Eiffel Tower

Infobox Skyscraper

caption=The Eiffel Tower as seen from the Champ-de-Mars
building_name=Eiffel Tower
location=Paris, France
built=1887 – 1889
engineer=Gustave Eiffel
architect=Gustave Eiffel
use=Observation tower
Radio broadcasting tower
The Eiffel Tower ( _fr. Tour Eiffel, IPA|/tuʀ ɛfɛl/ ) is an iron tower built on the "Champ de Mars" beside the Seine River in Paris. The tower has become a global icon of France and is one of the most recognizable structures in the world.


Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower is the tallest building in Paris. [ [http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/teiffel/uk/documentation/chiffres/page/tour_monde.html The Eiffel Tower as a World monument ] ] More than formatnum:200000000 have visited the tower since its construction in 1889, [ [http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/teiffel/uk/documentation/chiffres/page/frequentation.html Number of visitors since 1889 ] ] including formatnum:6719200 in 2006, [http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/teiffel/uk/documentation/structure/page/chiffres.html A few statistics ] ] making it the most visited paid monument in the world. [ [http://www.mg.co.za/articlepage.aspx?area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__international_news/&articleid=335316&referrer=RSS The Guardian: New look for Eiffel Tower] ] [ [http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3232,36-938349,0.html LeMonde.fr : Tour Eiffel et souvenirs de Paris ] ] Including the 24 m (79 ft) antenna, the structure is 325 m (formatnum:1063 ft) high (since 2000), which is equivalent to about 81 levels in a conventional building.

When the tower was completed in 1889 it was the world's tallest tower — a title it retained until 1930 when New York City's

The metal structure of the Eiffel Tower weighs formatnum:7300 tonnes while the entire structure including non-metal components is approximately formatnum:10000 tonnes. Depending on the ambient temperature, the top of the tower may shift away from the sun by up to 18 cm (7 in) because of thermal expansion of the metal on the side facing the sun. The tower also sways 6–7 cm (2–3 in) in the wind. As demonstration of the economy of design, if the 7300 tonnes of the metal structure were melted down it would fill the 125 meter square base to a depth of only 6 cm (2.36 in), assuming a density of the metal to be 7.8 tonnes per cubic meter. The tower has a mass less than the mass of the air contained in a cylinder of the same dimensions, [ [http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/teiffel/uk/documentation/structure/page/chiffres.html The Eiffel Tower Official Website] ] that is 324 meters high and 88.3 meters in radius. The weight of the tower is 10,100 tonnes compared to 10,265 tonnes of air. The first and second levels are accessible by stairways and lifts. A ticket booth at the south tower base sells tickets to access the stairs which begin at that location. At the first platform the stairs continue up from the east tower and the third level summit is only accessible by lift. From the first or second platform the stairs are open for anyone to ascend or descend regardless of whether they have purchased a lift ticket or stair ticket. The actual count of stairs includes 9 steps to the ticket booth at the base, 328 steps to the first level, 340 steps to the second level and 18 steps to the lift platform on the second level. When exiting the lift at the third level there are 15 more steps to ascend to the upper observation platform. The step count is printed periodically on the side of the stairs to give an indication of progress of ascent. The majority of the ascent allows for an unhindered view of the area directly beneath and around the tower although some short stretches of the stairway are enclosed.

Maintenance of the tower includes applying 50 to 60 tonnes of paint every seven years to protect it from rust. In order to maintain a uniform appearance to an observer on the ground, three separate colors of paint are used on the tower, with the darkest on the bottom and the lightest at the top. On occasion the colour of the paint is changed; the tower is currently painted a shade of brownish-grey. [ [http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/teiffel/uk/documentation/dossiers/page/peinture.html Painting the Eiffel Tower ] ] On the first floor there are interactive consoles hosting a poll for the colour to use for a future session of painting. The co-architects of the Eiffel Tower are Emile Nouguier, Maurice Koechlin and Stephen Sauvestre. [ [http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/teiffel/uk/documentation/dossiers/page/invention.html Conception and design of the Eiffel Tower ] ]


The structure was built between 1887 and 1889 as the entrance arch for the Exposition Universelle, a World's Fair marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution. Eiffel originally planned to build the tower in Barcelona, for the Universal Exposition of 1888, but those responsible at the Barcelona city hall thought it was a strange and expensive construction, which did not fit into the design of the city. After the refusal of the Consistory of Barcelona, Eiffel submitted his draft to those responsible for the Universal Exhibition in Paris, where he would build his tower a year later, in 1889. The tower was inaugurated on March 31, 1889, and opened on May 6. Three hundred workers joined together 18,038 pieces of puddled iron (a very pure form of structural iron), using two and a half million rivets, in a structural design by Maurice Koechlin. The risk of accident was great, for unlike modern skyscrapers the tower is an open frame without any intermediate floors except the two platforms. However, because Eiffel took safety precautions, including the use of movable stagings, guard-rails and screens, only one man died.

The tower was met with much criticism from the public when it was built, with many calling it an eyesore. Newspapers of the day were filled with angry letters from the arts community of Paris. One is quoted extensively in William Watson's US Government Printing Office publication of 1892 Paris Universal Exposition: Civil Engineering, Public Works, and Architecture. “And during twenty years we shall see, stretching over the entire city, still thrilling with the genius of so many centuries, we shall see stretching out like a black blot the odious shadow of the odious column built up of riveted iron plates.” [William Watson, "Paris Universal Exposition: Civil Engineering, Public Works, and Architecture" (Washington: Government Printing office, 1892), 833. ] Signers of this letter included Messonier, Gounod, Garnier, Gerome, Bougeureau, and Dumas.

Novelist Guy de Maupassant — who claimed to hate the tower — supposedly ate lunch in the Tower's restaurant every day. When asked why, he answered that it was the one place in Paris where one could not see the structure. Today, the Tower is widely considered to be a striking piece of structural art.

One of the great Hollywood movie clichés is that the view from a Parisian window always includes the tower. In reality, since zoning restrictions limit the height of most buildings in Paris to 7 stories, only a very few of the taller buildings have a clear view of the tower.

Eiffel had a permit for the tower to stand for 20 years, meaning it would have had to be dismantled in 1909, when its ownership would revert to the City of Paris. The City had planned to tear it down (part of the original contest rules for designing a tower was that it could be easily demolished) but as the tower proved valuable for communication purposes, it was allowed to remain after the expiration of the permit. The military used it to dispatch Parisian taxis to the front line during the First Battle of the Marne, and it therefore became a victory statue of that battle.

hape of the tower

At the time the tower was built many people were shocked by its daring shape. Eiffel was criticised for the design and accused of trying to create something artistic, or inartistic according to the viewer, without regard to engineering. Eiffel and his engineers, as renowned bridge builders however, understood the importance of wind forces and knew that if they were going to build the tallest structure in the world they had to be certain it would withstand the wind. In an interview reported in the newspaper Le Temps, Eiffel said: cquote
1=Now to what phenomenon did I give primary concern in designing the Tower? It was wind resistance. Well then! I hold that the curvature of the monument's four outer edges, which is as mathematical calculation dictated it should be (...) will give a great impression of strength and beauty, for it will reveal to the eyes of the observer the boldness of the design as a whole".
4= translated from the French newspaper "Le Temps" of February 14, 1887 [ [http://christophe.chouard.free.fr/eiffel/reponse-eiffel.htm Extrait de la réponse d'Eiffel ] ]

The shape of the tower was therefore determined by mathematical calculation involving wind resistance. Several theories of this mathematical calculation have been proposed over the years, the most recent is a nonlinear integral differential equation based on counterbalancing the wind pressure on any point on the tower with the tension between the construction elements at that point. That shape is exponential. A careful plot of the tower curvature however, reveals two different exponentials, the lower section having a stronger resistance to wind forces. [ [http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050106111209.htm Elegant Shape Of Eiffel Tower Solved Mathematically By University Of Colorado Professor ] ] [ [http://www.vaeng.com/news/correct-theory-explaining-the-eiffel-towers-design-revealed The Virginia Engineer: Correct Theory Explaining The Eiffel Tower’s Design Revealed ] ]


Since the beginning of the 20th century, the tower has been used for radio transmission. Until the 1950s, an occasionally modified set of antenna wires ran from the summit to anchors on the Avenue de Suffren and Champ de Mars. They were connected to long-wave transmitters in small bunkers; in 1909, a permanent underground radio centre was built near the south pillar and still exists today.Fact|date=March 2008 On November 20, 1913, the Paris Observatory, using the Eiffel Tower as an antenna, exchanged sustained wireless signals with the United States Naval Observatory which used an antenna in Arlington, Virginia. The object of the transmissions was to measure the difference in longitude between Paris and Washington, D.C. ["Paris Time By Wireless," "New York Times", November 22, 1913, pg 1.]

The tower has two restaurants: "Altitude 95", on the first floor (95 m, 311 ft, above sea level); and the "Jules Verne", an expensive gastronomical restaurant on the second floor, with a private lift. This restaurant has one star in the Michelin Red Guide. In January 2007, a new multi-Michelin star chef Alain Ducasse was brought in to run "Jules Verne". [ [http://www.bonjourparis.com/Articles/Destination_Paris/The_Eiffel_Tower__Breaking_News/ Paris France Guide: Paris Hotels, Food, Wine and Discounts - The Eiffel Tower Breaking News ] ]

The uppermost observation deck, with a height of 275 metres, is the highest area of an architectural structure in the European Union open for the public.Fact|date=March 2008

The passenger lifts from ground level to the first level are operated by cables and pulleys driven by massive water-powered pistons. As they ascend the inclined arc of the legs, the elevator cabins tilt slightly, but with a slight jolt every few seconds, in order to keep the floor nearly level.Fact|date=March 2008 The elevator works are on display and open to the public in a small museum located in one of the four tower bases,



* On September 10, 1889, Thomas Edison visited the tower. He signed the guestbook with the following message—cquote|To M Eiffel the Engineer the brave builder of so gigantic and original specimen of modern Engineering from one who has the greatest respect and admiration for all Engineers including the Great Engineer the Bon Dieu, Thomas Edison.
* Father Theodor Wulf in 1910 took observations of radiant energy radiating at the top and bottom of the tower, discovering at the top more than was expected, and thereby detecting what are today known as cosmic rays.Wulf, Theodor. "Physikalische Zeitschrift", contains results of the four-day long observation done by Theodor Wulf while at the top of the Eiffel Tower in 1910.]
* On February 4, 1912, Austrian tailor Franz Reichelt died after jumping 60 metres from the first deck of Eiffel tower with his home-made parachute.
* In 1925, the con artist Victor Lustig "sold" the tower for scrap metal.
* In 1930, the tower lost the title of the world's tallest structure when the Chrysler Building was completed in New York City.
* From 1925 to 1934, illuminated signs for Citroën adorned three of the tower's four sides, making it the tallest advertising space in the world at the time.
* Upon the Nazi occupation of Paris in 1940, the lift cables were cut by the French so that Adolf Hitler would have to climb the steps to the summit. The parts to repair them were allegedly impossible to obtain because of the war. In 1940 German soldiers had to climb to the top to hoist the swastika, but the flag was so large it blew away just a few hours later, and it was replaced by a smaller one. When visiting Paris, Hitler chose to stay on the ground. It was said that Hitler conquered France, but did not conquer the Eiffel Tower. A Frenchman scaled the tower during the German occupation to hang the French flag. In August 1944, when the Allies were nearing Paris, Hitler ordered General Dietrich von Choltitz, the military governor of Paris, to demolish the tower along with the rest of the city. Von Choltitz disobeyed the order. The lifts of the Tower were working normally within hours of the Liberation of Paris.
* On January 3, 1956, a fire damaged the top of the tower.
* In 1957, the present radio antenna was added to the top.
* In the 1980s, an old restaurant and its supporting iron scaffolding midway up the tower was dismantled; it was purchased and reconstructed on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana, by entrepreneurs John Onorio and Daniel Bonnot, originally as the Tour Eiffel Restaurant, known more recently as the Red Room. The restaurant was re-assembled from 11,000 pieces that crossed the Atlantic in a convert|40|ft|m|sing=on cargo container.
* On March 31, 1984, Robert Moriarty flew a Beechcraft Bonanza through the arches of the tower. [cite web|url=http://proairshow.com/Eiffel.htm|accessdate=2008-04-04|title=A Bonanza in Paris]
* In 1985's James Bond action/adventure film "A View to a Kill", Sir Roger Moore as James Bond chases May Day played by actress Grace Jones up the Eiffel Tower. She parachutes from the structure to escape. The video of the film's theme tune, performed by the group Duran Duran, also included several scenes of the band staged on the tower intercut with clips from the film. A full 20 years earlier, the Bond film "Thunderball" (1965) featured an establishing shot of the tower as the villainous Largo, played by Adolfo Celi, parks outside the headquarters of SPECTRE in Paris.
* In 1987, A.J. Hackett made one of his first bungy jumps from the top of the Eiffel Tower, using a special cord he had helped develop. Upon reaching the ground, Hackett was immediately arrested by the Paris police. [http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/extreme-bid-to-stretch-bungy-record/2007/02/27/1172338606150.html]
* On July 14, 1995, Bastille Day, French synthesiser musician Jean Michel Jarre performed Concert For Tolerance at the tower in aid of UNESCO. The free concert was attended by an estimated 1.5 million people, filling the Champ-de-Mars. The concert featured lighting and projection effects on the tower, and a huge firework display throughout. Exactly three years later, he returned to the same spot for a more dance music orientated show, Electronic Night.
* On New Year's Eve 1999, the Eiffel Tower played host to Paris' Millennium Celebration. Fireworks exploded from the whole length of the tower in a spectacular display. An exhibition above a cafeteria on the first floor commemorates this event.
* In 2000, flashing lights and four high-power searchlights were installed on the tower. Since then the light show has become a nightly event. The searchlights on top of the tower make it a beacon in Paris' night sky.
* The tower received its formatnum:200000000th guest of all-time in 2002. [cite web|url=http://www.france.com/docs/97.html |accessdate=2007-07-24 |title=The Eiffel Tower: Paris' Grande Dame |work=france.com] [cite web |url=http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/teiffel/fr/actualites/page/news_list.html?Year=2002#News122 |work=Official Site |title=Soirée réussie le 28 novembre pour fêter l'année du 200 millionième visiteur |date=2002 |accessdate=2007-07-24 |language=French]
* At 19:20 on July 22, 2003, a fire occurred at the top of the tower in the broadcasting equipment room. The entire tower was evacuated; the fire was extinguished after 40 minutes, and there were no reports of injuries.
* Since 2004, the Eiffel Tower has hosted an ice skating rink on the first floor during the winter period.
* At the start of the French Presidency of the European Union in the second half of 2008, the twelve golden stars of the European Flag were mounted on the base, and whole tower bathed in blue light.

Engraved names

Gustave Eiffel engraved on the tower seventy-two names of French scientists, engineers and other notable people. This engraving was painted over at the beginning of the twentieth century but restored in 1986–1987 by the "Société Nouvelle d'exploitation de la Tour Eiffel", a company contracted to operate business related to the Tower.

Image copyright claims

Images of the tower have long been in the public domain; however, in 2003 SNTE (Société nouvelle d'exploitation de la tour Eiffel) installed a new lighting display on the tower. The effect was to put any night-time image of the tower and its lighting display under copyright. As a result, it was no longer legal to publish contemporary photographs of the tower at night without permission in some countries. [ [http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/teiffel/uk/pratique/faq/index.html?id=2_10 Statement that publishing pictures of the lighting requires a fee] ] [In the United States, for example, [http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#120 17 USC 120(a)] explicitly permits the publication of photographs of copyrighted architecture in public spaces. In Germany this is known as " [http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panoramafreiheit Panoramafreiheit] .]

The imposition of copyright has been controversial. The Director of Documentation for SNTE, Stéphane Dieu, commented in January 2005, "It is really just a way to manage commercial use of the image, so that it isn't used in ways we don't approve." However, it also potentially has the effect of prohibiting tourist photographs of the tower at night from being published [ [http://blog.fastcompany.com/archives/2005/02/02/eiffel_tower_repossessed.html Eiffel Tower: Repossessed ] ] as well as hindering non profit and semi-commercial publication of images of the tower.

In a recentFact|date=June 2008 decision, the Court of Cassation ruled that copyright could not be claimed over images including a copyrighted building if the photograph encompassed a larger area. This seems to indicate that SNTE cannot claim copyright on photographs of Paris incorporating the lit tower.

In some jurisdictions, this claim of copyright is explicitly disallowed. In Irish copyright law, works "permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public" may be freely included in visual reproductions. [ [http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2000/en/act/pub/0028/sec0093.html#partii-chapvi-sec93 Irish Statute Books — Representation of certain artistic works on public display] ]

In popular culture

As a global landmark, the Eiffel Tower is featured in media including films, video games, and television shows.

Lattice towers taller than the Eiffel Tower


Other structures carrying this name

* Eiffel Tower (Paris, Tennessee)
* Eiffel Tower Co-op in Hackensack, New Jersey, USA [ [http://skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=19207 Eiffel Tower Co-op — SkyscraperPage.com ] ]

ee also

* List of tallest buildings and structures in the world
* List of tallest buildings and structures in Paris
* The 72 names on the Eiffel Tower
* List of towers
* List of tallest freestanding structures in the world


Further reading

* "1889 La Tour Eiffel et L’Exposition Universelle", Musee d’Orsay, May 16 – August 15, 1989 [exhibition catalog] . Paris: Editions de la Reunion des Musees Nationaux, 1989
* Frémy, Dominique, "Quid de la Tour Eiffel," Robert Lafont, Paris (1989) — "out of print"
* "Engineering". The Paris Exhibition, May 3, 1889 (Vol. XLVII). London: Office for Advertisements and Publication.
* Watson, William. "Paris Universal Exposition: Civil Engineering, Public Works, and Architecture". Washington [DC] , Government Printing Office, 1892.


External links

* [http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/ Official website of the Eiffel Tower] Fr icon
* [http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/teiffel/uk/ English version] En icon
* [http://www.memagazine.org/backissues/membersonly/feb05/departments/news_notes/news_note.html Mechanical Engineering Magazine: Deconstructing Eiffel]
* [http://eiffel-tower-catia.com/ Reconstructing the Eiffel Tower in CATIA ,3DXML file to download and CG Images]
* [http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/showthreaded.php/Cat/0/Number/268868/an/0/page/3#268868 3D render of the Eiffel Tower for use in Google Earth]
* [http://dspt.club.fr/tour_eiffel.htm The first transmitters at Eiffel Tower]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Eiffel Tower — [ī′fəl] n. [after A. G. Eiffel (1832 1923), Fr engineer who designed it] tower of iron framework in Paris, built for the International Exposition of 1889: 984 ft (300 m) high …   English World dictionary

  • Eiffel Tower — erected in the Champ de Mars for the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889; at 984.25 feet the world s tallest structure at the time. Designed by French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (1832 1923) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Eiffel Tower — a tower of skeletal iron construction in Paris, France: built for the exposition of 1889. 984 ft. (300 m) high. [named after A. G. EIFFEL, its engineer and principal designer] * * * Parisian landmark built for the Centennial Exposition of 1889.… …   Universalium

  • Eiffel Tower — (la Tour Eiffel)    The large wrought iron tower in Paris, which is both a city and a national landmark, the Eiffel Tower is an early example of wrought iron construction on a massive scale. It was designed and built (1887 89) by the French civil …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Eiffel Tower —    The Eiffel Tower was erected for the 1889 Paris Universal Exposition. The designer for this latticework iron tower was France s most renowned authority on iron construction, civil engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (1832 1923). Eiffel had… …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • Eiffel Tower — Eif|fel Tow|er the Eiffel Tower a 300 metre high metal tower in Paris, completed in 1889. It is often used as a ↑symbol representing Paris or France …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Eiffel Tower — /aɪfəl ˈtaʊə/ (say uyfuhl towuh) noun a tower of skeletal iron construction in Paris; built for the exhibition of 1889. 300 m high. {named after Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, 1832–1923, French engineer whose firm built the tower, based on the concept …   Australian English dictionary

  • Eiffel Tower — Eif′fel Tow′er [[t]ˈaɪ fəl[/t]] n. geg a tower of skeletal iron construction in Paris, France: built for the exposition of 1889. 984 ft. (300 m) high • Etymology: after A. G. Eiffel (1832–1923), its engineer and principal designer …   From formal English to slang

  • Eiffel Tower — noun a wrought iron tower 300 meters high that was constructed in Paris in 1889; for many years it was the tallest man made structure • Instance Hypernyms: ↑tower • Part Holonyms: ↑Paris, ↑City of Light, ↑French capital, ↑capital of France …   Useful english dictionary

  • EIFFEL TOWER —    a structure erected on the banks of the Seine in Paris, the loftiest in the world, being 985 ft. in height, and visible from all parts of the city; it consists of three platforms, of which the first is as high as the towers of Notre Dame; the… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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