The famous landmark, recognized around the world as a symbol of France, 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 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 is 250 millionth visitor in 2010.
The tower itself stands 1, 063 feet 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 man0made 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 17 feet. Not including broadcast antennas; it is the second-tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct. The tower has three level for visitors. The third level observatory’s upper platform is at 915.7 feet, the highest accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to ascend, by stairs or lift, to the first and second levels. The walk from ground level to the fist level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. Although there are stairs to the third highest level, these are usually closed to the public and it is usually accessibly only by lift.
The first and second levels have restaurants that are famed throughout the world and can take awhile to get reservations. The Eiffel Tower is a must see if you’re in Paris. To learn more, visit the official website at http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/en.html. Make sure and take a lot of pictures from all angles at different times of day, it is truly an amazing feat of human ingenuity.