|La Tour Eiffel|
The Eiffel Tower as seen from
the Champ de Mars
|Tallest in the world from 1889 to 1930[I]|
Radio broadcasting tower
|Opening||31 March 1889|
|Owner||City of Paris, France|
|Management||Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE)|
|Antenna spire||324.00 m (1,063 ft)|
|Roof||300.65 m (986 ft)|
|Top floor||273.00 m (896 ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Structural engineer||Maurice Koechlin,
|Main contractor||Compagnie des Etablissements Eiffel|
The Eiffel Tower (French: La Tour Eiffel, [tuʁ ɛfɛl]) is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair, it has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 7.1 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.
The tower stands 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Because of the addition of the antenna atop the Eiffel Tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Not including broadcast antennas, it is the second-tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct.
The tower has three levels for visitors. The third level observatory's upper platform is at 279.11 m (915.7 ft) the highest accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to ascend, by stairs or lift (elevator), to the first and second levels. The walk from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. Although there are stairs to the third and highest level, these are usually closed to the public and it is usually accessible only by lift. The first and second levels have restaurants.
- 1 History
- 2 Design of the tower
- 3 Tourism
- 4 Attempted relocation
- 5 Economics
- 6 Reproductions
- 7 Communications
- 8 Image copyright claims
- 9 In popular culture
- 10 Taller structures
- 11 Gallery
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 Further reading
- 15 External links
The design of the Eiffel Tower was originated by Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, two senior engineers who worked for the Compagnie des Etablissements Eiffel after discussion about a suitable centrepiece for the proposed 1889 Exposition Universelle, a World's Fair which would celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. In May 1884, Koechlin, working at home, made an outline drawing of their scheme, described by him as "a great pylon, consisting of four lattice girders standing apart at the base and coming together at the top, joined together by metal trusses at regular intervals". Initially Eiffel himself showed little enthusiasm, but he did sanction further study of the project, and the two engineers then asked Stephen Sauvestre, the head of company's architectural department, to contribute to the design. Sauvestre added decorative arches to the base, a glass pavilion to the first level and other embellishments. This enhanced version gained Eiffel's support, and he bought the rights to the patent on the design which Koechlin, Nougier, and Sauvestre had taken out, and the design was exhibited at the Exhibition of Decorative Arts in the autumn of 1884 under the company name. On 30 March 1885 Eiffel presented a paper on the project to the Société des Ingiénieurs Civils; after discussing the technical problems and emphasising the practical uses of the tower, he finished his talk by saying that the tower would symbolise
"not only the art of the modern engineer, but also the century of Industry and Science in which we are living, and for which the way was prepared by the great scientific movement of the eighteenth century and by the Revolution of 1789, to which this monument will be built as an expression of France's gratitude."
Little happened until the beginning of 1886, when Jules Grévy was re-elected as President and Édouard Lockroy was appointed as Minister for Trade. A budget for the Exposition was passed and on 1 May Lockroy announced an alteration to the terms of the open competition which was being held for a centerpiece for the exposition, which effectively made the choice of Eiffel's design a foregone conclusion: all entries had to include a study for a 300 m (980 ft) four-sided metal tower on the Champ de Mars. On 12 May a commission was set up to examine Eiffel's scheme and its rivals and on 12 June it presented its decision, which was that all the proposals except Eiffel's were either impractical or insufficiently worked out. After some debate about the exact site for the tower, a contract was finally signed on 8 January 1887. This was signed by Eiffel acting in his own capacity rather than as the representative of his company, and granted him 1.5 million francs toward the construction costs: less than a quarter of the estimated 6.5 million francs. Eiffel was to receive all income from the commercial exploitation of the tower during the exhibition and for the following twenty years. Eiffel later established a separate company to manage the tower, putting up half the necessary capital himself.
The "Artists Protest"
The projected tower had been a subject of some controversy, attracting criticism both from those who did not believe that it was feasible and also from those who objected on artistic grounds. Their objections were an expression of a longstanding debate about the relationship between architecture and engineering. This came to a head as work began at the Champ de Mars: A "Committee of Three Hundred" (one member for each metre of the tower's height) was formed, led by the prominent architect Charles Garnier and including some of the most important figures of the French arts establishment, including Adolphe Bouguereau, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Gounod and Jules Massenet: a petition was sent to Charles Alphand, the Minister of Works and Commissioner for the Exposition, and was published by Le Temps.
"We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects and passionate devotees of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris, protest with all our strength, with all our indignation in the name of slighted French taste, against the erection…of this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower … To bring our arguments home, imagine for a moment a giddy, ridiculous tower dominating Paris like a gigantic black smokestack, crushing under its barbaric bulk Notre Dame, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Louvre, the Dome of les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, all of our humiliated monuments will disappear in this ghastly dream. And for twenty years…we shall see stretching like a blot of ink the hateful shadow of the hateful column of bolted sheet metal"
Gustave Eiffel responded to these criticisms by comparing his tower to the Egyptian Pyramids: "My tower will be the tallest edifice ever erected by man. Will it not also be grandiose in its way ? And why would something admirable in Egypt become hideous and ridiculous in Paris ?" These criticisms were also masterfully dealt with by Édouard Lockroy in a letter of support written to Alphand, ironically saying "Judging by the stately swell of the rhythms, the beauty of the metaphors, the elegance of its delicate and precise style, one can tell that…this protest is the result of collaboration of the most famous writers and poets of our time", and going on to point out that the protest was irrelevant since the project had been decided upon months before and was already under construction. Indeed, Garnier had been a member of the Tower Commission that had assessed the various proposals, and had raised no objection. Eiffel was similarly unworried, pointing out to a journalist that it was premature to judge the effect of the tower solely on the basis of the drawings, that the Champ de Mars was distant enough from the monuments mentioned in the protest for there to be little risk of the tower overwhelming them, and putting the aesthetic argument for the Tower: "Do not the laws of natural forces always conform to the secret laws of harmony?"
Some of the protestors were to change their minds when the tower was built: others remained unconvinced. Guy de Maupassant supposedly ate lunch in the tower's restaurant every day because it was the one place in Paris where the tower was not visible. Today, the Tower is widely considered to be a striking piece of structural art.
Work on the foundations started in January 1887. Those for the east and south legs were straightforward, each leg resting on four 2 m (6.6 ft) concrete slabs, one for each of the principal girders of each leg but the other two, being closer to the river Seine, were more complicated: each slab needed two piles installed by using compressed-air caissons 15 m (49 ft) long and 6 m (20 ft) in diameter driven to a depth of 22 m (72 ft) to support the concrete slabs, which were 6 m (20 ft) thick. Each of these slabs supported a block built of limestone each with an inclined top to bear a supporting shoe for the ironwork. Each shoe was anchored into the stonework by a pair of bolts 10 cm (4 in) in diameter and 7.5 m (25 ft) long. The foundations were complete by 30 June and the erection of the ironwork began. The very visible work on-site was complemented by the enormous amount of exacting preparatory work that was entailed: the drawing office produced 1,700 general drawings and 3,629 detailed drawings of the 18,038 different parts needed. The task of drawing the components was complicated by the complex angles involved in the design and the degree of precision required: the position of rivet holes was specified to within 0.1 mm (0.04 in) and angles worked out to one second of arc. The finished components, some already riveted together into sub-assemblies, arrived on horse-drawn carts from the factory in the nearby Parisian suburb of Levallois-Perret and were first bolted together, the bolts being replaced by rivets as construction progressed. No drilling or shaping was done on site: if any part did not fit it was sent back to the factory for alteration. In all there were 18,038 pieces joined by two and a half million rivets.
At first the legs were constructed as cantilevers but about halfway to the first level construction was paused in order to construct a substantial timber scaffold. This caused a renewal of the concerns about the structural soundness of the project, and sensational headlines such as "Eiffel Suicide!" and "Gustave Eiffel has gone mad: he has been confined in an Asylum" appeared in the popular press. At this stage a small "creeper" crane was installed in each leg, designed to move up the tower as construction progressed and making use of the guides for the lifts which were to be fitted in each leg. The critical stage of joining the four legs at the first level was complete by March 1888. Although the metalwork had been prepared with the utmost precision, provision had been made to carry out small adjustments in order to precisely align the legs: hydraulic jacks were fitted to the shoes at the base of each leg, each capable of exerting a force of 800 tonnes, and in addition the legs had been intentionally constructed at a slightly steeper angle than necessary, being supported by sandboxes on the scaffold.
Although construction involved 300 on-site employees, only one person died thanks to Eiffel's stringent safety precautions and use of movable stagings, guard-rails, and screens.
Inauguration and the 1889 Exposition
The main structural work was completed at the end of March 1889 and on the 31st Eiffel celebrated this by leading a group of government officials, accompanied by representatives of the press, to the top of the tower. Since the lifts were not yet in operation, the ascent was made by foot, and took over an hour, Eiffel frequently stopping to make explanations of various features. Most of the party chose to stop at the lower levels, but a few, including Nouguier, Compagnon, the President of the City Council and reporters from Le Figaro and Le Monde Illustré completed the climb. At 2.35 Eiffel hoisted a large tricolore, to the accompaniment of a 25-gun salute fired from the lower level. There was still work to be done, particularly on the lifts and the fitting out of the facilities for visitors, and the tower was not opened to the public until nine days after the opening of the Exposition on 6 May, and even then the lifts had not been completed.
The tower was an immediate success with the public, and lengthy queues formed to make the ascent. Tickets cost 2 francs for the first level, 3 for the second, and 5 for the top, with half-price admission on Sundays, and by the end of the exhibition there had been nearly two million visitors.
Eiffel had a permit for the tower to stand for 20 years; it was to be dismantled in 1909, when its ownership would revert to the City of Paris. The City had planned to tear it down (part of the original contest rules for designing a tower was that it could be easily demolished) but as the tower proved valuable for communication purposes, it was allowed to remain after the expiration of the permit. In the opening weeks of World War I, powerful radio transmitters were fitted to the tower in order to jam German communications. This seriously hindered their advance on Paris, and contributed to the Allied victory at the First Battle of the Marne.
- 10 September 1889
- Thomas Edison visited the tower. He signed the guestbook with the following message—
To M Eiffel the Engineer the brave builder of so gigantic and original specimen of modern Engineering from one who has the greatest respect and admiration for all Engineers including the Great Engineer the Bon Dieu, Thomas Edison.
- 19 October 1901
- Alberto Santos-Dumont in his Dirigible No.6 won a 10,000-franc prize offered by Henri Deutsch de la Meurthe for the first person to make a flight from St. Cloud to the Eiffel tower and back in less than half an hour.
- Father Theodor Wulf measured radiant energy at the top and bottom of the tower. He found more at the top than expected, incidentally discovering what are today known as cosmic rays.
- 4 February 1912
- Austrian tailor Franz Reichelt died after jumping 60 metres from the first deck of the Eiffel tower with his homemade parachute.
- A radio transmitter located in the tower jammed German radio communications during the lead-up to the First Battle of the Marne.
- The con artist Victor Lustig "sold" the tower for scrap metal on two separate, but related occasions.
- February 1926
- Pilot Leon Collet killed after flying beneath the span of the tower, his airplane having become entangled in an aerial of the wireless station.
- May 21, 1927
- Charles Lindbergh piloted his "Spirit of Saint Louis" into Paris and circled the Eiffel tower before landing. "I first saw the lights of Paris a little before 10 p.m., or 5 p.m., New York time, and a few minutes later I was circling the Eiffel Tower at an altitude of about four thousand feet."
- The tower lost the title of the world's tallest structure when the Chrysler Building was completed in New York City.
- 1925 to 1934
- Illuminated signs for Citroën adorned three of the tower's four sides, making it the tallest advertising space in the world at the time.
- Upon the German occupation of Paris in 1940, the lift cables were cut by the French so that Adolf Hitler would have to climb the steps to the summit. The parts to repair them were allegedly impossible to obtain because of the war. In 1940 German soldiers had to climb to the top to hoist the swastika, but the flag was so large it blew away just a few hours later, and was replaced by a smaller one. When visiting Paris, Hitler chose to stay on the ground. It was said that Hitler conquered France, but did not conquer the Eiffel Tower. A Frenchman scaled the tower during the German occupation to hang the French flag. In August 1944, when the Allies were nearing Paris, Hitler ordered General Dietrich von Choltitz, the military governor of Paris, to demolish the tower along with the rest of the city. Von Choltitz disobeyed the order. Some say Hitler was later persuaded to keep the tower intact so it could later be used for communications. The lifts of the Tower were working normally within hours of the Liberation of Paris.
- 3 January 1956
- A fire damaged the top of the tower.
- The present radio antenna was added to the top.
- A restaurant and its supporting iron scaffolding midway up the tower was dismantled; it was purchased and reconstructed on St. Charles Avenue and Josephine Street in the Garden District of New Orleans, Louisiana, by entrepreneurs John Onorio and Daniel Bonnot, originally as the Tour Eiffel Restaurant, later as the Red Room and now as the Cricket Club (owned by the New Orleans Culinary Institute). The restaurant was re-assembled from 11,000 pieces that crossed the Atlantic in a 40-foot (12 m) cargo container.
- 31 March 1984
- Robert Moriarty flew a Beechcraft Bonanza through the arches of the tower.
- A.J. Hackett made one of his first bungee jumps from the top of the Eiffel Tower, using a special cord he had helped develop. Hackett was arrested by the Paris police upon reaching the ground.
- 27 October 1991
- Thierry Devaux, along with mountain guide Hervé Calvayrac, performed a series of acrobatic figures of bungee jumping (not allowed) from the second floor of the Tower. Facing the Champ de Mars, Thierry Devaux was using an electric winch between each figure to go back up. When firemen arrived, he stopped after the sixth bungee jump.
- New Year's Eve 1999
- The Eiffel Tower played host to Paris's Millennium Celebration. On this occasion, flashing lights and four high-power searchlights were installed on the tower, and fireworks were set off all over it. An exhibition above a cafeteria on the first floor commemorates this event. Since then, the light show has become a nightly event. The searchlights on top of the tower make it a beacon in Paris's night sky, and the 20,000 flash bulbs give the tower a sparkly appearance every hour on the hour.
- 28 November 2002
- The tower received its 200,000,000th guest.
- The Eiffel Tower began hosting an ice skating rink on the first floor each winter.
Design of the tower
The puddled iron (wrought iron) structure of the Eiffel Tower weighs 7,300 tonnes, while the entire structure, including non-metal components, is approximately 10,000 tonnes. As a demonstration of the economy of design, if the 7,300 tonnes of the metal structure were melted down it would fill the 125-metre-square base to a depth of only 6 cm (2.36 in), assuming the density of the metal to be 7.8 tonnes per cubic metre. Depending on the ambient temperature, the top of the tower may shift away from the sun by up to 18 cm (7.1 in) because of thermal expansion of the metal on the side facing the sun.
At the time the tower was built many people were shocked by its daring shape. Eiffel was criticised for the design and accused of trying to create something artistic, or inartistic according to the viewer, without regard to engineering. Eiffel and his engineers, however, as experienced bridge builders, understood the importance of wind forces and knew that if they were going to build the tallest structure in the world they had to be certain it would withstand the wind. In an interview reported in the newspaper Le Temps, Eiffel said:
Now to what phenomenon did I give primary concern in designing the Tower? It was wind resistance. Well then! I hold that the curvature of the monument's four outer edges, which is as mathematical calculation dictated it should be […] will give a great impression of strength and beauty, for it will reveal to the eyes of the observer the boldness of the design as a whole.
Researchers have found that Eiffel used empirical and graphical methods accounting for the effects of wind rather than a specific mathematical formula. Careful examination of the tower shows a basically exponential shape; actually two different exponentials, the lower section overdesigned to ensure resistance to wind forces. Several mathematical explanations have been proposed over the years for the success of the design; the most recent is described as a nonlinear integral equation based on counterbalancing the wind pressure on any point on the tower with the tension between the construction elements at that point. As a demonstration of the tower's effectiveness in wind resistance, it sways only 6–7 cm (2–3 in) in the wind.
When built, the first level contained two restaurants: an "Anglo-American Bar", and a 250 seat theatre. A 2.6 m (8 ft 6 in) promenade ran around the outside.
On the third level were laboratories for various experiments and a small apartment reserved for Gustave Eiffel to entertain guests. This is now open to the public, complete with period decorations and lifelike models of Gustave and some guests.
Gustave Eiffel engraved on the tower seventy-two names of French scientists, engineers, and mathematicians in recognition of their contributions. This engraving was painted over at the beginning of the twentieth century but restored in 1986–1987 by the Société Nouvelle d'exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, a company contracted to operate business related to the Tower.
Maintenance of the tower includes applying 50 to 60 tonnes (49 to 59 long tons; 55 to 66 short tons) of paint every seven years to protect it from rust. The height of the Eiffel Tower varies by 15 cm (5.9 in) due to temperature.
In order to enhance the impression of height, three separate colors of paint are used on the tower, with the darkest on the bottom and the lightest at the top. On occasion the color of the paint is changed; the tower is currently painted a shade of bronze. On the first floor there are interactive consoles hosting a poll for the color to use for a future session of painting.
The only non-structural elements are the four decorative grillwork arches, added in Stephen Sauvestre's sketches, which served to reassure visitors that the structure was safe, and to frame views of other nearby architecture.
One of the great Hollywood movie clichés is that the view from a Parisian window always includes the tower. In reality, since zoning restrictions limit the height of most buildings in Paris to seven storeys high, only a small number of taller buildings have a clear view of the tower.
Ground to the second level
The original lifts (elevators) to the first and second floors were provided by two companies. Both companies had to overcome many technical obstacles as neither company (or indeed any company) had experience with installing lifts climbing to such heights with large loads. The slanting tracks with changing angles further complicated the problems. The East and West lifts were supplied by the French company Roux Combaluzier Lepape, using hydraulically powered chains and rollers. The North and South lifts were provided by the American company Otis using car designs similar to the original installation but using an improved hydraulic and cable scheme. The French lifts had a very poor performance and were replaced with the current installations in 1897 (West Pillar) and 1899 (East Pillar) by Fives-Lille using an improved hydraulic and rope scheme. Both of the original installations operated broadly on the principle of the Fives-Lille lifts.
The Fives-Lille lifts from ground level to the first and second levels are operated by cables and pulleys driven by massive water-powered pistons. The hydraulic scheme was somewhat unusual for the time in that it included three large counterweights of 200 tonnes each sitting on top of hydraulic rams which doubled up as accumulators for the water. As the lifts ascend the inclined arc of the pillars, the angle of ascent changes. The two lift cabs are kept more or less level and indeed are level at the landings. The cab floors do take on a slight angle at times between landings.
The principle behind the lifts is similar to the operation of a block and tackle but in reverse. Two large hydraulic rams (over 1 metre diameter) with a 16 metre travel are mounted horizontally in the base of the pillar which pushes a carriage (the French word for it translates as chariot and this term will be used henceforth to distinguish it from the lift carriage) with 16 large triple sheaves mounted on it. There are 14 similar sheaves mounted statically. Six wire ropes are rove back and forth between the sheaves such that each rope passes between the two sets of sheaves seven times. The ropes then leave the final sheaves on the chariot and pass up through a series of guiding sheaves to above the second floor and then through a pair of triple sheaves back down to the lift carriage again passing guiding sheaves.
This arrangement means that the lift carriage, complete with its cars and passengers, travels 8 times the distance that the rams move the chariot, the 128 metres from the ground to the second floor. The force exerted by the rams also has to be 8 times the total weight of the lift carriage, cars, and passengers, plus extra to account for various losses such as friction. The hydraulic fluid was water, normally stored in three accumulators, complete with counterbalance weights. To make the lift ascend, water was pumped using an electrically driven pump from the accumulators to the two rams. Since the counterbalance weights provided much of the pressure required, the pump only had to provide the extra effort. For the descent, it was only necessary to allow the water to flow back to the accumulators using a control valve. The lifts were operated by an operator perched precariously underneath the lift cars. His position (with a dummy operator) can still be seen on the lifts today.
The Fives-Lille lifts were completely upgraded in 1986 to meet modern safety requirements and to make the lifts easier to operate. A new computer-controlled system was installed which completely automated the operation. One of the three counterbalances was taken out of use, and the cars were replaced with a more modern and lighter structure. Most importantly, the main driving force was removed from the original water pump such that the water hydraulic system provided only a counterbalancing function. The main driving force was transferred to a 320 kW electrically driven oil hydraulic pump which drives a pair of hydraulic motors on the chariot itself, thus providing the motive power. The new lift cars complete with their carriage and a full 92 passenger load weigh 22 tonnes.
Owing to elasticity in the ropes and the time taken to get the cars level with the landings, each lift in normal service takes an average of 8 minutes and 50 seconds to do the round trip, spending an average of 1 minute and 15 seconds at each floor. The average journey time between floors is just 1 minute.
The original Otis lifts in the North and South pillars in their turn proved to be inferior to the new (in 1899) French lifts and were scrapped from the South pillar in 1900 and from the North pillar in 1913 after failed attempts to repower them with an electric motor. The North and South pillars were to remain without lifts until 1965 when increasing visitor numbers persuaded the operators to install a relatively standard and modern cable hoisted system in the north pillar using a cable-hauled counterbalance weight, but hoisted by a block and tackle system to reduce its travel to one third of the lift travel. The counterbalance is clearly visible within the structure of the North pillar. This latter lift was upgraded in 1995 with new cars and computer controls.
The South pillar acquired a completely new fairly standard electrically driven lift in 1983 to serve the Jules Verne restaurant. This was also supplied by Otis. A further four-ton service lift was added to the South pillar in 1989 by Otis to relieve the main lifts when moving relatively small loads or even just maintenance personnel.
The East and West hydraulic (water) lift works are on display and, at least in theory, are open to the public in a small museum located in base of the East and West tower, which is somewhat hidden from public view. Because the massive mechanism requires frequent lubrication and attention, public access is often restricted. However, when open, the wait times are much less than the other, more popular, attractions. The rope mechanism of the North tower is visible to visitors as they exit from the lift.
Second to the third level
The original lifts from the second to the third floor were also of a water-powered hydraulic design supplied by Léon Edoux. Instead of using a separate counterbalance, the two lift cars counterbalanced each other. A pair of 81-metre-long hydraulic rams were mounted on the second level reaching nearly halfway up to the third level. A lift car was mounted on top of the rams. Ropes ran from the top of this car up to a sheave on the third level and back down to a second car. The result of this arrangement was that each car only travelled half the distance between the second and third levels and passengers were required to change lifts halfway, walking between the cars along a narrow gangway with a very impressive and relatively unobstructed downward view. The ten-ton cars held 65 passengers each or up to four tons.
One interesting feature of the original installation was that the hoisting rope ran through guides to retain it on windy days to prevent it flapping and becoming damaged. The guides were mechanically moved out of the way of the ascending car by the movement of the car itself. In spite of some antifreeze being added to the water that operated this system, it nevertheless had to close to the public from November to March each year.
The original lifts complete with their hydraulic mechanism were completely scrapped in 1982 after 97 years of service. They were replaced with two pairs of relatively standard rope-hoisted cars which were able to operate all the year round. The cars operate in pairs with one providing the counterbalance for the other. Neither car can move unless both sets of doors are closed and both operators have given a start command. The commands from the cars to the hoisting mechanism are by radio, obviating the necessity of a control cable. The replacement installation also has the advantage that the ascent can be made without changing cars and has reduced the ascent time from 8 minutes (including change) to 1 minute and 40 seconds. This installation also has guides for the hoisting ropes, but they are electrically operated. Once the guide has moved out of the way as the car ascends, it automatically reverses when the car has passed to prevent the mechanism becoming snagged on the car on the downward journey in the event it has failed to completely clear the car. Unfortunately these lifts do not have the capacity to move as many people as the three public lower lifts, and long queues to ascend to the third level are common. Most of the intermediate level structure present on the tower today was installed when the lifts were replaced and allows maintenance workers to take the lift halfway.
The replacement of these lifts allowed the restructuring of the criss-cross beams in upper part of the tower and further allowed the installation of two emergency staircases. These replaced the dangerous winding stairs that were installed when the tower was constructed.
The tower has two restaurants: Le 58 tour Eiffel, on the first floor 311 ft (95 m) above sea level; and the Le Jules Verne, a gastronomical restaurant on the second floor, with a private lift. This restaurant has one star in the Michelin Red Guide. In January 2007, the multi-Michelin star chef Alain Ducasse was brought in to run Jules Verne.
According to interviews, Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau negotiated a secret agreement with French President Charles de Gaulle for the tower to be dismantled and temporarily relocated to Montreal to serve as a landmark and tourist attraction during Expo 67. The plan was allegedly vetoed by the company which operated the tower out of fear that the French government could refuse permission for the tower to be restored to its original location.[dead link]
The American TV show Pricing the Priceless speculates that in 2011 the tower would cost about $480,000,000 to build, that the land under the tower is worth $350,000,000, and that the scrap value of the tower is worth $3,500,000. The TV show estimates the tower makes a profit of about $29,000,000 per year, though it is unlikely that the Eiffel Tower is managed so as to maximize profit.
It costs $5,300,000 to repaint the tower, which is done once every seven years. The electric bill is $400,000 per year for 7.5 million kilowatt-hours.
As one of the most iconic images in the world, the Eiffel Tower has been the inspiration for the creation of over 30 duplicates and similar towers around the world.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the tower has been used for radio transmission. Until the 1950s, an occasionally modified set of antenna wires ran from the summit to anchors on the Avenue de Suffren and Champ de Mars. They were connected to long-wave transmitters in small bunkers; in 1909, a permanent underground radio centre was built near the south pillar and still exists today. On 20 November 1913, the Paris Observatory, using the Eiffel Tower as an antenna, exchanged sustained wireless signals with the United States Naval Observatory which used an antenna in Arlington, Virginia. The object of the transmissions was to measure the difference in longitude between Paris and Washington, D.C. Today, both radio and television stations broadcast their signals from the top of the Eiffel.
|87.8 MHz||10||France Inter|
|89.0 MHz||10||RFI Paris|
|89.9 MHz||6||TSF Jazz|
|90.9 MHz||4||Chante France|
Analogue television signals ceased from the Eiffel Tower on 8 March 2011.
|479.25 MHz||—||22||500||France 2|
|527.25 MHz||—||28||500||France 3|
|543.25 MHz||—||30||100||France 5|
Image copyright claims
The tower and its representations have long been in the public domain. However, a French court ruled, in June 1990, that a special lighting display on the tower in 1989, for the tower's 100th anniversary, was an "original visual creation" protected by copyright. The Court of Cassation, France's judicial court of last resort, upheld the ruling in March 1992.[dead link] The Société d'exploitation de la tour Eiffel (SETE) now considers any illumination of the tower to be under copyright. As a result, it is no longer legal to publish contemporary photographs of the tower at night without permission in France and some other countries.
The imposition of copyright has been controversial. The Director of Documentation for what was then the Société nouvelle d'exploitation de la tour Eiffel (SNTE), Stéphane Dieu, commented in January 2005, "It is really just a way to manage commercial use of the image, so that it isn't used in ways we don't approve." However, it also potentially has the effect of prohibiting tourist photographs of the tower at night from being published, as well as hindering non-profit and semi-commercial publication of images of the tower. Besides, French doctrine and jurisprudence traditionally allow pictures incorporating a copyrighted work as long as their presence is incidental or accessory to the main represented subject, a reasoning akin to the de minimis rule. Thus, SETE could not claim copyright on photographs or panoramas of Paris incorporating the lit tower.
In popular culture
As a global landmark, the Eiffel Tower is featured in media including films, video games, and television shows.
Although it was the world's tallest structure when completed in 1889, the Eiffel Tower has since lost its standing both as the tallest lattice tower and as the tallest structure in France.
Lattice towers taller than the Eiffel Tower
|Tokyo Skytree||2,080 ft (634 m)||2011||Japan||Tokyo|
|Kiev TV Tower||1,263 ft (385 m)||1973||Ukraine||Kiev||Tallest lattice tower of the world|
|Tashkent Tower||1,230 ft (375 m)||1985||Uzbekistan||Tashkent|
|Pylons of Zhoushan Island Overhead Powerline Tie||1,214 ft (370 m)||2009||People's Republic of China||Jiangyin||2 towers, tallest pylons in the world|
|Pylons of Yangtze River Crossing||1,137 ft (347 m)||2003||People's Republic of China||Jiangyin||2 towers|
|Dragon Tower||1,102 ft (336 m)||2000||People's Republic of China||Harbin|
|Tokyo Tower||1,091 ft (333 m)||1958||Japan||Tokyo|
|WITI TV Tower||1,078 ft (329 m)||1962||U.S.||Shorewood, Wisconsin|
|WSB TV Tower||1,075 ft (328 m)||1957||U.S.||Atlanta, Georgia|
Architectural structures in France taller than the Eiffel Tower
|Name||Pinnacle height||Year||Structure type||Town||Remarks|
|Longwave transmitter Allouis||350 m (1,150 ft)||1974||Guyed Mast||Allouis|
|HWU transmitter||350 m (1,150 ft)||?||Guyed Mast||Rosnay||Military VLF-Transmitter, multiple masts|
|Viaduc de Millau||343 m (1,125 ft)||2004||Bridge Pillar||Millau|
|TV Mast Niort-Maisonnay||330 m (1,080 ft)||?||Guyed Mast||Niort|
|Transmitter Le Mans-Mayet||342 m (1,122 ft)||1993||Guyed Mast||Mayet|
|La Regine transmitter||330 m (1,080 ft)||1973||Guyed Mast||Saissac||Military VLF transmitter|
|Transmitter Roumoules||330 m (1,080 ft)||1974||Guyed Mast||Roumoules||spare transmission mast for long wave, insulated against ground|
||This section contains a gallery of images.|
- List of tallest buildings and structures in the Paris region
- List of tallest buildings and structures in the world
- List of tallest freestanding structures in the world
- List of tallest towers in the world
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eiffel Tower.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Eiffel Tower.|
- Official website of the Eiffel Tower (French)
- Official website of the Eiffel Tower (English)
- 360° Panoramic view – Under the Eiffel Tower
- Eiffel Tower at Structurae
- Eiffel Tower Facts
- Sketches and plans of the tower's construction
- 3D render of the Eiffel Tower for use in Google Earth
- The first transmitters at Eiffel Tower
- Eiffel Tower: A French Beauty – slideshow by Life magazine
|World's tallest structure