6 May 1889 – 2013
One hundred twenty-four years ago today, the Eiffel Tower officially opened to the public at the Exposition Universelle—that is, the World’s Fair—in Paris. It was a wonder then, and it still is—the most recognized landmark in the world.
The French weren’t crazy about it at first; they didn’t like what it did to the skyline.
But even though it was intended to be dismantled after twenty years when ownership reverted to the City of Paris, it was allowed to remain. And look at it now: I love this panoramic view of the city taken from/near Notre Dame. Scroll across; you’ll see it. (Or go to the official site; it’s got some nice panoramas too.)
• Designed and built by Gustave Eiffel’s engineering firm at a cost of $1.5 million (under budget!).
• Made of wrought iron; originally painted red. (It hasn’t always been brown!)
• 986 feet tall; at the time, the tallest building in the world.
• Cost of construction was recouped by ticket sales in a year.
• The tower is repainted every 7 years; this requires 60 tons of paint and about 18 months.
Happy birthday to the Eiffel Tower! One of these days I’ll be back, darling, and we’ll celebrate then. 🙂