29 Aug Why was the Eiffel Tower built?
The Eiffel tower built for the Universal Exhibition
For the Universal Exhibition of 1889, a date that marked the centenary of the French Revolution, the Journal Officiel launched a major competition. The challenge was to “study the possibility of erecting an iron tower on the Champ-de-Mars, having a square base, 125 metres on each side and 300 metres high”. Out of a total of 107 entries, the project proposal by entrepreneur Gustave Eiffel and engineer Maurice Koechlin was chosen.
The Eiffel Tower was completed on March 31, 1889. The construction of this behemoth lasted more than two years.
The foundations were started on January 26, 1887, lasted five months and were dug out entirely by shovel. The first level was completed on the 1st of April, 1888 and the second level on the 14th of August of the same year. Construction ended definitively with the completion of the summit on the 31st of March 1889. The monument was inaugurated on the 31st of March, 1889.
Gustave Eiffel climbed the 1,710 steps of the Tower to plant the tricolour flag at its summit. If you want to follow in his footsteps and also climb the steps of the Eiffel Tower, you can book your ticket directly by clicking here.
The end of the nineteenth century witnessed a considerable number of inventions that revolutionized our lives: the telephone, the car, the rabies vaccine etc.
At that time, Jules Verne was writing his futuristic novels, France was building a colonial empire, trade was prosperous and the industrial revolution was underway. Progress was fast and everything was changing. This period, sometimes called “the spring of technology”, was a time of creative effervescence, crowned by Gustave Eiffel’s “Grand Iron Lady". The iron “A” in the middle of the Champ-de-Mars represented the start of a major movement that has continued to this very day.
Pride of the constructor
The Eiffel Tower was an enormous feat of technology for the time. At the beginning of the 19th century, with the Industrial Revolution under way, the power of machines was being discovered.
Before the Industrial Revolution, constructions were made largely of stone, but masonry had serious limitations. Tall structures were just not possible with masonry alone. It was iron that was going to revolutionize construction.
It made higher and lighter structures possible. The race was on to be the first to revolutionize construction and be the first to use iron to build the highest tower. The pride of Gustave Eiffel would give birth to the future symbol of the French capital.
The Eiffel Tower : pride for France
The Eiffel Tower is the most visited paid-access monument in the world. Since its opening in 1889, it has welcomed nearly 250 million visitors from all over the world. A symbol of France, today it welcomes nearly 7 million visitors a year, making it the most visited paid-access monument on the planet and a major source of pride for the French people.
Don’t forget that Paris, as a tourist destination, is the third most popular city in the world.
The Eiffel Tower is the symbol of France. When we think of France from abroad we think of the Eiffel Tower (and maybe a French baguette and macaroons too!)
Often imitated, the Eiffel tower never equalled
The Fast Past Team wishes you a wonderful journey!