It is the tallest structure in Paris and one of the most recognized monuments in the world. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, more than 7 million people visit this iconic tower every year Including the 24 m (79 ft) antenna, the structure is 324 m (1,063 ft) high (since 2000), which is equivalent to about 81 levels in a conventional building.
At the time of its construction in 1887, the tower replaced the Washington Monument as the world's tallest structure, a title it retained until 1930, when New York City's Chrysler Building (319 m 1,047 ft tall) was completed. The tower is now the fifth-tallest structure in France. The Eiffel Tower is the tallest structure in Paris, with the second-tallest being the Tour Montparnasse (210 m 689 ft), although that will soon be surpassed by Tour AXA (225.11 m 738.36 ft).
The structure of the Eiffel Tower weighs 7,300 tons. Depending on the ambient temperature, the top of the tower may shift away from the sun by up to 18 cm (7 in), due to thermal expansion of the metal on the side facing the sun. The tower also sways 6-7 cm (2-3 in) in the wind.
The first and second levels are accessible by stairs and lifts. A ticket booth at the south tower base sells tickets to use the stairs which begin at that location. On the first platform, the stairs continue up from the east tower. The third level summit is only accessible by lift. Once you are on the first or second platform, the stairs are open for anyone to ascend or descend regardless if you 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, 15 more steps exist to ascend to the upper observation platform. The actual step count is printed periodically on the side of the stairs to give an indication of progress. The majority of the ascent allows for an unhindered view of the area directly beneath and around the tower except during brief stretches of the stairway that are enclosed.
Maintenance of the tower includes applying 50/60 tons of three graded tones of paint every seven years to protect it from rust. On occasion, the color of the paint is changed the tower is currently painted a shade of brownish-grey. However, the tower is actually painted three different colors in order to make it look the same color. The colors change from dark to light from top to bottom, but it looks the same because of the background (the sky being light and the ground being dark). On the first floor, there are interactive consoles hosting a poll for the color to use for a future session of painting. The co-architects of the Eiffel Tower are Emile Naugier, Maurice Koechlin and Stephen Sauvestre.
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 it in Barcelona, for the Universal Exposition of 1888, but they rejected it. The tower was inaugurated on 31 March 1889, and opened on 6 May. 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. Yet because Eiffel took safety precautions including use of movable stagings, guard-rails and screens, only one man died.
The tower was met with resistance from the public when it was built, with many calling it an eyesore. (Novelist Guy de Maupassant who claimed to hate the tower supposedly ate lunch at the Tower's restaurant every day. When asked why, he answered that it was the one place in Paris where you couldn't see the Tower.) Today, it is widely considered to be a striking piece of structural art.
Going up the Tower
Visitors may climb the stairs or take the elevators to go up the Eiffel Tower. The stairs go up to the second floor (115 meters).
Three elevators go up to the first and second floors. To reach the top of the Tower (276 meters), visitors must take another elevator from the second floor.
Champ de Mars 75007 PARIS
Metro: Bir Hakeim RER : Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel
Bus: 42, 69, 72, 82,87
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|NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL PARIS
Jump start your vacation tour with
a visit to the spectacular 12 Century Cathedral on
the Ile de la Cite in the Heart of Paris.
is the world's largest palace and
museum and a triumph of French architecture.
|SAINT CHAPELLE PARIS
Built in 1246 by Crusader King
Louis IX (Saint Louis) on the Ile de la Cite, in the
middle of Paris' Seine river, to house the relics of
the Crusades, including the Crown of Thorns.
|EIFFEL TOWER PARIS
Built for the 1889 Paris Exhibition;
the Eiffel Tower is the largest and most
recognizable landmarks in the world. Take the
elevator or climb to the 2nd level to take the
scary ride straight up its narrow neck in a glass
|OPERA GARNIER PARIS
Its underground waterway the
fabled setting for the Leroux's "Phantom of the
Opera" its a classy place to see French Ballet and
Opera. Its facade is adorned with marble and
|ARC DE TRIOMPHE PARIS
Suggestive of an ancient
Roman arch its the biggest triumphal arch in the
world commissioned by Napoleon in 1806.
|MOULIN ROUGE CABARET PARIS
Evocative of wild
Paris between WW I and II, the place and
Parisian shows were immortalized by painter
|SACRE COEUR PARIS
(Sacred Heart): glows
like a white cake atop the nearby hill of
Montmartre overlooking Paris.
|HOTEL DE VILLE PARIS
One of the most
stunningly beautiful buildings you will see in
Paris. Parisians and even some Tourists seem to
pay little attention to it since it stunning interior is
|NAPOLEAN'S TOMB PARIS
Prepare to be amazed, a
gargantuan sarcophagus on a granite base sunk in
a huge circular basin under a magnificent dome
in the center of a Parisian Cathedral.
|MUSEE ORSAY PARIS
in a splendid former Paris
railway station built in 1900, is the Musée
d'Orsay offering a wealth of artistic treasures
produced between 1848 and 1914.
Chenonceau, Cheverny, Amboise and more.
01 Paris: Louvre Museum - Notre dame Cathedral - Banks of the River Seine - Chatelet Tower - Place Vendome - Le Palais Royal - Le Louvre - L'orangerie - Pont Neuf - Pont de La Concorde - Le quartier Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois - Pont-Neuf aux Tuileries
02 Paris: Paris Stock Exchange - Textile district - L'Opera Garnier - La Concorde et les Tuileries - Place Vendome - Bourse - La Tour Jean-sans-Peur
03 Paris: Picasso museum - Centre Georges Pompidou - Republique - Conservatoire des Arts et Metier
04 Paris: Old Marais district - Modern Art museum - City Hall - Ile de La Cite; - La place des Vosges - L'Hotel de Ville - Notre Dame de Paris - La Conciergerie - La crypte archeologique - La Maison de Victor Hugo - La Sainte Chapelle - Pont de Sully
05 Paris: Pantheon - Botanical Gardens - Saint-Germain-des-Pres - Notre dame de Paris - Eglise de Saint Germain - Saint Michel - La mosquee de Paris - L'ile de la Cite; - L'Ile Saint-Louis - Bibliotheque Sainte Genevieve - La crypte archeologique - La Sainte Chapelle - La Conciergerie - Les Arenes Lutece - Jardin des Plantes - Pont Neuf - Pont d'Austerlitz - Pont de Sully
06 Paris: Saint Germain des Pres - Latin Quarter - Luxembourg Gardens - La Tour Montparnasse - Musee d'Orsay - Palais / Jardin du Luxembourg - Cimetiere du Montparnasse - Observatoir de Paris
07 Paris: Eiffel Tower - Marais - Orsay Museum - Invalides (Napoleon's resting place) - Champs de Mars - L'UNESCO - Ecole Militaire - Pont de La Concorde - Pont des Invalides - Pont de L'Alma
08 Paris: Champs Elysees - Arc of Triumph - Elysees Palace - La Concorde et les Tuileries - Place Vendome - L'Opera Garnier - Le quartier de la defense - L'eglise Russe - L'orangerie - Place de La Madeleine - Boulevard Haussmann - Pont de La Concorde - Pont des Invalides
09 Paris: Opera House - Saint Lazare Train Station La butte Montmartre - Moulin Rouge - Galeries Lafayette - Musee de la Vie Romantique - Le quartier de la Nouvelle Athenes - Gare Saint Lazare
10 Paris: Est Train Station - Nord Train Station - Saint Martin canal - Place de la Republique
11 Paris: Republique Plaza - Leather district - La place des Vosges - Bastille - Cimetiere Pere Lachaise - Boulevard Belleville
12 Paris: New Opera House - Nation Plaza - Vincennes Park - Gare de Lyon - Le Viaduc des Arts - Le Parc de Bercy - Bibliotheque Francois Mitterrand - Pont National - Pont de Tolbiac - Pont de Bercy - Pont Charles de Gaulle - Pont d'Austerlitz
13 Paris: French National Library - Chinatown - Croulebarbe aux Gobelins - Bibliotheque Francois Mitterrand - Orly - Le quartier de la Butte-aux-Cailles - Pont National - Pont de Tolbiac - Pont de Bercy - Pont Charles de Gaulle - Parc de Montsouris - Observatoire de Paris
14 Paris: Montparnasse Train Station - Observatory - Cimetiere du Montparnasse - Parc de Montsouris
15 Paris: Vaugirard Street - Beaugrenelle Antiques Area - La Tour Montparnasse - Paris Expo / Porte de Versailles - Ecole Militaire - Pont Mirabeau - Pont du Gariglialo - Parc Andre Citroen - Cimetierre de Grenelle - Cimetiere du Montparnasse
16 Paris: Trocadero Plaza - Boulogne Park - Parc des Princes - Stade Roland Garros - Champs de Mars - Palais des Congres / Porte Maillot - Promenade Hector Guimard et l'Art Nouveau - Le quartier de la defense - Auteuil - Musee d'art Moderne - Palais Chaillot - Bois de Boulogne - Pont de L'Alma - Pont de Grenelle - Pont Mirabeau - Pont du Gariglialo - Parc Andre Citroen - Cimetiere de Grenelle
17 Paris: Wagram - Ternes - Jacquemin Museum - Le quartier de la Defense - Sacre-Coeur - Palais des Congres / Porte Maillot
18 Paris: Montmartre Hill (home of Amelie Poulain) - Church of the Sacred Heart - Moulin Rouge - Stade de France - La Basilique Saint-Denis - Gare du Nord - Roissy Charle de Gaulle
19 Paris: Villette Techno Park - Buttes Chaumont Park - Geode - Zenith - Roissy Charle de Gaulle - Boulevard Belleville
20 Paris: Pere Lachaise Cemetery (Jim Morrison's resting place) - Place de La Nation - Roissy Charle de Gaulle - Boulevard Belleville
92 Paris: Parc des Expositions - Parc de Sceaux - Issy-les-Moulineaux - Roland Garros - La Defense
93 Paris: Eurodisney Park