On March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower was inaugurated in Paris, in a ceremony with its designer, Gustave Eiffel, taking center stage. The ceremony was attended by the then Prime Minister of France, Pierre Tirard, as well as other officials, along with around 200 workers who had been involved in the construction of the tower.

In the year 1889, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, the French government had decided to organize a world exhibition and had announced a competition for the design of a monument to be built on the Champ-de-Mars, in the center of the city Paris. Among about 100 submitted proposals, the committee chose Gustave Eiffel’s design for a metal tower 300 meters above the ground to become the world’s tallest human-constructed achievement.

Gustave Eiffel, the famous bridge builder specializing in metal structures, had already gained fame for his work on the frame of the recently completed Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

However, the Eiffel Tower was not to everyone’s liking. Some critics considered it a structurally unstable subject or feared it would violate the Parisian aesthetic. However, Eiffel himself completed the tower in just two years, within budget. The fact that only one worker was lost during the work was a remarkable achievement for a project of this scale at the time.

This edifice was recognized as a technological marvel and within a few decades was considered an architectural masterpiece.


The 10 things you definitely don’t know about the Eiffel Tower:

1) You might not know that the Eiffel Tower is not the work of Gustav Eiffel. Its two chief engineers, Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, were the architects of the building’s design. Initially, Eiffel himself had little interest in this project. However, he decided to assign the two engineers to the head of the company’s architectural department, Stephen Sauvestre. With the changes introduced by Sauvestre, Eiffel was convinced of the design and obtained the patent rights.

2) 300 workers worked together to build the Eiffel Tower. X

18,038 pieces of wrought iron and 2.5 million screws and bolts were used.

3) At that time, the Tower was a symbol of progress in the field of modern science. But, at the same time, another technology was taking its first steps. As the Tower rose, many photographers captured the various stages of its construction.

4) At the time of its construction, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest tower in the world. However, in 1930 it lost this position to New York’s Chrysler Building.

5) When the first visitors entered the building on May 6, the elevators were still not working. The 30,000 visitors had to climb the 1,710 steps to reach the top, and the elevators started operating on May 26.

6) Initially, the people of Paris disliked the Eiffel Tower. Many of them sent angry letters to the newspapers, claiming that it did not fit the character of the city. The famous writer Guy de Maupassant was among the critics, but at the same time, he often lunched in the restaurant of the Tower every day. When asked why, he replied that this was the only place in Paris from which he could not see the Tower.

7) The height of the Eiffel Tower changes with the season. The metal frame of the structure contracts during the summer heat, and as a result, its height increases by about 17 cm.

8) It was originally planned that the Tower would only last for 20 years as originally designed. However, after this period was over, the military and government discovered its usefulness as a means of communication. Consequently, when the original license expired in 1909, the municipality decided to keep the Tower and continue its use.

9) The Tower does not have the same color tone throughout its length. Its top has a deeper shade, while it gets brighter towards the bottom. Every seven years, they paint it using between 50 and 60 tons of paint, in order to protect it from corrosion and rust.

10) This year marks the centenary of Gustave Eiffel’s death. He once declared, “I should envy the tower. He is much more famous than me. People seem to think it’s my only work, even though I’ve done other things, after all.”