Anyone who goes to Paris, includes among their very first stops a visit to the Eiffel Tower, an iron construction born 132 years ago in Paris and which today appears in the photos of all tourists of the French capital, the symbolic monument of the Parisian city together with Notre Dame.
The Eiffel Tower, also known as the “iron asparagus” or “iron lady”, was inaugurated on March 31, 1889 and is now the most famous monument in Paris and all of France in general. After the inauguration, it was officially opened to the public on May 6 for the Universal Exposition of the same year, for the centenary of the French Revolution.
The project by the French engineer Gustave Eiffel, specialized in the construction of metal bridges, was chosen among one hundred proposals submitted to the French government for the Universal Expo.
Initially, the Eiffel Tower was 312 meters high, while today it reaches 324 thanks to the television antennas, and at the time it was the tallest building in the world, until in 1930 the Chrysler Building was built in Manhattan, surpassed in turn from the Empire State Building in 1931.
Despite the record held by the Iron Tower, not everyone approved the new structure at first, considering it not up to par with the beauty of the other Parisian structures. It even risked being demolished in 1909, due to the intellectual elite of Paris.
Among other things, it was born as a transitional construction, easy to eliminate, and instead managed to survive thanks to the ease of radio transmission reached from its top and also thanks to the success it enjoyed among tourists.
In the newspapers, the new building was said to look like a lighthouse abandoned on earth by a generation of giants.
It gave an idea of precariousness and few had the courage to climb it, however no one has ever died, except one of the 300 workers employed, who lost his life during the installation of the elevators. To date, more than 250 million people have reached the top of the Tower.
With regard to the architectural structure, at the base there are four arched pillars that join upwards, where they are interrupted by three platforms with viewpoints for tourists, since from there it is possible to admire the breathtaking view of the Ville Lumière. You can reach the top of the Tower not only thanks to the two transparent elevators, but also by climbing its 1710 steps. Gustave Eiffel is said to have walked them all on the day of the inauguration. At 285 meters high is the apartment of the engineer Eiffel, where the latter worked and received his guests. Not surprisingly, if you visit the apartment, you will see the wax statues of Eiffel and Edison conversing around a small table.
A journalist from “Le Figaro” expressed his impressions of observing the city from the Tower in an article:
“Mont Valérin, Montmatre, the heights of Sannois, look like gray specks; the wood of Saint-Germain disappears into the blue haze, the Seine becomes a harmless stream, crossed by Lilliputian barges, and Paris looks like a small stage with straight streets, square roofs and neat facades. The black dots represent the crowd. Everywhere everything seems lifeless, except the verdant mass of the Bois; in this immensity there is no perceptible movement; no noise that could make you think of the life of the people “down there”. It seems that, in broad daylight, a sudden torpor has made the city inert and silent”.