Happy Birthday to the Eiffel Tower

Happy Birthday to the Eiffel Tower

Faith Smith, Community

This year, on March 31st, the Eiffel Tower is marking its 134th anniversary. The Eiffel Tower was built by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World’s Fair, though construction started in 1887. Although many primarily attribute the creation to Eiffel, it was a team effort with Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, both engineers, and Stephen Sauvestre, an architect, who all worked for Eiffel. Gustave Eiffel was renowned for building numerous bridges and constructing the framework for the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. Countering years of skepticism and criticism, Eiffel began working on the project on January 28th, 1887. The building of the Eiffel Tower called for 2,500,000 rivets and 8,047 tons of iron. In the short span of two years, two months, and five days he completed the tower and presented it to the French government for exposition. The Eiffel Tower was built to commemorate the end of the French Revolution and the various industrial achievements that had occurred in the past century.

The Eiffel Tower wasn’t meant to be a permanent structure, but its usefulness in both World Wars kept it standing. During World War I, the Eiffel Tower intercepted enemy radio communications, relayed zeppelin alerts, and was used to dispatch emergency troop reinforcements. When Hitler captured France in the second World War, he ordered the tower be demolished, but the military governor of Paris disobeyed his orders.

The Eiffel Tower hosts seven million people a year, making it the most visited paid monument in the world. Buffets on the first and second floors offer you a quick bite to eat, or restaurants if you would like to enjoy the view as you eat. The first floor of the Eiffel Tower is 187 feet above the ground and is made of glass. You can enjoy a simple meal from Madame Brasserie made with local and seasonal ingredients. You can relax in the lounge and share a quick breakfast or lunch with friends. Looking out from the second floor 410 feet in the air, you can enjoy the view of the Louvre, the Grand Palais, the meanders of the Seine, Montmartre, the Invalides, and Notre Dame. You can also enjoy some delicious food at The Jules Verne. The Jules Verne is more of a high-end restaurant, so while you don’t have to be fancy, regular streetwear will make you stick out. In addition to the food, you can buy Eiffel Tower-themed souvenirs from various shops. Each shop has its specialty items: gourmet, fabrics, home, etc. The last and highest viewing platform stands at 906 feet above the ground. On this floor, you can visit a recreation of Gustave Eiffel’s office and get a panoramic view of Paris. There is also a champagne bar so you can sip some bubbles, or something non-alcoholic, as you gaze upon the City of Lights.



“Eiffel Tower – History.” History.com, www.history.com/topics/landmarks/eiffel-tower-video.

“The Official Eiffel Tower Website: Tickets, News, Info…” The Eiffel Tower, www.toureiffel.paris/en.