When in Paris, a visit to the Eiffel Tower is a must. Although on the one hand it is difficult to avoid it (its height of over 300 meters makes it visible from different parts of the city) it is only when you get close that you realize its extraordinary grandeur and the incredible engineering work that was required. make it happen.
Magnificent by day, it becomes even more suggestive at night, when 20,000,000 light bulbs light up revealing a magical spectacle.
Why the Eiffel Tower was built
The Eiffel Tower was built from 1887 to 1889 by the engineers Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier following the project of the French Gustave Eiffel, whose company specialized in the construction of metal structures and structures. However, the tower was not his first work: Gustave Eiffel made many metal works in Europe including the Porto Viaduct , the Viaduct du Garabit (France) and the Budapest railway station .
Gustave Eiffel’s company also built the metal structure for another world-famous monument: the Statue of Liberty, designed by Auguste Bartholdi and offered to the United States as a gift from France to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence in 1886.
The Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution during the Universal Exposition on the Champs de Mars. The aim was to show other nations the power and industrial capabilities of France. The tower itself was used as an entrance to the exhibition.
How the Eiffel Tower was made
The Eiffel Tower was built in record time : 2 years, 2 months and 5 days, employing over 300 workers. In addition to the technical and architectural skill, the rapid construction of the Tower also represented an unprecedented milestone for the time. When finished, the tower became the tallest structure in the world , a whopping 300 meters, double the size of St. Peter’s dome or the Great Pyramid of Giza. A record held until the 1930’s completion of the Chrysler Building in New York .
Although today it is a symbol not only of Paris but of France, the construction of the Eiffel Tower was initially not well received . The building was accused by the artistic and literary elite of being a “metal monstrosity” and that it would “ruin the panorama of Paris”.
Perhaps not everyone knows that the Eiffel Tower originally had to be demolished after 20 years, in 1909: however, the height proved to be a strategic value as a communications platform, especially during the war, which managed to prevent its demolition.
The Eiffel Tower, with an impressive weight of 10 thousand tons , has sported different colors during its life; originally covered in dark red, in 1899 it was painted yellow, while about 50 years ago it was covered in bronze. In anticipation of the 2024 Olympics it will instead be covered with a gold paint.
However, to be kept in perfect condition, Gustave Eiffel reported that it had to be completely painted every 7 years : a tradition that is still carried on today: it takes over 18 months to paint the entire tower by hand.
How the Eiffel Tower is structured
The Eiffel Tower is formed between three distinct floors . Of the three, the first place at 57 meters above sea level has the widest but least impressive view. It houses a small café, a souvenir shop and the 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant , while the outdoor walkway is a real circuit that takes visitors to discover the ingenious design of the tower.
From the second floor, located at 115 meters , you can certainly enjoy a better view of the city, to be admired also using maps and telescopes. The second floor also houses a macaron bar and the starred restaurant Le Jules Verne .
The third and top floor, located at 276 meters high , allows you to extend your gaze up to 60 km on a clear day. Here you can pamper yourself at the Champagne bar or peek into Gustave Eiffel’s refurbished upscale office, otherwise known as “the secret apartment”, where lifelike wax models of Eiffel and his daughter Claire greet Thomas Edison.
Eiffel Tower, info and how to visit
In order to access the Eiffel Tower all visitors must necessarily
book your entrance ticket online by selecting a time slot. It is recommended to arrive on time otherwise it will not be possible to climb the Eiffel Tower beyond the booked entrance time. It is also advisable to book early to avoid a possible sold out of the tickets.
There are different ways to visit the Eiffel Tower depending on the floor and whether or not the lifts are used. In this sense , the cost of the ticket can vary : going up to the second floor using the stairs costs 10.7 euros, 17 euros if you use the elevator, while if you want to get to the top with the elevator the price is 26. euros, while it is 20 euros if you use both the stairs and the lift.
To get to the second floor it is necessary to walk 674 steps, however it is an easy way to avoid the long queues for the elevator: moreover, using the stairs you can admire Paris from different heights and perspectives.
There is no better time to visit the Eiffel Tower but going very early in the morning or around sunset can be a good idea to avoid the crowds. In addition, every day at sunset the Eiffel Tower lights up for 5 minutes, and it is certainly a sight not to be missed.
To get to the Eiffel Tower you commonly get off at the Bir-Hakeim metro stop, which is the closest; nevertheless, it is worthwhile to go down to Trocadéro: although further away, you will be able to admire the Eiffel Tower in all its magnificence.