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Paris And The Eiffel Tower

Paris And The Eiffel Tower
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The Eiffel Tower - an enormous structure of exposed latticework supports made of iron

, was constructed for the Paris Exposition of 1889. The Prince of Wales officiated at the ceremonial opening. Of the 700 proposals submitted in a design competition, one was collectively chosen, a radical conception from the French structural engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, who was assisted in the design by engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, and architect Stephen Sauvestre.

The Eiffel Tower was admired by Rousseau, Utrillo, Chagall, and Delaunay. It was almost dismantled in 1909 at the termination of its 20-year lease, but was saved because of its antenna - used for telegraphy at that time. Beginning in 1910 it became part of the International Time Service. French radio and French television have also made use of its stature. In the 1960s, it was the subject of a wonderful study by semiologist Roland Barthes.

Built to commemorate the science and engineering achievements of its age, soaring 300m / 984 ft. and weighing 7000 tons, the structure is made up of two visibly distinct parts - a base composed of a platform resting on four separate supports and, above this, a slender tower created as the bents taper upward, rising above a second platform to come together in a unified column.

This unparalleled work, the tallest structure in the world until the Empire State Building was built about 40 years later, had several previous circumstances. Among them were the iron-supported railway viaducts designed by Eiffel, an arch bridge over the Douro River in Portugal with a span of 160 m, and a design for a circular, iron-frame tower proposed by the American engineers Clarke and Reeves for the Centennial Exposition of 1876. Eiffel acknowledged this influence publicly; as he was no stranger to the United States, having designed the wrought-iron pylon inside Frederic Bartholdi's Statue of Liberty in 1885. Later in the same year, he had also begun work on the cupola of the Nice observatory.

In the basements of the eastern and western pillars, one can visit the gigantic 1899 machinery which powers the elevators. From the Tower's three platforms -especially the topmost - the view of Paris is superb. It is generally agreed that one hour before sunset, the panorama is at its best. The camera should not be forgotten to capture a dazzling sunset on the Seine.

There are other magnificent views, especially when the Trocadro fountains are in full force; one gets free show from the dancers and acrobats who perform around the Palais de Chaillot. The vast green boulevard beneath the tower is the Parc du Champs-de-Mars, which extends all the way to the 18th-century Ecole Militaire, at its southeast end. This formal lawn was once a parade ground for French troops.

The Eiffel Tower at night is one of the grand sights of Paris and shouldn't be missed. The gold lighting highlights the delicacy of the steelwork in a way that is missed in daylight.

The Eiffel Tower is a real crowd pleaser. At the crossroads of the entire world, 180 million visitors have come since its construction. It's not surprising when one considers that the Eiffel Tower is the monument that best symbolizes Europe. It's also the one tourists prefer.

Paris And The Eiffel Tower

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