The Eiffel Tower

All About the Eiffel Tower

Built by Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France was completed in 1889 as part of a “Universal Exposition” celebrating the centenary of the French Revolution.

Eiffel Paris France -
Eiffel Tower, Paris France

Tourist Attraction

At 312 meters, it was the tallest building in the world until New York’s Chrysler building overtook it in 1930. It took 300 steel workers 2 years (1887-1889) to construct. It was originally designed as a temporary attraction, but the decision was made to keep it as a permanent attraction.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris -
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Gargantuan Machinery

In the basements of the eastern and western pillars, one can visit the gargantuan 1899 machinery which powers the elevators, an astonishing spectacle reminiscent of a Jules Verne novel.

Under the Eiffel Tower at night time
Under the Eiffel Tower at night time

Best Sunsets

From the Tower’s three platforms — especially the topmost — the view of Paris is superb. It is generally agreed that one hour before sunset, the panorama is at its best.

Eiffel Tower Paris France on a sunny morning -
Eiffel Tower Paris France on a sunny morning

Inside the Eiffel Tower

First level: 57.63 meters (189 feet).

  • Observatory from which to study the movements of the Eiffel Tower’s summit.
  • Kiosk presentation about the mythic painting of the Eiffel Tower.
  • Space CINEIFFEL: offers an exceptional panorama of sights from the Tower.
  • Souvenir shops (yes, every tourist MUST have a miniature replica).
  • Restaurant “Altitude 95” (phone 01-45-55-20-04).
  • Post office, with special stamps “Paris Eiffel Tower .”
  • Panoramic gallery displaying the Monuments of Paris.
Eiffel tower at night -
View on Eifel tower from Field of Mars at night

Second level: 115.73 meters (379 feet, 8 inches).

  • Panorama of Paris. Telescopes, shops.
  • Animated displays on the operation of the elevators.
  • Jules Verne Restaurant (extremely expensive, reservations absolutely necessary).

Third level: 276.13 meters (905 feet, 11 inches).

  • Exceptional panoramic views, day or night, of Paris and its surroundings.
  • Recently restored office, featuring wax reproductions of Gustave Eiffel and Thomas Edison in conversation.
Eiffel tower at blue hour Paris France -
Eiffel tower at blue hour Paris France

Interesting Stories

The Eiffel Tower has witnessed a few strange scenes, including being scaled by a mountaineer in 1954, and two Englishmen parachuting off it in 1984. In 1923, the journalist Pierre Labric (who was later to become mayor of Montmartre) rode a bicycle down from the first level; some accounts say he rode down the stairs, others suggest the exterior of one of the tower’s four legs which slope outward.

Eiffel Tower in Paris -
Eiffel Tower in Paris

Politics have also played a role in its life. During World War II, the Germans hung a sign on it that read: “Deutschland Siegt Auf Allen Fronten” (“Germany is victorious on all fronts”). In 1958, a few months before Fidel Castro’s rise to power, Cuban revolutionaries hung their red-and-black flag from the first level, and in 1979, an American from Greenpeace hung one that read: “Save the Seals.”

In 1989, the Tower celebrated its centennial with music and fireworks.