, Champs de Mars.
A. The Eiffel Tower is one of the tallest architectural wonders that has withstood natural and man-made disasters for more than 100 years.
A. The Eiffel Tower was designed by senior engineers Maurice Koechlin, Emile Nouguier, and chief architect Stephen Sauvestre who worked in Gustav Eiffel’s construction firm.
A. Aesthetic architectural style that is contemporary and scientific for its era (and even now)
A. Eiffel tower ticket prices start at €45. You can purchase Eiffel Tower tickets here.
A. Yes, guided tours of the Eiffel Tower are available.
A. There are many interesting facts about the Eiffel Tower, such as, the tower created entirely of metal latticework is actually made of 12,000 metal pieces that have been put together by 250,000 rivets.
A. Definitely! Being one of the most iconic landmark that is synonymous with France, the Eiffel Tower is a must-visit if you are in Paris.
A. In total there are around 1665 steps till the second floor of the Eiffel Tower
A. It would take approximately around 2 hours to climb the Eiffel Tower.
A. Yes, there are lifts that take you to the top of the top of the Eiffel Tower.