Tag Archives: Gustave Eiffel

La Tour Eiffel, symbol of France

La Tour Eiffel is one of the world’s great towers and certainly the most powerful symbol of France.

The Eiffel Tower from Trocadero
The Eiffel Tower from Trocadero

Although by modern standards, it’s relatively small structure, the Eiffel Tower dominates both the Paris skyline and the Parisian consciousness. A view of the Eiffel tower is one of the most coveted in the city. For the visitor, that first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower says “I’m in Paris, I’ve really arrived”.

Designed by German Gustave Eiffel for L’Exposition Universelle marking the turn of the 20th century, the Eiffel Tower was built as illustration of the endless possibilities of the construction materials and techniques of the new age. It was a tribute to the wonders of steel and the imaginative daring of modern man. Millions of rivets, screws, bolts, struts and braces went into lifting it beyond the bounds of contemporary possibility. The eyes of all Paris were on it as it ascended higher and higher dominating the Champs de Mars and the River Seine, dwarfing the golden tower of Napoleon’s tomb at Les Invalides. “Where would it end?  ”How would end?”

Originally, the Eiffel Tower was intended as a temporary installation, for the duration of the Exhibition only.  When it was announced that the tower would remain, there was vociferous division among the people of Paris. Some deplored it as an eyesore. Others hailed it as a masterpiece. The Eiffel Tower however, remained.

The Eiffel Tower soon became part of the Paris story. It has seen many celebrations; the centenary of the French Revolution, the end of World War I and II, the turn of the 21st century, countless Bastille days and marked innumerable French sporting moments. Whatever the occasion, La Tour Eiffel will be found, dressed to perfection for it!

La Tour Eiffel, dressed for the 2007 Rugby World Cup
La Tour Eiffel, dressed for the 2007 Rugby World Cup

La Tour Eiffel has seen hundreds of stunts; fly-overs, fly unders,  parachute jumps and bungy jumps. It has also seen its share of romantic moments and I imagine that the marriage proposal I witnessed when I was last there was one of many.

Ascending the Eiffel Tower is a tourism imperative, whether in its crowded, creaking lifts, or on its winding stairs. The view from the top is breathtaking!

Undoubtedly the most luxurious way to enjoy the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower is from a window able in the famous Jules Verne Restaurant.