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vath On October - 29 - 2010

Eiffel had a permit for the tower to stand for 20 years; it was to be dismantled in 1909, when its ownership would revert to the City of paris. The City had planned to tear it down (part of the original contest rules for designing a tower was that it could be easily demolished) but as the tower proved valuable for communication purposes, it was allowed to remain after the expiry of the permit. The military used it to dispatch Parisian taxis to the front line during the First Batle of marne.

The structure was built between 1887 and 1889 as the entrance arch for the Exposition Universelle, a World’s Fair marking the centennial celebration of theFrench Revolution. Three hundred workers joined together 18,038 pieces of puddled iron (a very pure form of structural iron), using two and a half million rivets, in a structural design by Maurice Koechlin. Eiffel was assisted in the design by engineers Émile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin and architect Stephen Sauvestre. The risk of accident was great as, unlike modern skyscrapers, the tower is an open frame without any intermediate floors except the two platforms. However, because Eiffel took safety precautions, including the use of movable stagings, guard-rails and screens, only one man died. The tower was inaugurated on 31 March 1889, and opened on 6 May.

Facilities and Views

In the basements of the eastern and western pillars, one can visit the gargantuan 1899 machinery which powers the elevators, an astonishing spectacle reminiscent of a Jules Verne novel. From the Tower’s three platforms — especially the topmost — the view of Paris is superb. It is generally agreed that one hour before sunset, the panorama is at its best; don’t forget to bring your camera, and experiment with the f-stop settings to capture a dazzling sunset on the Seine. If you can’t be there in person, then check out a Live Aerial View of Paris with TF1′s webcam online: from the top of the Eiffel Tower, you can see Paris in real time, 24 hours a day, whatever the weather conditions in the French capital. To get the most out of this view of Paris, we suggest you surf their web site between 7:00 AM and 9:00 PM GMT (1:00 AM and 3:00 PM Eastern Time in the U.S.), when the City of Light is at its best.

First level: 57.63 meters (189 feet). Observatory from which to study the movements of the Eiffel Tower’s summit. Kiosk presentation about the mythic pai

nting of the Eiffel Tower. Space CINEIFFEL: offers an exceptional panorama of sights from the Tower. Souvenir shops (yes, every tourist MUST have a miniature replica). Restaurant “Altitude 95″ (phone 01-45-55-20-04). Post office, with special stamps “Paris Eiffel Tower “. Pan

oramic gallery displaying the Monuments of Paris.

Second level: 115.73 meters (379 feet, 8 inches). Panorama of Paris. Telescopes, shops. Animated displays on the operation of the elevators. Jules Verne Restaurant (extremely expensive, reservations absolutely necessary; phone 01-45-55-61-44).

Third level: 276.13 meters (905 feet, 11 inches). Exceptional panoramic views, day or night, of Paris and its surroundings. Recently restored office, featuring wax reproductions of Gustave Eiffel and Thomas Edison in conversation (see photo. Panoramic guide displays to aid orientation. Dioramas presenting the history of this platform.

Probably the best approach to the tower is to take the Métro to the Trocadéro station and walk from the Palais de Chaillot to the Seine. Besides fabulous views, especially when the Trocadéro fountains are in full force, you get a free show from the dancers and acrobats who perform around the Palais de Chaillot. The vast green esplanade beneath the tower is the Parc du Champs-de-Mars, which extends all the way to the 18th-century École Militaire (Military Academy), at its southeast end. This formal lawn was once a parade ground for French troops.

The Eiffel Tower at night is one of the great sights of Paris and shouldn’t be missed. The gold lighting highlights the delicacy of the steelwork in a way that is missed in daylight. Skip the tour buses and pickpockets on Trocadéro and head up to the École Militaire for a more tranquil view.

The Eiffel Tower at night is one of the great sights of Paris and shouldn’t be missed. The gold lighting highlights the delicacy of the steelwork in a way that is missed in daylight. Skip the tour buses and pickpockets on Trocadéro and head up to the École Militaire for a more tranquil view.



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