Information About the Eiffel Tower

Little Bits and Bytes of Information About the Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower was built to be an entrance for the centennial celebration of the French Revolution. Little did Gustave Eiffel, the architect know that the monument would attract such appreciation and criticism.
Grandiose in its structure and magnetic in its presence, the Eiffel Tower has become an icon of France and Gustave's architectural wonder. Also known as La Tour Eiffel, this iron lattice tower was actually built as an entrance arch for the World Fair in 1889. Eiffel Tower is ascended by millions of visitors and locals every single year. Standing 1,063 ft tall, this is the second tallest monument in France after Millau Viaduct, a road bridge spanning over river Tarn. Nicknamed as La dame de fer, or the iron lady, the majestic built of this monument makes it a prominent symbol of France even today.

History
The tower was being built from 1887 to 1889 as the entrance arch for Exposition Universelle or World Fair. This event was to mark the centennial celebration of the storming of the Bastille and the French Revolution. About 18,038 pieces of puddled iron were put together with millions of rivets. Gustave Eiffel was assisted by architect Stephen Sauvestre and design engineers Émile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin. Ironically, when the tower was constructed, it was considered an eyesore by a lot of art enthusiasts. Several members from the arts community condemned it and said it only ruined the empty skyline of the Paris city. French novelist Guy de Maupassant who was vocal about his hatred for the tower, ate lunch every single day at the Tower's restaurant. His explanation was that it was the one place in Paris where one could not see the structure. Whatever may have been the bouts of anger about the structure, the fact remains that it became an object of intrigue the world over.

Design
The tower weighing 10,000 tons includes several non metallic parts as well. The metallic parts used in the structure weigh 7300 tons, which, if melted will fill up 125 meter square in a depth of 6 cm. The gigantic structure amazed several engineers and commoners alike during the time of its construction. However, with an experience of bridge building, Eiffel and his engineers knew that the tower had to be wind resistant. They used empirical and graphical methods to make the calculations of wind resistance as compared to relying on established mathematical formula. However, until today none have been able to comprehend the calculations in building this structure. The Eiffel Tower needs a brush of 50-60 tons of paint every seven years to keep the rust away.

Trivia Information
  • Thomas Edison's remark in the Eiffel Tower guest book read, "To M Eiffel the Engineer, the brave builder of so gigantic and original specimen of modern Engineering from one who has the greatest respect and admiration for all Engineers including the Great Engineer the Bon Dieu", Thomas Edison.
  • It is believed that Hitler could capture France, but he could never conquer the Eiffel Tower as he decided to stay on ground during the invasion.
  • Radiant energy was measured by Father Theodor Wulf at the top and bottom of the tower, which is today known as cosmic rays.
  • The tower has 72 names engraved just below its first balcony. These names were chosen by Gustave to honor engineers, scientists and astronomers that are unheard of.
  • Franz Reichelt, a tailor by profession died after jumping from 60 meters from the first deck with the self made parachute.
  • Victor Lustig, a con man, sold this tower for scrap metal, on two occasions.
The massive structure that adorns the Parisian skyline has much more to tell than just standing tall. One of the most visited sites in the world, Eiffel Tower still remains an architectural wonder! To sum up its beauty, here's a concluding quote by Gustave Eiffel, I ought to be jealous of the tower. She is more famous than I am!
The Eiffel in Paris