Have you ever wanted to travel the world and see the most significant structures that our world has to offer? Since the beginning of time, man hasn’t stopped looking for ways on developing the human’s passion to create the most innovative and revolutionary masterpieces of all time. There are a lot of places to visit that will surely make one’s trip worthwhile. One of the utmost places to plan a trip to is the city of romance, Paris. There are many beautiful attractions to be seen there and is one of the most visited countries on the planet.
Here people can enjoy the wonders of three of the most famous landmarks and monuments, Notre Dame de Paris, Napoleonic Arc de Triomphe and the renowned Eiffel Tower. “The Eiffel Tower makes no such direct symbolic appeal. Its aesthetic purpose is the structure itself; it is no more than simple beauty in its own right” (Lienhard, 2003). According to Lienhard (2003), the Eiffel Tower signaled the future and a new concept of beauty as it carried a new intimation of a whole new construction, the skyscraper.
History of the Eiffel Tower
The tallest made-made structure in the world, Eiffel tower believe it or not was built for the Universal Exposition in the year 1889 in commemoration of the French Revolution and the birth of democracy. The fair held a contest for the most impressive monument to honor France’s greatness. Lots of designs were submitted but the commissioners already had their eyes on the work of the famous architect, Gustave Eiffel. However, due to controversies about safety due to the design’s mathematical calculations and so over three hundred people signed a protest petition. In addition, others feared that it might overshadow France’s many other landmark such as the Notre Dame. Nevertheless, despite the controversial protests, the monument was built with design features like the guard rails and screens for safety precautions.Gustave Eiffelwas then considered as the most self-made man in the industrial era. At the hike of his private life, his being efficient and economical paved way to his financial success.
The Eiffel tower was a design of Alexander Gustave Eiffel with the assistance of engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, and architect Stephen Sauvestre. “The Eiffel Tower, Gustave’s most famous and least utilitarian project, symbolized for him man’s ability to overcome the forces and difficulties that nature and life put in his way” (Hutton, Bourque, & Staples, 1986)According to the same authors (1986), the tower is rich in symbolic meaning. Thus,generally thought of as an unabashed celebration of modern industrial society, it was originally intended as a form of integrative propaganda meant to narrow the gap industrialization had created between workers and the middle classes. The Eiffel Tower was built as the gateway or entrance arch to the World’s Fair.
It was in the year 1900 changed both the function and the symbolic meaning of the tower. “A “vertical bridge” between earth and heaven, the Eiffel Tower is a Promethean challenge to “that old abandoned cathedral to be glimpsed in the pale distance”; a “piece of vainglorious ironwork” (unequincailleriesuperbe), it soars like “a beacon of shipwreck and despair” over the city’s poor, who will, in the future as in the present and the past, be “crushed, pounded, kneaded, devoured, vomited, swallowed again, and vomited yet again three score and ten times [jusqu’áseptantefois], ” but should they look toward “that sterile Babel” (Burton, 2001). Additionally, Burton (2001) states that For the French, the Eiffel tower is primarily a symbol of Paris, of the popularity of Paris and of France all overthe world; it is the very image of France to the masses of tourist who flock here. It is alsothe place from which our first radio programmes were broadcast and is still one of ourprincipal transmission centres. This known masterpiece is his most famous design and his most famous utilitarian project.
The building of the Eiffel Tower
Although there were a lot of criticisms and strikes, the tower was built with almost three hundred workers labored to finish it. Thus after two years,it stood at almost over three hundred meters in height created with Cast Iron and was known to be the highest manmade structure in the world during that time. It is said that the cost to build the magnificent tower reached more than seven million French Gold in 1889. “The structure proved the ability of Iron to span huge spaces, rise to extraordinary heights, and offer great wind resistance and thus led to the skyscrapers and immense bridges if the twentieth century, built mostly outside France” (Hutton, Bourque, & Staples, 1986).The lease was for twenty years so when it expired, it was then that Eiffel lost his tower over to Paris.
The Eiffel Tower used around eighteen thousand iron bars and more or less two million five hundred thousand rivets. It is brown in color which is said to being repainted every seven years. There were around twenty five painters who need to do the paint job that needs to use sixty tons of paints and it would normally take them about a year and a half to finish. The tower’s total surface area is said to be two hundred twenty thousand square meters with one hundred twenty five meters on each of the pillars. It weights a hefty ten thousand tons comprising of both the metallic and non-metallic parts. The tower was built to have a hundred and eight stories, two elevators and a total of one thousand seven hundred and ten steps from the ground going up to the top platform. Due to its depth and height, the tower was wired of five billion lights.
While it is a fact that the Eiffel Tower was built with Iron, it is considered as a poor material due to a single beam will be unable to withstand stress. It was the Prince of Wales oversaw the opening of the tower.Not long after Eiffel lost control over his tower, the First World War happened and so Eiffel tower was almost torn down in 1909 but withstood it because it was made over to a military radio and telegraph centre and so it is for this reason that the tower’s lease was renewed for seventy years.“After 1900 the major structural emphasis in French modern architecture was on the development of reinforced concrete rather than iron. While iron continued to be widely used elsewhere, the abundance and relative cheapness of cement in France, and the power of the cement lobby, imposed a predilection for concrete construction. The French had then become every prominent in the development of concrete” (Hutton, Bourque, & Staples, 1986).
About Eiffel Tower
For the French, the renowned tower is a symbol of Paris – Its popularity all over the world — The Eiffel Tower was seen as proof of the “deicidal” character of contemporary secular culture.(Burton, 2001). “During its first ten years, the tower drew millions of visitors. Despite a small group who opposed the tower, it was admired even by socialists who denounced the economic system it was to preserve. Since 1900 both the function and the symbolic meaning of the tower have changed. It has been used for aerodynamic and meteorological experiments and military and civilian radio, telegraph, and television communication. Illuminated advertisements, a giant clock, and a thermometer have adorned it, and it has served as a stage for pyrotechnic displays. Its association with the moral and social value of labor was soon lost.” (Hutton, Bourque, & Staples, 1986).
The tower’s construction was based on the brilliant mathematical calculations of Gustave wherein the curve of the base pylons were analyzed accurately so that the intensity of the wind would be gradually be converted into forces of compression, thus allowing the tower to withstand the strong winds effectively.
The Eiffel tower now considered as the most familiar structures in the world, it was renovated in 1986 to welcome more visitors around the globe. According to studies made by researches everywhere, the Eiffel Tower receives the most number of visitors than any of the other popular and paid monuments in the planet. With this regard, the tower has more than five hundred employees to host and manage the daily operations.
During the tower’s existence, it has been a perceived to have seen a few strange happenings. It includes having been climbed by a mountaineer, individuals parachuting off it and in the year 1989, the tower commemorated its centenary through firework displays and music being played. Experiences of tourists and those who have seen the Eiffel Tower
Over the years, many people have been lured by the magnificent monument that rises in the heart of Paris. It is said that the view of Paris from the very top of the tower is splendid. The view at nighttime should never be missed as it will be one of the most beautiful sights one would ever experience.
According to Rosenzweig, Holtzman, Sabourin, &Bélanger (2000), “The nighttime view from the Eiffel Tower with the wonderfully illuminated landscape of exhibition grounds, palaces and fountains spread out below, with all the lights and shadows of nocturnal Paris framing it in.” The Eiffel tower is a must see tourist attraction and every individual should visit at least once during their lifetime.Today, the Eiffel Tower is always crowded with visitors from all over the world.
One of the most magnificent monuments all over the world, Eiffel Tower still stands tall and glorious even after more than one hundred years sharing its stunning beauty to everyone who visits Paris. Indeed, it is one of the most genius creations of mankind proving that humans are capable of doing a lot of wonder. I realized that like the Eiffel Tower, we are all capable of withstanding the tests of time. Through careful planning and believing that we can accomplish anything however big or small, nothing is impossible.
The story of the construction of the Eiffel Tower shows us also that we should be mindful of our own capabilities because maybe one day, we can make history in our ways. “The Eiffel Tower is considered as a most remarkable achievement of construction in riveted steel. Its loftiness and the structural accuracy of its lines give it something more like dignity and beauty than you would have supposed possible” (Wendell, 1916).
Burton, R. (2001). Blood in the City: Violence and Revelation in Paris, 1789-1945.Ithaca, NY:Cornell University Press. Darras, J. and Snowman, D. (1990). Beyond the Tunnel of History. Ann Arbor, MI:University of Michigan Press. Hutton, P., Bourque, A. and Staples, A. (eds.). (1986). Historical Dictionary of the Third French Republic, 1870-1940.Vol (1).Westport, CT:Greenwood Press. Lienhard, J. (2003). The Engines of Our Ingenuity: An Engineer Looks at Technology and Culture.New York:Oxford University Press. Rosenzweig, M., Holtzman, W., Sabourin, M. and Bélanger, D. (2000).History of the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPSYS).Hove,
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