The Eiffel Tower the Worlds Most Visited Landmark
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The Eiffel Tower the Worlds Most Visited Landmark

The 130 year old Eiffel Tower in Paris is the most visited pay to view landmark in the world.

Situated on the Champs de Mars in Paris, overlooking the River Seine, the 130 year old Eiffel Tower ( Tour Eiffel ) is the most visited pay to view monument in the world.

Built as the entrance arch to the 1889 Worlds Fair, which marked the centennial celebrations of the French Revolution, it was originally intended for the Universal Exposition held in Barcelona, Spain, in 1888.

It was designed by French engineer Gustave Eiffel,along with architects Emile Nouguier, Maurice Koechlin and Stephen Sauvestre and officially opened on May the 6th in 1889.

At 324 metres high, the completion of the tower made it the tallest structure in the world until 1930, the tallest structure in France until 2004, and to date still remains the tallest structure in Paris.

The 10,000 tonne Lattice frame took 300 men to join together the 18,038 pieces of puddled iron and 2,500,000 rivets and apply 40 tons of paint, which was hailed as an eyesore by many Parisiennes during it's two year construction.

The tower was originally fitted with lifts by two companies, the French company of Roux Combalzier Lepape, who fitted the tower with hydraulically powered lifts on the west and east sides of the tower and the American lift company Otis, who fitted the north and south sides of the tower with a slightly more superior hydraulic pulley system.

The French lifts were of poor quality and had to be replaced in 1897 and 1899.

The French lift company Fives - Lille, replaced them with an improved hydraulic rope system which were operated by water powered pistons.

Fives - Lille upgraded their system in 1986 with a computer controlled system, with the driving force operated by means of a 320 KW electrically driven oil pump.

Today each public lift has the capacity to hold 92 persons, and when full weighs 10 tonnes.

The Otis lifts were removed in 1900 and 1913 as they were not able to convert them to electric power, leaving the north and south sides without lifts until 1965.

The tower also sports a stairway of 1,652 steps, which was up graded in 1982.

The tower is painted every seven years, with 50 tons of anti - rust proof paint. Inside the tower is a poster with different paint colours displayed and a box where members of the public can vote for the next seasons colour.

Today the tower hosts 7 elevators, 4 public, 2 service and one to the exclusive Jules Verne restaurant on the second level.

Level one comprises of the Altitude 95 restaurant,along with gift shops and cafe.

Level two comprises of a bar, a cafe and the Gustave Eiffel office, a small museum in honour of the tower's designer.

The third level is the observation post with both indoor and outdoor viewing platforms.

EVENTS REGARDING THE TOWER.

1912.

Austrian Franz Reichert died when he jumped from the tower using a home made parachute.

1925.

Conman Victor Lustig ' sold ' the tower for scap.....twice!

1930.

The tower lost it's tallest structure in the world title with the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York.

1940 - 1944.

During the German occupation of Paris, the tower's lift cables were destroyed to stop occupying troops from gaining the summit in order to use it for radio broadcasts and transmission.

1956.

The top of the tower was damaged by fire.

1984.

Robert Moriarty flew a light aircraft through the arches of the tower.

1987.

A.J.Hacket made an impromtu bungee jump from the tower, resulting in his arrest by the Paris police. 

2000.

Flashing lights and search lights were installed along the tower's frame.Since then 20,000 flashing lights come on every hour on the hour.

2002.

The tower recieved it's 200,000.000th guest.

2003.

A major fire in the broadcasting equipment room of the tower caused the tower to be evacuated. It took firemen 40 minutes to contain the blaze. There were no casualties.

2004.

The tower loses it's title as tallest building in France with the completion of the Millau Viaduct.

2006.

The tower recieved over 6 million visitors that year.

2008.

At the start of the French presidency of the European Union, the 12 gold stars of the European flag were mounted at the tower's base.

 

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