Standing tall right in the heart of Paris, Eiffel Tower is a mesmerising visual gaze, bringing alive the city of romance. Also, famous as the ‘Iron Lady’, the Eiffel Tower holds a place in the Seven Wonders of the World. Boasting of a flamboyant architecture, Eiffel Tower is cherished as a landmark in the history of world building constructions.
In 1889, to commemorate 100 years of the French Revolution, the French government hosted an Exposition Universelle aka International Exposition. The idea was to invite artists and architects to propose their respective ideas for a monument, which was to be constructed on the Champ-de-Mars, the exposition entrance to Paris. And among the thousands of proposals, it was the idea of Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel that won the race. A renowned bridge builder and an expert in metals and architecture, the creative experts of Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel led to the construction of one of its kind architecture, Eiffel Tower. But, though he got the complete credit for the monument, it is said that the concept had actually popped out from the brains of his employee Maurice Koechlin.
The Remarkable Construction
Standing on a 5 metre high base, the Eiffel tower is made up of four lattice-girder, which gradually narrow inwards as they join to form a single vertical tower which is 300 metres aka 986 feet high. Networks of girders have been used to connect the inward curving piers at two levels, which provides viewing platforms for tourists. Glass-cage machines, coming from the design of the US Company, Otis Elevator, were fixed at the piers to serve the purpose of elevators to climb the curve. Besides, the four semi-circular arches, located at base of tower, are a visual treat and play no part in the structural function. The Eiffel Tower is given a complete elevation of 324 metres (1,063 feet) by a television antenna at its top.
Eiffel’s idea was to erect a structure, which was light as well as equally strong. By making use of his expertise in the behaviour of metal truss and metal arc forms under loading, he made an aesthetic monument that changed the face of civil engineering and architecture.
The Eiffel Tower was built in a shortest span of two years (1887–89), employing a minimal labour and less cost. During its inauguration in March 1889, Eiffel Tower was the structure in the world until 1930 seeing the completion of New York City’s Chrysler Building.
The Three Level Tower
There are three levels on the Eiffel Tower, the first two floors have restaurants, bars and other entertainment outlets for the tourists. The third or the top level comprises of the highest observation deck in Europe. It is 276m aka 906 feet above the ground and is open for visitors. There are both stairs and lifts to escalate all the levels, but the top level is mostly accessed by the lifts.
Names of about 72 French scientists, mathematicians and engineers has been engraved on the Tower by Gustavo as a token of appreciation for their contributions in the construction of the tower.
Aesthetics and Maintenance
Though originally reddish, Eiffel Tower was later painted in bronze brown and has three shades that get darker towards the bottom. Every seven years, about 60 tons of paint is used to colour the tower and prevent it from rusting and has been painted 19 times since its construction.
The light show and other world famous events occur at or near the Eiffel Tower and shining Iron lady can be viewed from any corner of Paris.