The Eiffel Tower

You’re in Paris so it is must to visit the Eiffel Tower!

Mahatma Gandhi, India’s leader of non-violent independence movement. once said, “Men flocked to see it and ascended it as it was a novelty and of unique dimensions. It was the toy of the exhibition. So long as we are children we are attracted by toys, and the tower was a good demonstration of the fact that we are all children attracted by trinkets. That may be claimed to be the purpose served by the Eiffel Tower”.

Soaring above the French capital city skyline the Paris’s symbol symbol is without doubt the Eiffel Tower. Locally nicknamed “La dame de fer” (French for “Iron Lady”), the Eiffel Tower was constructed from 1887 to 1889 as the centerpiece of the 1889 World’s Fair. It was the world’s tallest building until 1931 when New York’s Empire State was completed. In 1964 the wrought-iron lattice tower was designated a monument historique and was named part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.

Designed by Engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower is 330 meters (1,083 feet) high about the same height as an 81-storey building. Made of 15,000 pig-iron struts joined with 2.5 million rivets, the extremely light interlaced structure stands as an architectural masterpiece by itself. The Eiffel Tower is repainted every 7 (seven) years with tons of dark brown paint to keep her young. The tower was once yellow!

The tower has three levels. The first level at 57 m (187 ft.) high can be reached by lift or by climbing the 360 steps. You can mail you postcard – there’s a post office here. The second level at 115 m (376 ft) is reached also by a lift or 359 steps from the first level. Located here is the legendary and famous “Le Jules Verne”, a gourmet restaurant and one of the best restaurants in Paris with its sleek all-black decor and superb food. At 276 m (905 ft.) above the ground, the third level is the viewing platform, the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the whole European Union which can accommodate 800 people at a time. On a clear day it is possible to see for over 70 kms. (43 miles) distance in every direction from the top of the tower. The top level is usually accessible only by lift although there is also a staircase. On this top third level is a private apartment made for Gustave Eiffel’s private use!

Beneath the Eiffel Tower is the green area of the Champs-de-Mars field which used to be a military field now transformed into a garden. Permanently affixed at the sides of the tower just beneath the first platform are the names of seventy-two (72) French scientists and other famous persons of the country.

Inspiring many crazy or daring stunts the Eiffel Tower has been climbed by mountaineers and adventurers. In 1912, a Parisian tailor named Franz Reichelt tried to fly from the tower’s first floor with a spring-loaded parachute but crashed to the ground instead with a fatal result. Fourteen (14) years later Leon Collot, an aviator, was killed when his plane crashed in a ball of flame after attempting to fly it beneath the span of the tower.

With seven million visitors a year, there are long waits in the busy periods, so queuing for the lifts to climb the tower requires patience. And be sure you purchase your tickets to ascend by stairs or lift to the first and second levels, making the Eiffel Tower the most-visited paid monument on the planet.
Experience and enjoy the Eiffel Tower as we did!