For the 1889 World’s Fair, a contest was held to design a monument that would show the world a “New” France. One that would replace the originally violent France, for a new and harmonious country.
In 1887, Gustave Eiffel derived the idea of an aerodynamic structure, roughly 300 meters tall, and completely made of iron-weighing a total of 7,000 tons. This structure was built by 300 workers, took two years to build, and cost 30 million Euro. Eiffel had to pay for the tower to be built, and in six months’ time-after charging tourists to climb the tower- he made his money back. The Eiffel Tower has 1,710 steps leading to the top of the structure, as well as three different levels. The people of Paris were not accepting to the idea of the Eiffel Tower, so Eiffel hosted an elaborate party for the media. This brought positive propaganda for the idea of the Eiffel Tower, and it was finally accepted in 1887.
The Tower was originally supposed to be a temporary structure that would be demolished in six months, following the end of the World’s Fair. During the fair, many tourists praised the work of Eiffel and it became so popular that it would still stand to this day, 127 years later. Stairs and lifts were an afterthought of the Tower, and so the Otis Brothers designed a system of using cable cars as lifts for the Eiffel Tower. For 41 years, the Eiffel Tower stood as the World’s Tallest Building. During World War I, the tower was used for communication purposes after the antenna was added-making the Tower now stand 324 meters. In World War II, the cables for the lifts were cut, so that the German Forces could not use the top of the tower as they had previously planned. After the victory of the Allied Forces in World War II, the first French flag flown in all of France was at the Eiffel Tower, showing liberation of freedom.
We consider the Tower to be a miracle because of the close calls of destruction that could have happened. For instance, Deidrivk Von Schuldic was told by Hitler to burn the entire city of Paris and significant monuments. Hitler had told Schuldic to put explosives on the bottom of the Tower and to demolish the monument. However, Schuldic ignored the orders and left it intact. Another example is the bombing of Paris during World War II. 60 % of Paris was destroyed during the bombings, however the Tower still stood tall.
Some fun facts about the Eiffel Tower: AJ Hackett illegally bungee jumped from the first level of the Eiffel Tower in 1987. Albert Stalk has free climbed the Eiffel Tower twice since 1990, when he first completed the climb. Victor Lustig was a con artist who is best known for selling the Eiffel Tower and running to Russia with the money. Erika La Tour Eiffel actually married the Eiffel Tower and is currently in a relationship with it. There is also a ice skating rink on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower that people can skate on in January. Lastly, Gustave Eiffel is also known for designing the Statue of Liberty that is currently in New York.
Story by: Collin Kramer and Shelbey Walker