The Iron Lady
When most people hear of Paris, they often think about the Eiffel Tower. It is one of the globe’s most well-known monuments. Approximately 6.8 million people visit the Eiffel Tower annually, and about 250 million total have visited since it was completed in 1889. Located in Paris, France, the Eiffel Tower is known for its beautiful architecture and towering height. Often seen as a romantic setting, honeymooners frequently tour to this location. However, this is not the only trait the Eiffel Tower represents.
Paris held an Exposition Universelle, World’s Fair, as a commemoration for the 100 year anniversary of the French Revolution. Many artists submitted designs for the monumental entrance to the Exposition. One of the many artists, Gustave Eiffel, proposed a design for an iron lattice tower with three floors about 986 feet high. His design was picked because of it’s unique and elaborate, but not too elaborate plan.
Gustave Eiffel and his company designed and built the astonishing edifice. Over the two years of construction, they ran into some complications. The North and West pillars were too close to the Seine River, causing some serious foundation issues, because a stable soil was needed to support the tower. Another discrepancy was getting the first floor junction to be level. If they couldn’t get it to work, they would have to stop the building. Thankfully, they came up with a way to get the junction to match up exactly, allowing Gustave’s workers to complete the building. The deadline was also a trouble, the Exposition was held on May 6, 1889 and they had only two years to complete the vast construction. The worries of it not being finished on time faded away when it was completely finished on March 31, 1889, almost two months before it needed to be done.
There are a lot of strange facts about the Eiffel Tower that many people are not knowledged of. One of those facts being that the Eiffel Tower was supposed to be demolished in 1909 but was saved because it was repurposed as a radio antenna. Also, when Hitler visited France during WWII, the French cut the cable ropes on the tower so that Hitler would’ve had to climb all the stairs to reach the very top. A very interesting fact is, due to temperature changes, the height of Eiffel Tower varies about 5.9 inches. As you can see, there is more to the Eiffel Tower then you know.
The monument was important then and still is significant today. It symbolizes the positive outcomes of the French Revolution. The tower has been transformed into a romantic tourist setting where families and friends of all kinds can visit for a great historical experience. It is also a constant reminder of France’s advances in architectural engineering.