The Eiffel Tower Celebrates Its 125th BirthdayBy: Lindsay McCane - April 1, 2014
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic monuments in the world, and is visited by over seven million people each year.
Although many people can easily recognize the tower, they do not know the history behind this magnificent structure. The tower was built on March 31, 125 years ago. In 1889, Gustave Eiffel designed and built the tower for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, also known as the World’s Fair, to honor the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.
After two years, two months, and five days of construction, the 300 workers finally completed it. The entire building took 18,038 pieces of wrought iron and 2.5 million rivets. It weighs a whopping 10,000 tons and stands 984.25 feet high. The Eiffel Tower remained the tallest building in the world until 1930 when New York City’s Chrysler Building, standing 1,046 feet, was built.
The tower surviving 125 years was not the original plan. When it was built, it was only supposed to be a temporary monument, and was to be torn down in twenty years. However, when the time came for demolition, the French military and government found it useful for radio communication and, although the French citizens hated the tower, calling it an eyesore, the City of Paris opted to keep the building standing.
Over the years, the tower has served many purposes including housing a newspaper office, a post office, many scientific laboratories, and a theater. The tower underwent a makeover in 1986 and has to be painted every seven years. Nearly 500 people work at the tower ensuring the safety of visitors, and manning the restaurants and elevators.
Image via Wikimedia Commons