Happy Birthday, Eiffel Tower!

Happy Birthday, Eiffel Tower!

A visitor magnet

Since March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower has stood at the northwestern end of the Champ de Mars — and impresses seven million paying tourists every year. This makes it the most-visited attraction in the world.

Happy Birthday, Eiffel Tower!

Outstanding

At its inauguration, the Eiffel Tower ws the tallest building in the world at 300 meters high. Designed as an entrance and observation tower for the 1889 World's Fair, it was originally to be dismantled after 20 years. The installation of military radio equipment and a weather station at the top saves the tower from demolition.

Happy Birthday, Eiffel Tower!

Daring

The tower's namesake builder, engineer Gustave Eiffel, bore most of the construction costs of 7.8 million francs himself. He also put up his personal assets as guarantee for the timely opening of the world exhibition. However, he was able to recoup his expenses in the first year after the opening due to the rush of visitors.

Happy Birthday, Eiffel Tower!

Big puzzle

18,000 forged iron parts, 2,500,000 rivets and 10,010 tons of weight. And every seven years it needs a new coat of paint. The painters need a total of one and a half years to paint the structure, as it requires special paint, applied by hand to its surface area of 250,000 square meters.

Happy Birthday, Eiffel Tower!

From the reviled tower...

Construction work on the Eiffel Tower took two years and two months. Parisian artists in particular criticized the iron construction without a faeade as a building that would tower over Paris like a giant, gloomy factory chimney. With the opening on March 31, 1889, the protest almost ceased completely.

Happy Birthday, Eiffel Tower!

...to the national icon

20,000 lamps make the famous tower sparkle every night. On special occasions it also shines brightly — on National Day on July 14, upon the death of beloved French singer Johnny Hallyday, the "Elvis" of the nation, and as a national symbol after the terrorist attacks in 2016.

Happy Birthday, Eiffel Tower!

Conquering the Eiffel Tower

Mountain bikers like Frenchman Hugues Richard (above), alpinists, cross motorcyclists, bungee jumpers — they all seek the challenge of the Eiffel Tower for new records. A first in post-war history was the visit of an 85-year-old elephant in 1948.

Happy Birthday, Eiffel Tower!

Between heaven and earth

Visitors who look out from atop of the Eiffel Tower are not in, but above Paris. For this view, visitors from all over the world climb the almost 1,700 steps of the Eiffel Tower — or crowd into its five elevators.

Happy Birthday, Eiffel Tower!

Eiffel Tower, mon amour!

One of the most beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower can be enjoyed at sunset from the roof of the Printemps department store on the visitor terrace. Paris without the Eiffel Tower? Unthinkable after 130 years!

The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated 130 years ago. On May 15, 1889 it opened to the public. Today it stands as an iconic landmark of the French capital. When it was built, however, it attracted angry protests and abuse.

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