The Eiffel Tower is the most emblematic monument of Paris and probably the world ! It is also the most visited paying monument worldwide, with over 7 million visitors per year.
To build it it took:
18,038 metal parts
5,300 shop drawings
50 engineers and designers
150 workers in the Levallois-Perret factory
Between 150 and 300 workers on the site
7,300 tons of iron
60 tons of paint
2 years 2 months and 5 days of construction
Here how it all started and how this beauty called 'The Iron Lady' came to life:
In 1889, on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition, which also marked the centenary of the very famous French Revolution of 1789, the Republic wanted to impress the public.That is why they decided to launch a big contest in the Official Journal challenging French engineers "to raise on the Champ-de-Mars an iron tower, with a square base with sides as long as 125 meters and as high as 300 meters".
Many participants sent their applications. But it was the project of entrepreneur Gustave Eiffel, engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, and architect Stephen Sauvestre that was selected out of 107 applicants.
Gustave Eiffel then signed an agreement with the government on January the 8th, 1887 and the construction started not long after on July the 1st and ended on March 31, 1889.
All the elements were prepared at the Levallois-Perret factory next to Paris, headquarters of the Eiffel company. Each of the 18,000 pieces of the Tower were designed and calculated before being traced to the tenth of a millimeter and assembled in elements of about five meters. On the site, between 150 and 300 workers are in charge of the assembly of the gigantic tower.
The tower was mounted with wooden scaffolding and small steam cranes which attached to the tower itself. The first floor was completed on April 1, 1888. The second floor was completed on August 14, 1888.The assembly of the whole Tower is a real marvel of precision.
It took only five months to build the foundations and twenty-one months to complete the assembly of the metal part of the Tower.
It is a record speed if you think of the rudimentary means of the time.
Gustave Eiffel was decorated with the Legion of Honor on the narrow platform at the summit.
Did you know ?
In 1903, it was planned to be demolished it but thanks for all of us this didn’t happen!
From 1910, the TSF installed at its summit the equipment to send signals to the whole world. The Eiffel Tower was also used for the beginning of Television in France in 1925.
In 1930 it lost its title of the highest monument in the world by the Chrysler Building in New York (318.9 meters with the antenna).
The Eiffel Tower has inspired innumerable artistic representations and has been the subject of many sumptuous illuminations. It also aroused the envy of other countries that have built replicas of the famous monument.
It is certainly a must see to all who visit Paris and its not hard to find if you look up for a while. Its always a beautiful sight in day and night and offers incredible scenery from the top. Like all French made products it is built to last and looks in prime condition to this day. This history of manufacturing excellence for artistic or cultural means is one of the reasons Petite France exists to allow authentic French products made with skill and expertise to be available in Australia.