Eiffel Tour

At the Jardins du Trocodéro we asked someone to take our picture – as all tourists do – with the Tour Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower, in the background:

As with the Arc de Triomphe, we visited the Eiffel Tower about 6 years ago and made it all the way to the top; we didn’t have any desire to repeat the feat this time, especially in light of the lines of tourists waiting to go up.

The Eiffel Tower was planned for the International Exposition that was to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution in 1889. The winner of the design contest, Gustave Eiffel, was a bridge designer and his open, girder design of a 300 meter (984 feet) tall tower swayed the judges, though the public was skeptical.

Amazingly, the tower took only 2 years to build! Almost as amazing was the fact that the components were engineered to such exact specifications that the 18,038 pieces were delivered to the site and bolted together, then permanently joined with two and a half million rivets!

Once completed, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest man-made structure on earth for 40 years, surpassed in 1929 by the Chrysler Building in New York City.

Today, the tower is undergoing a modification to add a glass, see-through deck on its lower level.

It’s really an engineering marvel.

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