Ironically the tower was met with much public criticism when it was built, with many calling it an eyesore. Newspapers of the day, were filled with angry letters from the arts community of Paris. One letter states “And during twenty years [the length of time of the original permit] we shall see, stretching over the entire city, still thrilling with the genius of so many centuries, stretching out like a black blot the odious shadow of the odious column built up of riveted iron plates.” Signers of this letter included Messonier, Gounod, Garnier, Gerome, Bougeureau, and Dumas.
Novelist Guy de Maupassant — who claimed to hate the tower — supposedly ate lunch in the Tower's restaurant every day. When asked why, he answered that it was the one place in Paris where one could not see the structure.
Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower is the tallest building in Paris. Including the 24 m (79 ft) antenna, the structure is 324 m (1,063 ft) high, which is equivalent to about 81 levels in a conventional building.
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 the French Revolution. Eiffel originally planned to build the tower in Barcelona, for the Universal Exposition of 1888, but those responsible at the Barcelona city hall thought it was a strange and expensive construction, which did not fit into the design of the city. After the refusal of the Consistory of Barcelona, Eiffel submitted his draft to those responsible for the Universal Exhibition in Paris, where he would build his tower a year later, in 1889. The tower was inaugurated on 31 March 1889, and opened on 6 May. In that time three hundred workers joined together 18,038 pieces of iron, using two and a half million rivets.
Eiffel had a permit for the tower to stand for 20 years, meaning it would have had 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 expiration of the permit.
At the time the tower was built many people were shocked by its daring shape. Eiffel was criticized for the design and accused of trying to create something artistic, or inartistic according to the viewer, without regard to engineering. Eiffel and his engineers, understood the importance of wind forces and knew that if they were going to build the tallest structure in the world they had to be certain it would withstand the wind. In an interview reported in the newspaper Le Temps, Eiffel said:
“Now to what phenomenon did I give primary concern in designing the Tower? It was wind resistance. Well then! I hold that the curvature of the monument's four outer edges, which is as mathematical calculation dictated it should be (...) will give a great impression of strength and beauty, for it will reveal to the eyes of the observer the boldness of the design as a whole.”—translated from the French newspaper Le Temps of 14 February 1887
The shape of the tower was therefore determined by mathematical calculation involving wind resistance and as such the tower only sways 6–7 cm (2–3 in) in the wind whereas, depending on the ambient temperature, the top of the tower may shift away from the sun by up to 18 cm (7 in) on hot summer days.
Regardless of how the structure was designed and constructed today the Eiffel Tower is widely considered to be a striking piece of structural art and the iconic symbol of France.
Hours of Operation and Rate 2013
The Eiffel Tower is open every day from 9.30 a.m. to 11.45 p.m. (from 9 a.m. to 12.45 p.m. during the summer months). The last entrance tickets are sold 45 minutes before the monument closes.
The last ascent to the top of the tower departs at 10.30 p.m. (11.00 during the summer), except where the tower is closed early because of large numbers of visitors.
Measures for clearing the floors begin between 30 and 45 minutes before closing.
These times may be changed without prior notice by the management, in particular because of unusual occurrences, unfavourable weather conditions, or a large numbers of visitors.
Elevator entrance tickets
(to second floor)
Adults 8.50 € Youths (12 – 24) 7.00 € Children (4 – 11) +Handicapped 4.00 €
Elevator entrance tickets to top floor
Adults 14.00 € Youths (12 – 24) 12.50 € Children (4 – 11) +Handicapped 9.50 €
Stair entrance tickets(to second floor)
Adults 4.50 € Youths (12 – 24) 3.50 € Children (4 – 11) +Handicapped 3.00 €
Children under 4 are free guests at the Eiffel Tower.
All accompanying persons pay the full adult fee.