History of Eiffel Tower


The Eiffel Tower is undoubtedly the most famous attraction in the world. 

The tower’s beauty compels millions of people to pay their visit to this magnificent structure.

Stretching through the Parisian skies for over 127 years, this tower is also known to be the pride of Paris, the city of Lights.

One cannot complete their trip to Paris without stopping at this famous attraction.

It was built between 1887 to 1889 for the World fair, and since that day, it never has failed to amaze its visitors.

But as fascinating and successful as this attraction has become over the years, it holds a story of its own, “The history of the Eiffel Tower.”

Starting from the design selection to the renovations, this tower has a lot to tell.

Here is a brief history of the Eiffel Tower:

The Beginning

Initially known as the Tour Eiffel, it was built for the 1889 world fair, held in recognition of the french revolution’s 100th commemoration. 

More than 100 designs were proposed to build a structure to represent the power and industrial abilities of France.

Out of these 100 proposals, Gustave Eiffel’s idea was selected.

Gustave Eiffel, together with engineer Maurice Koechlin, Émile Nouguier, and architect Stephen Sauvestre, was responsible for the design of this magnificent iron structure.

Here is compiled data showing the progress of the Eiffel Tower’s construction.

  • June 1884: The idea to build an iron tower standing 300 meters was formulated.
  • 28th January 1887: The Construction of the Eiffel tower begins.
  • 1st April 1888: The first level finished.
  • 14th August 1888: The second level was finished.
  • 31st March 1889: The third and last stage when the construction was completed.

On 31st March 1889, the day of the Eiffel Tower’s inauguration, Gustave Eiffel climbed 1710 stairs of the then 312-meter-high tower and flurried the French tricolor flag at the Summit.

Construction of The Eiffel tower

The construction work for the Eiffel Tower started on 26th January 1887.

A team of 72 people consisting of brilliant scientists, engineers and mathematicians came together to build this marvelous tower.

All these 72 names are engraved on the tower as a sign of respect.

The tower’s design is inspired by the Latting observatory of New York, built-in 1853.

Gustave Eiffel and his team did a lot of research and studies to erect such a tower that can withstand the winds at such a height.

It took 2,500,000 rivets to hold 18,038 iron parts, accurate to a tenth of the millimeter, to erect this magnificent structure.

Every iron piece used in the tower was specially manufactured in Gustave Eiffel’s factory located at Levallois-Perret on the outskirts of Paris.

The construction began with the creation of concrete foundations to support the base of the iron pillar.

It took five months to construct the foundation, followed by the next twenty-one months to complete the summit.

After a long wait of two years, two months, and five days, counting from 26th January 1887, the Eiffel Tower was finally ready to be inaugurated at the 1889 World fair, the Exposition Universelle.

Because of its iron structure, the tower gained a name, ‘La Dame de Fer’ or ‘The Iron Lady.’

Criticism faced

Gustave Eiffel in the year 1885, presented the design of the tower before the Société des Ingénieurs Civils for approval.

After many debates and social discussions, the committee responsible for organizing the Exposition Universelle approved the design in 1886.

Not that the one-year waiting period was sufficient, but the tower was also criticized by many prominent personalities of that time.

Listed below are some big names from different reputed professions who stood against the construction of the Eiffel Tower.

  • Poets: François Coppée, Leconte de Lisle and Sully Prudhomme 
  • Writer: Guy de Maupassant and Alexandre Dumas’ son
  • Artists: William Bouguereau, Ernest meissonier, Charles Garnier (architect of the Opera), and Charles Gounod (Composer)

These people criticized the Eiffel Tower as a monstrous giant structure erected straight in the heart of Paris. 

They believed it would be a destruction of the aesthetic nature of Paris.

However, this outrage and denial phase did not last long, and the project soon moved to start the Iron lady’s construction.

Eiffel tower Today

Eiffel Tower today is known as the most famous place to visit and the pride of Paris.

It’s an example of France’s extraordinary industrial and architectural excellence to the rest of the world.

It welcomes over 7 million people annually, making it the most visited paid tourist attraction.

However, it was built exclusively for the Expedition Universelle and intended to be demolished after 20 years. 

This tower is still standing tall after 130 years and has gained a reputation to be the symbol of France.

It was not easy to build and there were many challenges along the way. 

But ultimately, the history of the Eiffel Tower is a success story for Paris and its people.

Featured Image: toureiffel.paris

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