The Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel), which is made of iron, was erected for the Paris Exposition of 1889, as a celebration for the science and engineering achievements of its age. After its opening, there were many strong reactions against its construction coming from Guy de Maupassant, Émile Zola or Charles Garnier. On the other side, some would consider that the Eiffel Tower would prevent birds from flying above Paris. It was almost torn down in 1909 at the expiration of its 20-year lease, but was saved because of its antenna — used for telegraphy at that time and starting with that period, it became part of the International Time Service, French radio and French television making use of it.
The Eiffel Tower is the second tallest construction in the world after the Empire State Building. Eiffel was the leading European authority on the aerodynamics of high frames (he wrote “The Resistance of the Air” in 1913). In the construction of the Eiffel Tower, the curve of the base pylons was precisely calculated so that the bending and shearing forces of the wind were progressively transformed into forces of compression, which the bents could withstand more effectively. Such was Eiffel’s engineering wizardry that even in the strongest winds his tower never sways more than 4-1/2 inches. The superskyscrapers erected since 1960, such as the World Trade Center, were constructed in much the same way.
Nowadays, the Eiffel Tower is considered France’s trademark. On visiting this tower in Paris, tourists can notice the gargantuan 1899 machinery which powers the elevators in the basement of its gargantuan 1899 machinery which powers the elevators. On reaching the top, the landscape takes one’s breath away. At the first level 57.63 meters (189 feet) there are souvenir shops, restaurants and a post office. Second level is 115.73 meters high (379 feet, 8 inches). There you can also find souvenir shops and telescopes and the expensive Jules Verne Restaurant. The third level and last is 276.13 meters (905 feet, 11 inches) high. The panoramic view is extraordinary no matter time of the day. It also hosts the wax reproductions of Gustave Eiffel and Thomas Edison in conversation in the office.
In order to reach the Eiffel Tower, take the subway to the Trocadéro station and walk from the Palais de Chaillot to the Seine. Don’t forget to see Eiffel Tower at night, too. You will be overwhelmed by the view. Some interesting facts about the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France are the help of 300 steel workers, and 2 years (1887-1889) to construct it, 15,000 iron pieces, 2.5 million rivets, 40 tons of paint. There are 1671 steps to the top and its total height in 1889 was 300.51 meters (985 feet, 11 inches). Moreover, the total height with television antenna: 320.755 meters (1052 feet, 4 inches) but the height varies up to 15 cm depending on temperature. The size of base area is 10,281.96 square meters (2.54 acres) and the total weight is 8.56 million kg (9441 tons). As the pressure of foundation is concerned, there have been used 4.1 to 4.5 kg per square centimeter, depending on pier (58.26 to 64 lbs. per square inch). It was erected from January 26, 1887 to March 31, 1889 and the costs of construction were 7.8 million francs ($1.5 million). The total number of visitors during 1889 exposition was 1,968,287 and the ones during 2007 were 6,822,000. At the moment, The Eiffel Tower is owned by the City of Paris, which is in charge with its maintenance and its daily operations.
It is open every day of the year.
Hours: January 1 – June 12, 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. (elevator), 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. (stairs). June 13 – August 31, 9:00 a.m. – midnight (both elevator & stairs); September 1 – December 31, 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. (elevator), 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. (stairs).
Price of admission (tax included): By elevator — 1st floor: 4.80€/adult, 2.50€/child (under 12); 2nd floor: 7.80€/adult, 4.30€/child ; top floor: 12.00€/adult, 6.70€/child. On foot (stairs) — up to 2nd floor only: 4.00€/age 25+, 3.10€/age under 25. Children under 3 free. See web site for group rates.
Disabled access: At each of the three pillars with an elevator, access is free of any steps or turnstiles. Visitors with reduced mobility may access the 1st and 2nd floors only. For safety reasons (notably, in case of emergency evacuation), the top floor is not accessible to visitors in wheelchairs.
Security measures: No large-sized hand baggage or animals allowed (except for Seeing Eye dogs). Hand-bags may be inspected by security personnel. There is no baggage check service available at the Tower.
Métro: Bir-Hakeim (line 6), Trocadéro (lines 6, 9). RER: Champ-de-Mars. Buses: 42, 69, 72, 82, 87.