Eiffel Tower (/ˈaɪfəl/ EYE-fəl; French: tour Eiffel
[tuʁ‿ɛfɛl] ( listen)) is a wrought iron lattice tower
Champ de Mars
Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer
Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.
Constructed from 1887–89 as the entrance to the 1889 World's Fair,
it was initially criticized by some of France's leading artists and
intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon
France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world.
Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world;
6.91 million people ascended it in 2015.
The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as
an 81-storey building, and the tallest structure in Paris. Its base is
square, measuring 125 metres (410 ft) on each side. During its
Eiffel Tower surpassed the
Washington Monument to
become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held
for 41 years until the
Chrysler Building in
New York City
New York City was finished
in 1930. Due to the addition of a broadcasting aerial at the top of
the tower in 1957, it is now taller than the
Chrysler Building by 5.2
metres (17 ft). Excluding transmitters, the
Eiffel Tower is the
second tallest structure in
France after the Millau Viaduct.
The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first
and second levels. The top level's upper platform is 276 m
(906 ft) above the ground – the highest observation deck
accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be
purchased to ascend by stairs or lift (elevator) to the first and
second levels. The climb from ground level to the first level is over
300 steps, as is the climb from the first level to the second.
Although there is a staircase to the top level, it is usually
accessible only by lift.
1.2 Artists' protest
1.4 Inauguration and the 1889 exposition
1.5 Subsequent events
2.2 Wind considerations
2.4 Passenger lifts
2.5 Engraved names
5.1 FM radio
5.2 Digital television
6 Illumination copyright
7 Taller structures
7.1 Lattice towers taller than the Eiffel Tower
7.2 Structures in
France taller than the Eiffel Tower
8 See also
11 External links
The design of the
Eiffel Tower was the product of
Maurice Koechlin and
Émile Nouguier, two senior engineers working for the Compagnie des
Établissements Eiffel, after discussion about a suitable centrepiece
for the proposed 1889 Exposition Universelle, a world's fair to
celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. Eiffel openly
acknowledged that inspiration for a tower came from the Latting
Observatory built in
New York City
New York City in 1853. In May 1884, working at
home, Koechlin made a sketch of their idea, described by him as "a
great pylon, consisting of four lattice girders standing apart at the
base and coming together at the top, joined together by metal trusses
at regular intervals". Eiffel initially showed little enthusiasm,
but he did approve further study, and the two engineers then asked
Stephen Sauvestre, the head of company's architectural department, to
contribute to the design. Sauvestre added decorative arches to the
base of the tower, a glass pavilion to the first level, and other
First drawing of the
Eiffel Tower by
Maurice Koechlin including size
comparison with other Parisian landmarks such as Notre Dame de Paris,
the Statue of Liberty and the Vendôme Column
The new version gained Eiffel's support: he bought the rights to the
patent on the design which Koechlin, Nougier, and Sauvestre had taken
out, and the design was exhibited at the Exhibition of Decorative Arts
in the autumn of 1884 under the company name. On 30 March 1885, Eiffel
presented his plans to the Société des Ingénieurs Civils; after
discussing the technical problems and emphasising the practical uses
of the tower, he finished his talk by saying the tower would
Not only the art of the modern engineer, but also the century of
Industry and Science in which we are living, and for which the way was
prepared by the great scientific movement of the eighteenth century
and by the Revolution of 1789, to which this monument will be built as
an expression of France's gratitude.
Little progress was made until 1886, when
Jules Grévy was re-elected
as president of
Édouard Lockroy was appointed as minister
for trade. A budget for the exposition was passed and, on 1 May,
Lockroy announced an alteration to the terms of the open competition
being held for a centrepiece to the exposition, which effectively made
the selection of Eiffel's design a foregone conclusion, as entries had
to include a study for a 300 m (980 ft) four-sided metal
tower on the Champ de Mars. (A 300-meter tower was then considered
a herculean engineering effort). On 12 May, a commission was set up to
examine Eiffel's scheme and its rivals, which, a month later, decided
that all the proposals except Eiffel's were either impractical or
lacking in details.
After some debate about the exact location of the tower, a contract
was signed on 8 January 1887. This was signed by Eiffel acting in his
own capacity rather than as the representative of his company, and
granted him 1.5 million francs toward the construction costs: less
than a quarter of the estimated 6.5 million francs. Eiffel was to
receive all income from the commercial exploitation of the tower
during the exhibition and for the next 20 years. He later established
a separate company to manage the tower, putting up half the necessary
Gustave Eiffel comparing the Eiffel tower to the
The proposed tower had been a subject of controversy, drawing
criticism from those who did not believe it was feasible and those who
objected on artistic grounds. These objections were an expression of a
long-standing debate in
France about the relationship between
architecture and engineering. It came to a head as work began at the
Champ de Mars: a "Committee of Three Hundred" (one member for each
metre of the tower's height) was formed, led by the prominent
architect Charles Garnier and including some of the most important
figures of the arts, such as Adolphe Bouguereau, Guy de Maupassant,
Charles Gounod and Jules Massenet. A petition called "Artists against
the Eiffel Tower" was sent to the Minister of Works and Commissioner
for the Exposition, Charles Alphand, and it was published by Le Temps
on 14 February 1887:
We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects and passionate devotees
of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris, protest with all our
strength, with all our indignation in the name of slighted French
taste, against the erection … of this useless and monstrous Eiffel
Tower … To bring our arguments home, imagine for a moment a giddy,
ridiculous tower dominating
Paris like a gigantic black smokestack,
crushing under its barbaric bulk Notre Dame, the Tour Saint-Jacques,
the Louvre, the Dome of les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, all of our
humiliated monuments will disappear in this ghastly dream. And for
twenty years … we shall see stretching like a blot of ink the
hateful shadow of the hateful column of bolted sheet metal.
A calligram by Guillaume Apollinaire
Gustave Eiffel responded to these criticisms by comparing his tower to
the Egyptian pyramids: "My tower will be the tallest edifice ever
erected by man. Will it not also be grandiose in its way? And why
would something admirable in Egypt become hideous and ridiculous in
Paris?" These criticisms were also dealt with by Édouard Lockroy
in a letter of support written to Alphand, ironically saying,
"Judging by the stately swell of the rhythms, the beauty of the
metaphors, the elegance of its delicate and precise style, one can
tell this protest is the result of collaboration of the most famous
writers and poets of our time", and he explained that the protest was
irrelevant since the project had been decided upon months before, and
construction on the tower was already under way.
Indeed, Garnier was a member of the Tower Commission that had examined
the various proposals, and had raised no objection. Eiffel was
similarly unworried, pointing out to a journalist that it was
premature to judge the effect of the tower solely on the basis of the
drawings, that the
Champ de Mars
Champ de Mars was distant enough from the monuments
mentioned in the protest for there to be little risk of the tower
overwhelming them, and putting the aesthetic argument for the tower:
"Do not the laws of natural forces always conform to the secret laws
Some of the protesters changed their minds when the tower was built;
others remained unconvinced.
Guy de Maupassant
Guy de Maupassant supposedly ate
lunch in the tower's restaurant every day because it was the one place
Paris where the tower was not visible.
By 1918, it had become a symbol of
Paris and of
France after Guillaume
Apollinaire wrote a nationalist poem in the shape of the tower (a
calligram) to express his feelings about the war against Germany.
Today, it is widely considered to be a remarkable piece of structural
art, and is often featured in films and literature.
Foundations of the Eiffel Tower
Work on the foundations started on 28 January 1887. Those for the
east and south legs were straightforward, with each leg resting on
four 2 m (6.6 ft) concrete slabs, one for each of the
principal girders of each leg. The west and north legs, being closer
to the river Seine, were more complicated: each slab needed two piles
installed by using compressed-air caissons 15 m (49 ft) long
and 6 m (20 ft) in diameter driven to a depth of 22 m
(72 ft) to support the concrete slabs, which were 6 m
(20 ft) thick. Each of these slabs supported a block of limestone
with an inclined top to bear a supporting shoe for the ironwork.
Each shoe was anchored to the stonework by a pair of bolts 10 cm
(4 in) in diameter and 7.5 m (25 ft) long. The
foundations were completed on 30 June, and the erection of the
ironwork began. The visible work on-site was complemented by the
enormous amount of exacting preparatory work that took place behind
the scenes: the drawing office produced 1,700 general drawings and
3,629 detailed drawings of the 18,038 different parts needed. The
task of drawing the components was complicated by the complex angles
involved in the design and the degree of precision required: the
position of rivet holes was specified to within 0.1 mm
(0.0039 in) and angles worked out to one second of arc. The
finished components, some already riveted together into
sub-assemblies, arrived on horse-drawn carts from a factory in the
nearby Parisian suburb of
Levallois-Perret and were first bolted
together, with the bolts being replaced with rivets as construction
progressed. No drilling or shaping was done on site: if any part did
not fit, it was sent back to the factory for alteration. In all,
18,038 pieces were joined together using 2.5 million rivets.
At first the legs were constructed as cantilevers, but about halfway
to the first level, construction was paused in order to create a
substantial timber scaffold. This renewed concerns about the
structural integrity of the tower, and sensational headlines such as
"Eiffel Suicide!" and "
Gustave Eiffel Has Gone Mad: He Has Been
Confined in an Asylum" appeared in the tabloid press. At this
stage, a small "creeper" crane designed to move up the tower was
installed in each leg. They made use of the guides for the lifts which
were to be fitted in the four legs. The critical stage of joining the
legs at the first level was completed by the end of March 1888.
Although the metalwork had been prepared with the utmost attention to
detail, provision had been made to carry out small adjustments in
order to precisely align the legs; hydraulic jacks were fitted to the
shoes at the base of each leg, capable of exerting a force of 800
tonnes, and the legs were intentionally constructed at a slightly
steeper angle than necessary, being supported by sandboxes on the
scaffold. Although construction involved 300 on-site employees,
only one person died thanks to Eiffel's stringent safety precautions
and the use of movable gangways, guardrails and screens[citation
The start of the erection of the metalwork.
7 December 1887: Construction of the legs with scaffolding.
20 March 1888: Completion of the first level.
15 May 1888: Start of construction on the second stage.
21 August 1888: Completion of the second level.
26 December 1888: Construction of the upper stage.
15 March 1889: Construction of the cupola.
The Roux, Combaluzier & Lepape lifts during construction. Note the
drive sprockets and chain in the foreground
Equipping the tower with adequate and safe passenger lifts was a major
concern of the government commission overseeing the Exposition.
Although some visitors could be expected to climb to the first level,
or even the second, lifts clearly had to be the main means of
Constructing lifts to reach the first level was relatively
straightforward: the legs were wide enough at the bottom and so nearly
straight that they could contain a straight track, and a contract was
given to the French company Roux, Combaluzier & Lepape for two
lifts to be fitted in the east and west legs. Roux, Combaluzier
& Lepape used a pair of endless chains with rigid, articulated
links to which the car was attached. Lead weights on some links of the
upper or return sections of the chains counterbalanced most of the
car's weight. The car was pushed up from below, not pulled up from
above: to prevent the chain buckling, it was enclosed in a conduit. At
the bottom of the run, the chains passed around 3.9 m (12 ft
10 in) diameter sprockets. Smaller sprockets at the top guided
The Otis lifts originally fitted in the north and south legs
Installing lifts to the second level was more of a challenge because a
straight track was impossible. No French company wanted to undertake
the work. The European branch of Otis Brothers & Company submitted
a proposal but this was rejected: the fair's charter ruled out the use
of any foreign material in the construction of the tower. The deadline
for bids was extended but still no French companies put themselves
forward, and eventually the contract was given to Otis in July
1887. Otis were confident they would eventually be given the
contract and had already started creating designs.
The car was divided into two superimposed compartments, each holding
25 passengers, with the lift operator occupying an exterior platform
on the first level.
Motive power was provided by an inclined hydraulic
ram 12.67 m (41 ft 7 in) long and 96.5 cm
(38.0 in) in diameter in the tower leg with a stroke of
10.83 m (35 ft 6 in): this moved a carriage carrying
six sheaves. Five fixed sheaves were mounted higher up the leg,
producing an arrangement similar to a block and tackle but acting in
reverse, multiplying the stroke of the piston rather than the force
generated. The hydraulic pressure in the driving cylinder was produced
by a large open reservoir on the second level. After being exhausted
from the cylinder, the water was pumped back up to the reservoir by
two pumps in the machinery room at the base of the south leg. This
reservoir also provided power to the lifts to the first level.
The original lifts for the journey between the second and third levels
were supplied by Léon Edoux. A pair of 81 m (266 ft)
hydraulic rams were mounted on the second level, reaching nearly
halfway up to the third level. One lift car was mounted on top of
these rams: cables ran from the top of this car up to sheaves on the
third level and back down to a second car. Each car only travelled
half the distance between the second and third levels and passengers
were required to change lifts halfway by means of a short gangway. The
10-ton cars each held 65 passengers.
Inauguration and the 1889 exposition
General view of the Exposition Universelle
The main structural work was completed at the end of March 1889 and,
on 31 March, Eiffel celebrated by leading a group of government
officials, accompanied by representatives of the press, to the top of
the tower. Because the lifts were not yet in operation, the ascent
was made by foot, and took over an hour, with Eiffel stopping
frequently to explain various features. Most of the party chose to
stop at the lower levels, but a few, including the structural
engineer, Émile Nouguier, the head of construction, Jean Compagnon,
the President of the City Council, and reporters from
Le Figaro and Le
Monde Illustré, completed the ascent. At 2:35 pm, Eiffel hoisted
a large Tricolour to the accompaniment of a 25-gun salute fired at the
There was still work to be done, particularly on the lifts and
facilities, and the tower was not opened to the public until nine days
after the opening of the exposition on 6 May; even then, the lifts had
not been completed. The tower was an instant success with the public,
and nearly 30,000 visitors made the 1,710-step climb to the top before
the lifts entered service on 26 May. Tickets cost 2 francs for the
first level, 3 for the second, and 5 for the top, with half-price
admission on Sundays, and by the end of the exhibition there had
been 1,896,987 visitors.
After dark, the tower was lit by hundreds of gas lamps, and a beacon
sent out three beams of red, white and blue light. Two searchlights
mounted on a circular rail were used to illuminate various buildings
of the exposition. The daily opening and closing of the exposition
were announced by a cannon at the top.
Illumination of the tower at night during the exposition
On the second level, the French newspaper
Le Figaro had an office and
a printing press, where a special souvenir edition,
Le Figaro de la
Tour, was made. There was also a pâtisserie.
At the top, there was a post office where visitors could send letters
and postcards as a memento of their visit. Graffitists were also
catered for: sheets of paper were mounted on the walls each day for
visitors to record their impressions of the tower. Gustave Eiffel
described some of the responses as vraiment curieuse ("truly
Famous visitors to the tower included the Prince of Wales, Sarah
Bernhardt, "Buffalo Bill" Cody (his Wild West show was an attraction
at the exposition) and Thomas Edison. Eiffel invited Edison to his
private apartment at the top of the tower, where Edison presented him
with one of his phonographs, a new invention and one of the many
highlights of the exposition. Edison signed the guestbook with
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.
Eiffel had a permit for the tower to stand for 20 years. It was 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 should be easy to
dismantle) but as the tower proved to be valuable for communication
purposes, it was allowed to remain after the expiry of the permit.
Eiffel made use of his apartment at the top of the tower to carry out
meteorological observations, and also used the tower to perform
experiments on the action of air resistance on falling bodies.
Panoramic view during ascent of the
Eiffel Tower by the Lumière
Franz Reichelt's preparations and jump from the Eiffel Tower
For the 1900 Exposition Universelle, the lifts in the east and west
legs were replaced by lifts running as far as the second level
constructed by the French firm Fives-Lille. These had a compensating
mechanism to keep the floor level as the angle of ascent changed at
the first level, and were driven by a similar hydraulic mechanism to
the Otis lifts, although this was situated at the base of the tower.
Hydraulic pressure was provided by pressurised accumulators located
near this mechanism. At the same time the lift in the north pillar
was removed and replaced by a staircase to the first level. The layout
of both first and second levels was modified, with the space available
for visitors on the second level. The original lift in the south
pillar was removed 13 years later.
On 19 October 1901, Alberto Santos-Dumont, flying his No.6 airship,
won a 100,000-franc prize offered by
Henri Deutsch de la Meurthe
Henri Deutsch de la Meurthe for
the first person to make a flight from St. Cloud to the Eiffel Tower
and back in less than half an hour.
Many innovations took place at the
Eiffel Tower in the early 20th
century. In 1910, Father
Theodor Wulf measured radiant energy at the
top and bottom of the tower. He found more at the top than expected,
incidentally discovering what are known today as cosmic rays. Just
two years later, on 4 February 1912, Austrian tailor Franz Reichelt
died after jumping from the first level of the tower (a height of 57
metres) to demonstrate his parachute design. In 1914, at the
outbreak of World War I, a radio transmitter located in the tower
jammed German radio communications, seriously hindering their advance
Paris and contributing to the Allied victory at the First Battle of
the Marne. From 1925 to 1934, illuminated signs for Citroën
adorned three of the tower's sides, making it the tallest advertising
space in the world at the time. In April 1935, the
tower was used to make experimental low-resolution television
transmissions, using a shortwave transmitter of 200 watts power. On 17
November, an improved 180-line transmitter was installed.
On two separate but related occasions in 1925, the con artist Victor
Lustig "sold" the tower for scrap metal. A year later, in February
1926, pilot Leon Collet was killed trying to fly under the tower. His
aircraft became entangled in an aerial belonging to a wireless
station. A bust of
Gustave Eiffel by
Antoine Bourdelle was
unveiled at the base of the north leg on 2 May 1929. In 1930, the
tower lost the title of the world's tallest structure when the
Chrysler Building in
New York City
New York City was completed. In 1938, the
decorative arcade around the first level was removed.
American soldiers watch the French flag flying on the Eiffel Tower, c.
25 August 1944
Upon the German occupation of
Paris in 1940, the lift cables were cut
by the French. The tower was closed to the public during the
occupation and the lifts were not repaired until 1946. In 1940,
German soldiers had to climb the tower to hoist a swastika-centered
Reichskriegsflagge, but the flag was so large it blew away just a
few hours later, and was replaced by a smaller one. When visiting
Paris, Hitler chose to stay on the ground. When the Allies were
Paris in August 1944, 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. On 25
June, before the Germans had been driven out of Paris, the German flag
was replaced with a Tricolour by two men from the French Naval Museum,
who narrowly beat three men led by Lucien Sarniguet, who had lowered
the Tricolour on 13 June 1940 when
Paris fell to the Germans.
A fire started in the television transmitter on 3 January 1956,
damaging the top of the tower. Repairs took a year, and in 1957, the
present radio aerial was added to the top. In 1964, the Eiffel
Tower was officially declared to be a historical monument by the
Minister of Cultural Affairs, André Malraux. A year later, an
additional lift system was installed in the north pillar.
According to interviews, in 1967,
Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau
negotiated a secret agreement with
Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle for the tower to
be dismantled and temporarily relocated to
Montreal to serve as a
landmark and tourist attraction during Expo 67. The plan was allegedly
vetoed by the company operating the tower out of fear that the French
government could refuse permission for the tower to be restored in its
Base of the Eiffel Tower
In 1982, the original lifts between the second and third levels were
replaced after 97 years in service. These had been closed to the
public between November and March because the water in the hydraulic
drive tended to freeze. The new cars operate in pairs, with one
counterbalancing the other, and perform the journey in one stage,
reducing the journey time from eight minutes to less than two minutes.
At the same time, two new emergency staircases were installed,
replacing the original spiral staircases. In 1983, the south pillar
was fitted with an electrically driven Otis lift to serve the Jules
Verne restaurant. The Fives-Lille lifts in the east
and west legs, fitted in 1899, were extensively refurbished in 1986.
The cars were replaced, and a computer system was installed to
completely automate the lifts. The motive power was moved from the
water hydraulic system to a new electrically driven oil-filled
hydraulic system, and the original water hydraulics were retained
solely as a counterbalance system. A service lift was added to the
south pillar for moving small loads and maintenance personnel three
Robert Moriarty flew a
Beechcraft Bonanza under the tower on 31 March
1984. In 1987,
A.J. Hackett made one of his first bungee jumps
from the top of the Eiffel Tower, using a special cord he had helped
develop. Hackett was arrested by the police. On 27 October 1991,
Thierry Devaux, along with mountain guide Hervé Calvayrac, performed
a series of acrobatic figures while bungee jumping from the second
floor of the tower. Facing the Champ de Mars, Devaux used an
electric winch between figures to go back up to the second floor. When
firemen arrived, he stopped after the sixth jump.
The tower is the focal point of
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve and
Bastille Day (14
July) celebrations in Paris.
For its "Countdown to the Year 2000" celebration on 31 December 1999,
flashing lights and high-powered searchlights were installed on the
tower. Fireworks were set off all over it. An exhibition above a
cafeteria on the first floor commemorates this event. The searchlights
on top of the tower made it a beacon in Paris's night sky, and 20,000
flashing bulbs gave the tower a sparkly appearance for five minutes
every hour on the hour.
The lights sparkled blue for several nights to herald the new
millennium On 31 December 2000. The sparkly lighting continued for 18
months until July 2001. The sparkling lights were turned on again on
21 June 2003, and the display was planned to last for 10 years before
they needed replacing.
The tower received its 200,000,000th guest on 28 November 2002.
The tower has operated at its maximum capacity of about 7 million
visitors since 2003. In 2004, the
Eiffel Tower began hosting a
seasonal ice rink on the first level. A glass floor was installed
on the first level during the 2014 refurbishment.
Eiffel Tower from below
The puddled iron (wrought iron) of the
Eiffel Tower weighs 7,300
tons, and the addition of lifts, shops and antennae have brought
the total weight to approximately 10,100 tons. As a
demonstration of the economy of design, if the 7,300 tons of
metal in the structure were melted down, it would fill the square
base, 125 metres (410 ft) on each side, to a depth of only
6.25 cm (2.46 in) assuming the density of the metal to be
7.8 tons per cubic metre. Additionally, a cubic box
surrounding the tower (324 m x 125 m x 125 m) would
contain 6,200 tons of air, weighing almost as much as the iron
itself. 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.
When it was built, many were shocked by the tower's daring form.
Eiffel was accused of trying to create something artistic with no
regard to the principles of engineering. However, Eiffel and his team
– experienced bridge builders – 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 sure it could withstand them.
In an interview with the newspaper Le Temps published on 14 February
1887, Eiffel said:
Is it not true that the very conditions which give strength also
conform to the hidden rules of harmony? … Now to what phenomenon did
I have to 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.
He used graphical methods to determine the strength of the tower and
empirical evidence to account for the effects of wind, rather than a
mathematical formula. Close examination of the tower reveals a
basically exponential shape. All parts of the tower were
over-designed to ensure maximum resistance to wind forces. The top
half was even assumed to have no gaps in the latticework. In the
years since it was completed, engineers have put forward various
mathematical hypotheses in an attempt to explain the success of the
design. The most recent, devised in 2004 after letters sent by Eiffel
to the French Society of Civil Engineers in 1885 were translated into
English, is described as a non-linear integral equation based on
counteracting the wind pressure on any point of the tower with the
tension between the construction elements at that point.
Eiffel Tower sways by up to 9 centimetres (3.5 in) in
Gustave Eiffel's apartment
When originally built, the first level contained three
restaurants—one French, one Russian and one Flemish—and an
"Anglo-American Bar". After the exposition closed, the Flemish
restaurant was converted to a 250-seat theatre. A promenade 2.6-metre
(8 ft 6 in) wide ran around the outside of the first level.
At the top, there were laboratories for various experiments, and a
small apartment reserved for
Gustave Eiffel to entertain guests, which
is now open to the public, complete with period decorations and
lifelike mannequins of Eiffel and some of his notable guests.
In May 2016, an apartment was created on the first level to
accommodate four competition winners during the UEFA Euro 2016
football tournament in
Paris in June. The apartment has a kitchen, two
bedrooms, a lounge, and views of
Paris landmarks including the Seine,
the Sacre Coeur, and the Arc de Triomphe.
The arrangement of the lifts has been changed several times during the
tower's history. Given the elasticity of the cables and the time taken
to align the cars with the landings, each lift, in normal service,
takes an average of 8 minutes and 50 seconds to do the round trip,
spending an average of 1 minute and 15 seconds at each level. The
average journey time between levels is 1 minute. The original
hydraulic mechanism is on public display in a small museum at the base
of the east and west legs. Because the mechanism requires frequent
lubrication and maintenance, public access is often restricted. The
rope mechanism of the north tower can be seen as visitors exit the
Main article: List of the 72 names on the Eiffel Tower
Names engraved on the tower
Gustave Eiffel engraved on the tower the names of 72 French
scientists, engineers and mathematicians in recognition of their
contributions to the building of the tower. Eiffel chose this
"invocation of science" because of his concern over the artists'
protest. At the beginning of the 20th century, the engravings were
painted over, but they were restored in 1986–87 by the Société
Nouvelle d'exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, a company operating the
The tower is painted in three shades: lighter at the top, getting
progressively darker towards the bottom to complement the Parisian
sky. It was originally reddish brown; this changed in 1968 to a
bronze colour known as "
Eiffel Tower Brown".
The only non-structural elements are the four decorative grill-work
arches, added in Sauvestre's sketches, which served to make the tower
look more substantial and to make a more impressive entrance to the
A pop-culture movie cliché 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 seven storeys, only a
small number of tall buildings have a clear view of the
Maintenance of the tower includes applying 60 tons of paint every
seven years to prevent it from rusting. The tower has been completely
repainted at least 19 times since it was built.
Lead paint was still
being used as recently as 2001 when the practice was stopped out of
concern for the environment.
Paris and its suburbs from the top of the Eiffel Tower
Paris Métro station is Bir-Hakeim and the nearest RER
station is Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel. The tower itself is located
at the intersection of the quai Branly and the Pont d'Iéna.
Number of visitors per year between 1889 and 2004
More than 250 million people have visited the tower since it was
completed in 1889. In 2015, there were 6.91 million
visitors. The tower is the most-visited paid monument in the
world. An average of 25,000 people ascend the tower every day
which can result in long queues. Tickets can be purchased online
to avoid the long queues.
The tower has two restaurants: Le 58 Tour Eiffel on the first level,
and Le Jules Verne, a gourmet restaurant with its own lift on the
second level. This restaurant has one star in the Michelin Red Guide.
It is run by the multi-
Michelin star chef Alain Ducasse and owes
its name to the famous science-fiction writer Jules Verne.
Additionally, there is a champagne bar at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Replica at the
Paris Las Vegas Hotel, Nevada, United States
Main article: List of
Eiffel Tower replicas
As one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, the
Eiffel Tower has
been the inspiration for the creation of many replicas and similar
towers. An early example is
Blackpool Tower in England. The mayor of
Blackpool, Sir John Bickerstaffe, was so impressed on seeing the
Eiffel Tower at the 1889 exposition that he commissioned a similar
tower to be built in his town. It opened in 1894 and is
158.1 metres (518 ft) tall.
Tokyo Tower in Japan, built
as a communications tower in 1958, was also inspired by the Eiffel
There are various scale models of the tower in the United States,
including a half-scale version at the
Paris Las Vegas, Nevada, one in
Paris, Texas built in 1993, and two 1:3 scale models at Kings Island,
Ohio, and Kings Dominion, Virginia, amusement parks opened in 1972 and
1975 respectively. Two 1:3 scale models can be found in China, one in
Durango, Mexico that was donated by the local French community, and
several across Europe.
In 2011, the TV show Pricing the Priceless on the National Geographic
Channel speculated that a full-size replica of the tower would cost
approximately US$480 million to build.
Top of the Eiffel Tower
The tower has been used for making radio transmissions since the
beginning of the 20th century. Until the 1950s, sets of aerial wires
ran from the cupola to anchors on the Avenue de Suffren and Champ de
Mars. These were connected to longwave transmitters in small bunkers.
In 1909, a permanent underground radio centre was built near the south
pillar, which still exists today. On 20 November 1913, the Paris
Observatory, using the
Eiffel Tower as an aerial, exchanged wireless
signals with the United States Naval Observatory, which used an aerial
in Arlington, Virginia. The object of the transmissions was to measure
the difference in longitude between
Paris and Washington, D.C.
Today, radio and digital television signals are transmitted from the
A television antenna was first installed on the tower in 1957,
increasing its height by 18.7 m (61.4 ft). Work carried out
in 2000 added a further 5.3 m (17.4 ft), giving the current
height of 324 m (1,063 ft). Analogue television signals
Eiffel Tower ceased on 8 March 2011.
Eiffel Tower illuminated in 2015
The tower and its image have long been in the public domain. In
June 1990 a French court ruled that a special lighting display on the
tower in 1989 to mark the tower's 100th anniversary was an "original
visual creation" protected by copyright. The Court of Cassation,
France's judicial court of last resort, upheld the ruling in March
1992. The Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE) now
considers any illumination of the tower to be a separate work of art
that falls under copyright. As a result, the SNTE alleges that it
is illegal to publish contemporary photographs of the lit tower at
night without permission in
France and some other countries for
The imposition of copyright has been controversial. The Director of
Documentation for what was then called the Société Nouvelle
d'exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SNTE), Stéphane Dieu, commented in
2005: "It is really just a way to manage commercial use of the image,
so that it isn't used in ways [of which] we don't approve". SNTE
made over €1 million from copyright fees in 2002. However,
it could also be used to restrict the publication of tourist
photographs of the tower at night, as well as hindering non-profit and
semi-commercial publication of images of the illuminated tower.
French doctrine and jurisprudence allows pictures incorporating a
copyrighted work as long as their presence is incidental or accessory
to the subject being represented, a reasoning akin to the de
minimis rule. Therefore, SETE may be unable to claim copyright on
Paris which happen to include the lit tower.
Eiffel Tower was the world's tallest structure when completed in
1889, a distinction it retained until 1929 when the Chrysler Building
New York City
New York City was topped out. The tower has lost its standing
both as the world's tallest structure and the world's tallest lattice
tower but retains its status as the tallest freestanding (non-guyed)
structure in France.
Lattice towers taller than the Eiffel Tower
List of tallest towers in the world
List of tallest towers in the world and
634 m (2,080 ft)
Kiev TV Tower
385 m (1,263 ft)
336 m (1,102 ft)
333 m (1,093 ft)
France taller than the Eiffel Tower
List of tallest structures
List of tallest structures in France
Longwave transmitter Allouis
350 m (1,150 ft)
350 m (1,150 ft)
Military VLF transmitter; multiple masts
Viaduc de Millau
343 m (1,125 ft)
TV Mast Niort-Maisonnay
330 m (1,080 ft)
Transmitter Le Mans-Mayet
342 m (1,122 ft)
La Regine transmitter
330 m (1,080 ft)
Military VLF transmitter
330 m (1,080 ft)
Spare transmission mast for longwave; insulated against ground
Eiffel Tower in popular culture
List of tallest buildings and structures
List of tallest buildings and structures in the
List of tallest buildings and structures
List of tallest buildings and structures in the world
List of tallest freestanding structures
List of tallest freestanding structures in the world
List of tallest towers
List of tallest towers in the world
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^ a b
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dans un lieu public n'est licite que lorsqu'elle est accessoire par
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