All About Paris

The Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower History and Visitor Information

When the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889, it was the tallest building in the world at just over 300 meters high. The tower was originally built as a temporary structure to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution for the 1889 World’s Fair exposition.  What was once a temporary exhibit became permanent and now the Eiffel Tower is the enduring symbol of the city of Paris and France itself.

Back in the 1880’s, the Eiffel Tower’s steel construction defied all traditional rules of architecture.  Gustave Eiffel’s design was considered quite bold at the time. Today the tower is the main television transmitter for the city of Paris and the most visited site in France.

An angled black and white image of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
An angled black and white image of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Gustave Eiffel was an engineer who had lots of experience constructing high level railway viaducts.  He was inspired by industrial metal works, and that inspiration shines throughout the tower’s design.  Upon completion the tower was celebrated and loathed in equal measure.

Throughout its construction, Parisians became convinced that it would collapse on itself, and Eiffel had to reassure them many times, often in person. The author Guy de Maupassant left Paris permanently to avoid looking at what he called a ‘metallic carcass’ but others championed the tower: Seurat and Douanier Rousseau were among the first to paint the tower, in 1889 and 1890 respectively. On a clear day, it is possible to see Chartres Cathedral from the highest level viewing platform.  The Eiffel Tower has three public viewing areas.  The first is at 57m, the second at 115m, and the third at 276m. The top of the aerial is 320m above the ground.

The 12,000 steel girders that make up the tower are held together by 2,500,000 rivets that produce it’s smooth, curving profile. It’s functional elegance heralded the dawn of Industrial Art.

In 1986, the external night-time floodlighting was replaced by a system of illuminating controllable lights.  The tower casts off quite an amazing light show just after dark on most nights.

Eiffel Tower Visitor Hours

From January 1 to June 18: 9:30 am – 8:30 pm (11:00 pm via lift)
From June 19 to August 29: 9:00 am – midnight 
From August 30 to December 31: 9:30 am – 8:30 pm (11:00 pm via lift)
Last entrance: 1 hour before closing.

Behind the Scenes Eiffel Tower Tour

Visit the engine room and up travel to the top of the tower via a private elevator with a guided Behind the Scenes visit to the Eiffel Tower.  Call or email for details: 424-386-5222

Note: Is it recommended to book your tickets in advance. Please visit the Eiffel Tower website to book.

Where is the Eiffel Tower?

Champs-de-Mars, Paris 75007

Bir-Hakeim, Trocadero, Ecole Militaire 
Line C – Station Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel
42, 69, 72, 82, 87

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