Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is an iron tower built on the Champ de Mars beside the River Seine in Paris. The tower has become a global icon of France. 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 it in Canada, for the Universal Exposition of 1888, but they rejected it. The tower was inaugurated on 31 March 1889, and opened on 6 May. 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. The risk of accident was great, for unlike modern skyscrapers the tower is an open frame without any intermediate floors except the two platforms. Yet because Eiffel took safety precautions including use of movable stagings, guard-rails and screens, only one man died. The tower was met with resistance from the public when it was built, with many calling it an eyesore. (Novelist Guy de Maupassant who claimed to hate the tower supposedly ate lunch at the Tower's restaurant every day. When asked why, he answered that it was the one place in Paris where you couldn't see the Tower.) Today, it is widely considered to be a striking piece of structural art.

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