Why was the Eiffel tower built
The Eiffel Tower is one of Paris’ most splendid sites and is one of the most popular places of pilgrimage for tourists visiting the French capital. It is an enduring site, located on the Left Bank (the southern side) of the River Seine, in the south-western part of Paris. The Eiffel Tower was built for the Universal Exposition of 1889, which Paris hosted that year.
The tower itself was intended to be the theme structure of the exposition. Originally a contract was signed by the city granting an operating concession period of 20 years, after which it would revert back to the City of Paris itself. As a result it was the only building to remain after the conclusion of the exposition, despite the fact that the majority of city councilors wanted when the concession period had expired to tear the structure down and sell it for scrap as it was considered to be an eyesore against the artistic skyline of Paris.
It was actually the military that the idea to scrap the structure as they discovered the tower’s usefulness as a radio antennae – perfect for making strategic use of the newly-invented technology that came about at roughly the same time as the tower’s construction.
The towel itself is 324 meters tall, but was originally some 12 meters shorter due to the fact that the original structure didn’t house a television tower – logical, when you consider the fact that it was built in 1889. Despite the fact that it was constructed more than a century ago there are only around a couple of dozen structures today that are taller than the Eiffel Tower. Many of these taller structures are located in Asia and the Asian-Pacific region, a part of the world that has seen a mushrooming of super-tall structures in recent years.
The Eiffel Tower is unique also due to the fact that it is not an enclosed structure. Rather it is an open metal latticework. As a result of this those that suffer from vertigo should proceed with caution as there are generally no solid walls to brace yourself against during the entire way to the top. The tower can be ascended by foot to the first platform (around 19 flights) and the second platform, (around 38 flights). From there, however, you must take the elevator if you wish to ascend all the way to the summit.
There are stories that the Eiffel Tower was a gift to France from the US in exchange for the Statue of Liberty. This, however, is just simply that – a story. It was actually part-funded by the French government and a guarantee of the proceeds from admissions to the company that built the tower. This guarantee lasted for a number of years. The company was called Gustave Eiffel’s Structural Engineering Company and was headed by chief architect Gustave Eiffel who personally designed the tower. The firm incidentally still exists today, albeit under a slightly different trading name of simply “Eiffel”. Despite reports at various times that the tower would be sold to various American concerns the tower continues to belong to the City of Paris, as remains 100% French owned.