Eiffel Tower

Coordinates: 48°51′29.6″N 2°17′40.2″E / 48.858222°N 2.294500°E / 48.858222; 2.294500
Page semi-protected
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Eiffel Tower
Tour Eiffel
Tour Eiffel Wikimedia Commons (cropped).jpg
Seen from the Champ de Mars
Record height
Tallest in the world from 1889 to 1930[I]
General information
TypeObservation tower
Broadcasting tower
Location7th arrondissement, Paris, France
Coordinates48°51′29.6″N 2°17′40.2″E / 48.858222°N 2.294500°E / 48.858222; 2.294500
Construction started28 January 1887; 136 years ago (28 January 1887)
Completed15 March 1889; 134 years ago (15 March 1889)
Opening31 March 1889; 134 years ago (31 March 1889)
OwnerCity of Paris, France
ManagementSociété d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE)
Architectural300 m (984 ft)[1]
Tip330 m (1,083 ft)
Top floor276 m (906 ft)[1]
Technical details
Floor count3[2]
Design and construction
Architect(s)Stephen Sauvestre
Structural engineerMaurice Koechlin
Émile Nouguier
Main contractorCompagnie des Etablissements Eiffel
I. ^ "Eiffel Tower". Emporis. Archived from the original on 22 April 2016.

The Eiffel Tower (

wrought-iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel
, whose company designed and built the tower.

Locally nicknamed "La dame de fer" (French for "Iron Lady"), it was constructed from 1887 to 1889 as the centerpiece of the 1889 World's Fair. Although initially criticised by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals for its design, it has since become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world.[3] The tower received 5,889,000 visitors in 2022, up by 197 percent from 2021, when numbers dropped due to the COVID virus.[4] The Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument with an entrance fee in the world:[citation needed] 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015. It was designated a monument historique in 1964, and was named part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site ("Paris, Banks of the Seine") in 1991.[5]

The tower is 330 metres (1,083 ft) tall,

aerial at the top of the tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Excluding transmitters, the Eiffel Tower is the second tallest free-standing structure in France after the Millau Viaduct

The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels. The top level's upper platform is 276 m (906 ft) above the ground – the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to ascend by stairs or lift to the first and second levels. The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the climb from the first level to the second, making the entire ascent a 600 step climb. Although there is a staircase to the top level, it is usually accessible only by lift. On this top, third level is a private apartment built for Gustave Eiffel's private use. He decorated it with furniture by Jean Lachaise and invited friends such as Thomas Edison.



The design of the Eiffel Tower is attributed to Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, two senior engineers working for the Compagnie des Établissements Eiffel. It was envisioned after discussion about a suitable centerpiece for the proposed 1889 Exposition Universelle, a world's fair to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. Eiffel openly acknowledged that inspiration for a tower came from the Latting Observatory built in New York City in 1853.[7] In May 1884, working at home, Koechlin made a sketch of their idea, described by him as "a great pylon, consisting of four lattice girders standing apart at the base and coming together at the top, joined together by metal trusses at regular intervals".[8] Eiffel initially showed little enthusiasm, but he did approve further study, and the two engineers then asked Stephen Sauvestre, the head of the company's architectural department, to contribute to the design. Sauvestre added decorative arches to the base of the tower, a glass pavilion to the first level, and other embellishments.

Vendôme Column

The new version gained Eiffel's support: he bought the rights to the patent on the design which Koechlin, Nougier, and Sauvestre had taken out, and the design was put on display at the Exhibition of Decorative Arts in the autumn of 1884 under the company name. On 30 March 1885, Eiffel presented his plans to the Société des Ingénieurs Civils; after discussing the technical problems and emphasising the practical uses of the tower, he finished his talk by saying the tower would symbolise

[n]ot only the art of the modern engineer, but also the century of Industry and Science in which we are living, and for which the way was prepared by the great scientific movement of the eighteenth century and by the Revolution of 1789, to which this monument will be built as an expression of France's gratitude.[9]

Little progress was made until 1886, when Jules Grévy was re-elected as president of France and Édouard Lockroy was appointed as minister for trade. A budget for the exposition was passed and, on 1 May, Lockroy announced an alteration to the terms of the open competition being held for a centrepiece to the exposition, which effectively made the selection of Eiffel's design a foregone conclusion, as entries had to include a study for a 300 m (980 ft) four-sided metal tower on the Champ de Mars.[9] (A 300-metre tower was then considered a herculean engineering effort). On 12 May, a commission was set up to examine Eiffel's scheme and its rivals, which, a month later, decided that all the proposals except Eiffel's were either impractical or lacking in details.

After some debate about the exact location of the tower, a contract was signed on 8 January 1887. Eiffel signed it acting in his own capacity rather than as the representative of his company, the contract granting him 1.5 million francs toward the construction costs: less than a quarter of the estimated 6.5 million francs. Eiffel was to receive all income from the commercial exploitation of the tower during the exhibition and for the next 20 years. He later established a separate company to manage the tower, putting up half the necessary capital himself.[10]

A French bank, the Crédit Industriel et Commercial (CIC), helped finance the construction of the Eiffel Tower. During the period of the tower's construction, the CIC was acquiring funds from predatory loans to the National Bank of Haiti, some of which went towards the financing of the tower. These loans were connected to an indemnity controversy which saw France force Haiti's government to financially compensate French slaveowners for lost income as a result of the Haitian Revolution, and required Haiti to pay the CIC and its partner nearly half of all taxes collected on exports, "effectively choking off the nation’s primary source of income". According to The New York Times, "[at] a time when the [CIC] was helping finance one of the world’s best-known landmarks, the Eiffel Tower, as a monument to French liberty, it was choking Haiti’s economy, taking much of the young nation’s income back to Paris and impairing its ability to start schools, hospitals and the other building blocks of an independent country."[11]

Artists' protest

Caricature of Gustave Eiffel comparing the Eiffel tower to the Pyramids, published in Le Temps
, February 14, 1887.

The proposed tower had been a subject of controversy, drawing criticism from those who did not believe it was feasible and those who objected on artistic grounds. Prior to the Eiffel Tower's construction, no structure had ever been constructed to a height of 300 m, or even 200 m for that matter,[12] and many people believed it was impossible. These objections were an expression of a long-standing debate in France about the relationship between architecture and engineering. It came to a head as work began at the Champ de Mars: a "Committee of Three Hundred" (one member for each metre of the tower's height) was formed, led by the prominent architect Charles Garnier and including some of the most important figures of the arts, such as William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Gounod and Jules Massenet. A petition called "Artists against the Eiffel Tower" was sent to the Minister of Works and Commissioner for the Exposition, Adolphe Alphand, and it was published by Le Temps on 14 February 1887:

We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects and passionate devotees of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris, protest with all our strength, with all our indignation in the name of slighted French taste, against the erection … of this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower … To bring our arguments home, imagine for a moment a giddy, ridiculous tower dominating Paris like a gigantic black smokestack, crushing under its barbaric bulk Notre Dame, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Louvre, the Dome of les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, all of our humiliated monuments will disappear in this ghastly dream. And for twenty years … we shall see stretching like a blot of ink the hateful shadow of the hateful column of bolted sheet metal.[13]

Gustave Eiffel responded to these criticisms by comparing his tower to the Egyptian pyramids: "My tower will be the tallest edifice ever erected by man. Will it not also be grandiose in its way? And why would something admirable in Egypt become hideous and ridiculous in Paris?"[14] These criticisms were also dealt with by Édouard Lockroy in a letter of support written to Alphand, sardonically saying,[15] "Judging by the stately swell of the rhythms, the beauty of the metaphors, the elegance of its delicate and precise style, one can tell this protest is the result of collaboration of the most famous writers and poets of our time", and he explained that the protest was irrelevant since the project had been decided upon months before, and construction on the tower was already under way.

Indeed, Garnier was a member of the Tower Commission that had examined the various proposals, and had raised no objection. Eiffel was similarly unworried, pointing out to a journalist that it was premature to judge the effect of the tower solely on the basis of the drawings, that the Champ de Mars was distant enough from the monuments mentioned in the protest for there to be little risk of the tower overwhelming them, and putting the aesthetic argument for the tower: "Do not the laws of natural forces always conform to the secret laws of harmony?"[16]

Some of the protesters changed their minds when the tower was built; others remained unconvinced.[17] Guy de Maupassant supposedly ate lunch in the tower's restaurant every day because it was the one place in Paris where the tower was not visible.[18]

By 1918, it had become a symbol of Paris and of France after Guillaume Apollinaire wrote a nationalist poem in the shape of the tower (a calligram) to express his feelings about the war against Germany.[19] Today, it is widely considered to be a remarkable piece of structural art, and is often featured in films and literature.


Work on the foundations started on 28 January 1887.[20] Those for the east and south legs were straightforward, with each leg resting on four 2 m (6.6 ft) concrete slabs, one for each of the principal girders of each leg. The west and north legs, being closer to the river Seine, were more complicated: each slab needed two piles installed by using compressed-air caissons 15 m (49 ft) long and 6 m (20 ft) in diameter driven to a depth of 22 m (72 ft)[21] to support the concrete slabs, which were 6 m (20 ft) thick. Each of these slabs supported a block of limestone with an inclined top to bear a supporting shoe for the ironwork.

Each shoe was anchored to the stonework by a pair of bolts 10 cm (4 in) in diameter and 7.5 m (25 ft) long. The foundations were completed on 30 June, and the erection of the ironwork began. The visible work on-site was complemented by the enormous amount of exacting preparatory work that took place behind the scenes: the drawing office produced 1,700 general drawings and 3,629 detailed drawings of the 18,038 different parts needed.

second of arc.[23] The finished components, some already riveted together into sub-assemblies, arrived on horse-drawn carts from a factory in the nearby Parisian suburb of Levallois-Perret and were first bolted together, with the bolts being replaced with rivets as construction progressed. No drilling or shaping was done on site: if any part did not fit, it was sent back to the factory for alteration. In all, 18,038 pieces were joined using 2.5 million rivets.[20]

At first, the legs were constructed as

hydraulic jacks were fitted to the shoes at the base of each leg, capable of exerting a force of 800 tonnes, and the legs were intentionally constructed at a slightly steeper angle than necessary, being supported by sandboxes on the scaffold. Although construction involved 300 on-site employees,[20] due to Eiffel's safety precautions and the use of movable gangways, guardrails and screens, only one person died.[25]

Inauguration and the 1889 exposition

The main structural work was completed at the end of March 1889 and, on 31 March, Eiffel celebrated by leading a group of government officials, accompanied by representatives of the press, to the top of the tower.

Le Monde Illustré, completed the ascent. At 2:35 pm, Eiffel hoisted a large Tricolour to the accompaniment of a 25-gun salute fired at the first level.[26]

There was still work to be done, particularly on the lifts and facilities, and the tower was not opened to the public until nine days after the opening of the exposition on 6 May; even then, the lifts had not been completed. The tower was an instant success with the public, and nearly 30,000 visitors made the 1,710-step climb to the top before the lifts entered service on 26 May.[27] Tickets cost 2 francs for the first level, 3 for the second, and 5 for the top, with half-price admission on Sundays,[28] and by the end of the exhibition there had been 1,896,987 visitors.[3]

After dark, the tower was lit by hundreds of gas lamps, and a beacon sent out three beams of red, white and blue light. Two searchlights mounted on a circular rail were used to illuminate various buildings of the exposition. The daily opening and closing of the exposition were announced by a cannon at the top.[citation needed]

On the second level, the French newspaper Le Figaro had an office and a printing press, where a special souvenir edition, Le Figaro de la Tour, was made. There was also a pâtisserie.[citation needed]

At the top, there was a post office where visitors could send letters and postcards as a memento of their visit. Graffitists were also catered for: sheets of paper were mounted on the walls each day for visitors to record their impressions of the tower. Gustave Eiffel described some of the responses as vraiment curieuse ("truly curious").[29]

Famous visitors to the tower included the

"Buffalo Bill" Cody (his Wild West show was an attraction at the exposition) and Thomas Edison.[27] Eiffel invited Edison to his private apartment at the top of the tower, where Edison presented him with one of his phonographs, a new invention and one of the many highlights of the exposition.[30] Edison signed the guestbook
with this message:

To M Eiffel the Engineer the brave builder of so gigantic and original specimen of modern Engineering from one who has the greatest respect and admiration for all Engineers including the Great Engineer the Bon Dieu, Thomas Edison.

Eiffel made use of his apartment at the top of the tower to carry out meteorological observations, and also used the tower to perform experiments on the action of air resistance on falling bodies.[31]

Subsequent events

Panoramic view during ascent of the Eiffel Tower by the Lumière brothers, 1898

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

radio telegraphy, it was allowed to remain after the expiry of the permit, and from 1910 it also became part of the International Time Service.[32]

For the 1900 Exposition Universelle, the lifts in the east and west legs were replaced by lifts running as far as the second level constructed by the French firm Fives-Lille. These had a compensating mechanism to keep the floor level as the angle of ascent changed at the first level, and were driven by a similar hydraulic mechanism as the Otis lifts, although this was situated at the base of the tower. Hydraulic pressure was provided by pressurised accumulators located near this mechanism.[33] At the same time the lift in the north pillar was removed and replaced by a staircase to the first level. The layout of both first and second levels was modified, with the space available for visitors on the second level. The original lift in the south pillar was removed 13 years later.[citation needed]

On 19 October 1901, Alberto Santos-Dumont, flying his No.6 airship, won a 100,000-franc prize offered by Henri Deutsch de la Meurthe for the first person to make a flight from St. Cloud to the Eiffel Tower and back in less than half an hour.[34]

In 1910,

shortwave transmitter of 200 watts power. On 17 November, an improved 180-line transmitter was installed.[39]

The Eiffel Tower has been a subject of art, as in this cubist painting by Robert Delaunay

On two separate but related occasions in 1925, the con artist

world's tallest structure when the Chrysler Building in New York City was completed.[43] In 1938, the decorative arcade around the first level was removed.[44]

Upon the

German occupation of Paris in 1940, the lift cables were cut by the French. The tower was closed to the public during the occupation and the lifts were not repaired until 1946.[45] In 1940, German soldiers had to climb the tower to hoist a swastika-centered Reichskriegsflagge,[46] but the flag was so large it blew away just a few hours later, and was replaced by a smaller one.[47] When visiting Paris, Hitler chose to stay on the ground. When the Allies were nearing Paris in August 1944, Hitler ordered General Dietrich von Choltitz, the military governor of Paris, to demolish the tower along with the rest of the city. Von Choltitz disobeyed the order.[48] On 25 August, before the Germans had been driven out of Paris, the German flag was replaced with a Tricolour by two men from the French Naval Museum, who narrowly beat three men led by Lucien Sarniguet, who had lowered the Tricolour on 13 June 1940 when Paris fell to the Germans.[45]

A fire started in the television transmitter on 3 January 1956, damaging the top of the tower. Repairs took a year, and in 1957, the present radio aerial was added to the top.[49] In 1964, the Eiffel Tower was officially declared to be a historical monument by the Minister of Cultural Affairs, André Malraux.[50] A year later, an additional lift system was installed in the north pillar.[51]

According to interviews, in 1967, Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau negotiated a secret agreement with Charles de Gaulle for the tower to be dismantled and temporarily relocated to Montreal to serve as a landmark and tourist attraction during Expo 67. The plan was allegedly vetoed by the company operating the tower out of fear that the French government could refuse permission for the tower to be restored in its original location.[52]

In 1982, the original lifts between the second and third levels were replaced after 97 years in service. These had been closed to the public between November and March because the water in the hydraulic drive tended to freeze. The new cars operate in pairs, with one counterbalancing the other, and perform the journey in one stage, reducing the journey time from eight minutes to less than two minutes. At the same time, two new emergency staircases were installed, replacing the original spiral staircases. In 1983, the south pillar was fitted with an electrically driven Otis lift to serve the

Jules Verne restaurant.[citation needed] The Fives-Lille lifts in the east and west legs, fitted in 1899, were extensively refurbished in 1986. The cars were replaced, and a computer system was installed to completely automate the lifts. The motive power was moved from the water hydraulic system to a new electrically driven oil-filled hydraulic system, and the original water hydraulics were retained solely as a counterbalance system.[51] A service lift was added to the south pillar for moving small loads and maintenance personnel three years later.[citation needed

A.J. Hackett made one of his first bungee jumps from the top of the Eiffel Tower, using a special cord he had helped develop. Hackett was arrested by the police.[54] On 27 October 1991, Thierry Devaux, along with mountain guide Hervé Calvayrac, performed a series of acrobatic figures while bungee jumping from the second floor of the tower. Facing the Champ de Mars, Devaux used an electric winch between figures to go back up to the second floor. When firemen arrived, he stopped after the sixth jump.[55]

The tower is the focal point for New Year's Eve and Bastille Day
(as in this image from 2013) celebrations.

For its "Countdown to the Year 2000" celebration on 31 December 1999, flashing lights and high-powered searchlights were installed on the tower. During the last three minutes of the year, the lights were turned on starting from the base of the tower and continuing to the top to welcome 2000 with a huge fireworks show. An exhibition above a cafeteria on the first floor commemorates this event. The searchlights on top of the tower made it a beacon in Paris's night sky, and 20,000 flashing bulbs gave the tower a sparkly appearance for five minutes every hour on the hour.[56]

The lights sparkled blue for several nights to herald the new millennium on 31 December 2000. The sparkly lighting continued for 18 months until July 2001. The sparkling lights were turned on again on 21 June 2003, and the display was planned to last for 10 years before they needed replacing.[57]

The tower received its 200,000,000th guest on 28 November 2002.[58] The tower has operated at its maximum capacity of about 7 million visitors per year since 2003.[59] In 2004, the Eiffel Tower began hosting a seasonal ice rink on the first level.[60] A glass floor was installed on the first level during the 2014 refurbishment.[61]



The puddle iron (wrought iron) of the Eiffel Tower weighs 7,300 tonnes,[62] and the addition of lifts, shops and antennae have brought the total weight to approximately 10,100 tonnes.[63] As a demonstration of the economy of design, if the 7,300 tonnes of metal in the structure were melted down, it would fill the square base, 125 metres (410 ft) on each side, to a depth of only 6.25 cm (2.46 in) assuming the density of the metal to be 7.8 tonnes per cubic metre.[64] Additionally, a cubic box surrounding the tower (324 m × 125 m × 125 m) would contain 6,200 tonnes of air, weighing almost as much as the iron itself. Depending on the ambient temperature, the top of the tower may shift away from the sun by up to 18 cm (7 in) due to thermal expansion of the metal on the side facing the sun.[65]

Wind and weather considerations

When it was built, many were shocked by the tower's daring form. Eiffel was accused of trying to create something artistic with no regard to the principles of engineering. However, Eiffel and his team – experienced bridge builders – 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 sure it could withstand them. In an interview with the newspaper Le Temps published on 14 February 1887, Eiffel said:

Is it not true that the very conditions which give strength also conform to the hidden rules of harmony? … Now to what phenomenon did I have to 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.[66]

He used graphical methods to determine the strength of the tower and empirical evidence to account for the effects of wind, rather than a mathematical formula. Close examination of the tower reveals a basically exponential shape.[67] All parts of the tower were overdesigned to ensure maximum resistance to wind forces. The top half was even assumed to have no gaps in the latticework.[68] In the years since it was completed, engineers have put forward various mathematical hypotheses in an attempt to explain the success of the design. The most recent, devised in 2004 after letters sent by Eiffel to the French Society of Civil Engineers in 1885 were translated into English, is described as a non-linear integral equation based on counteracting the wind pressure on any point of the tower with the tension between the construction elements at that point.[67]

The Eiffel Tower sways by up to 9 cm (3.5 in) in the wind.[69]


Ground floor

The four columns of the tower each house access stairs and elevators to the first tow floors, while at the south column only the elevator to the second floor restaurant is publicly accessible.

1st floor

The first floor is publicly accessible by elevator or stairs. When originally built, the first level contained three restaurants – one French, one Russian and one Flemish — and an "Anglo-American Bar". After the exposition closed, the Flemish restaurant was converted to a 250-seat theatre. Today there is the Le 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant and other facilities.

2nd floor

The second floor is publicly accessible by elevator or stairs and has a restaurant called

Michelin star chef Alain Ducasse from 2007 to 2017.[70] As of May 2019, it is managed by three-star chef Frédéric Anton.[71] It owes its name to the famous science-fiction writer Jules Verne

3rd floor

The third floor is the top floor, publicly accessible by elevator.

Originally there were laboratories for various experiments, and a small apartment reserved for Gustave Eiffel to entertain guests, which is now open to the public, complete with period decorations and lifelike mannequins of Eiffel and some of his notable guests.[72]

From 1937 until 1981, there was a restaurant near the top of the tower. It was removed due to structural considerations; engineers had determined it was too heavy and was causing the tower to sag.[73] This restaurant was sold to an American restaurateur and transported to New York and then New Orleans. It was rebuilt on the edge of New Orleans' Garden District as a restaurant and later event hall.[74] Today there is a champagne bar.


The arrangement of the lifts has been changed several times during the tower's history. Given the elasticity of the cables and the time taken to align the cars with the landings, each lift, in normal service, takes an average of 8 minutes and 50 seconds to do the round trip, spending an average of 1 minute and 15 seconds at each level. The average journey time between levels is 1 minute. The original hydraulic mechanism is on public display in a small museum at the base of the east and west legs. Because the mechanism requires frequent lubrication and maintenance, public access is often restricted. The rope mechanism of the north tower can be seen as visitors exit the lift.[75]

Equipping the tower with adequate and safe passenger lifts was a major concern of the government commission overseeing the Exposition. Although some visitors could be expected to climb to the first level, or even the second, lifts clearly had to be the main means of ascent.[76]

Constructing lifts to reach the first level was relatively straightforward: the legs were wide enough at the bottom and so nearly straight that they could contain a straight track, and a contract was given to the French company Roux, Combaluzier & Lepape for two lifts to be fitted in the east and west legs.[77] Roux, Combaluzier & Lepape used a pair of endless chains with rigid, articulated links to which the car was attached. Lead weights on some links of the upper or return sections of the chains counterbalanced most of the car's weight. The car was pushed up from below, not pulled up from above: to prevent the chain buckling, it was enclosed in a conduit. At the bottom of the run, the chains passed around 3.9 m (12 ft 10 in) diameter sprockets. Smaller sprockets at the top guided the chains.[77]

Installing lifts to the second level was more of a challenge because a straight track was impossible. No French company wanted to undertake the work. The European branch of

Otis Brothers & Company submitted a proposal but this was rejected: the fair's charter ruled out the use of any foreign material in the construction of the tower. The deadline for bids was extended but still no French companies put themselves forward, and eventually the contract was given to Otis in July 1887.[33] Otis were confident they would eventually be given the contract and had already started creating designs.[citation needed

The car was divided into two superimposed compartments, each holding 25 passengers, with the lift operator occupying an exterior platform on the first level. Motive power was provided by an inclined hydraulic ram 12.67 m (41 ft 7 in) long and 96.5 cm (38.0 in) in diameter in the tower leg with a stroke of 10.83 m (35 ft 6 in): this moved a carriage carrying six sheaves. Five fixed sheaves were mounted higher up the leg, producing an arrangement similar to a block and tackle but acting in reverse, multiplying the stroke of the piston rather than the force generated. The hydraulic pressure in the driving cylinder was produced by a large open reservoir on the second level. After being exhausted from the cylinder, the water was pumped back up to the reservoir by two pumps in the machinery room at the base of the south leg. This reservoir also provided power to the lifts to the first level.[citation needed]

The original lifts for the journey between the second and third levels were supplied by Léon Edoux. A pair of 81 m (266 ft) hydraulic rams were mounted on the second level, reaching nearly halfway up to the third level. One lift car was mounted on top of these rams: cables ran from the top of this car up to sheaves on the third level and back down to a second car. Each car travelled only half the distance between the second and third levels and passengers were required to change lifts halfway by means of a short gangway. The 10-ton cars each held 65 passengers.[78]

Engraved names

Gustave Eiffel engraved on the tower the names of 72 French scientists, engineers and mathematicians in recognition of their contributions to the building of the tower. Eiffel chose this "invocation of science" because of his concern over the artists' protest. At the beginning of the 20th century, the engravings were painted over, but they were restored in 1986–87 by the Société Nouvelle d'exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, a company operating the tower.[79]


The tower is painted in three shades: lighter at the top, getting progressively darker towards the bottom to complement the Parisian sky.

gold in commemoration of the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.[82][83]

The only non-structural elements are the four decorative grill-work arches, added in Sauvestre's sketches, which served to make the tower look more substantial and to make a more impressive entrance to the exposition.[84]

A pop-culture movie cliché is that the view from a Parisian window always includes the tower.[85] In reality, since zoning restrictions limit the height of most buildings in Paris to seven storeys, only a small number of tall buildings have a clear view of the tower.[86]

Eiffel Tower Drone


Maintenance of the tower includes applying 60 tons of paint every seven years to prevent it from rusting. The tower has been completely repainted at least 19 times since it was built. Lead paint was still being used as recently as 2001 when the practice was stopped out of concern for the environment.[57][87]


The tower has been used for making radio transmissions since the beginning of the 20th century. Until the 1950s, sets of aerial wires ran from the cupola to anchors on the Avenue de Suffren and Champ de Mars. These were connected to longwave transmitters in small bunkers. In 1909, a permanent underground radio centre was built near the south pillar, which still exists today. On 20 November 1913, the Paris Observatory, using the Eiffel Tower as an aerial, exchanged wireless signals with the United States Naval Observatory, which used an aerial in Arlington County, Virginia. The object of the transmissions was to measure the difference in longitude between Paris and Washington, D.C.[88] Today, radio and digital television signals are transmitted from the Eiffel Tower.

FM radio

Frequency kW Service
87.8 MHz 10 France Inter
89.0 MHz 10 RFI Paris
89.9 MHz 6 TSF Jazz
90.4 MHz 10 Nostalgie
90.9 MHz 4 Chante France

Digital television

A television antenna was first installed on the tower in 1957, increasing its height by 18.7 m (61 ft). Work carried out in 2000 added a further 5.3 m (17 ft), giving the current height of 324 m (1,063 ft).[57] Analogue television signals from the Eiffel Tower ceased on 8 March 2011.

Frequency VHF UHF kW Service
182.25 MHz 6 100 Canal+
479.25 MHz 22 500 France 2
503.25 MHz 25 500 TF1
527.25 MHz 28 500 France 3
543.25 MHz 30 100 France 5
567.25 MHz 33 100


Height changes

The pinnacle height of the Eiffel Tower has changed multiple times over the years as described in the chart below.[89]

From To Height m Height ft Type of addition Remarks
1889 1957 312.27 1,025 Flagpole Architectural height of 300 m (980 ft) Tallest freestanding structure in the world until surpassed by the Chrysler Building in 1930. Tallest tower in the world until surpassed by the KCTV Broadcast Tower in 1956.
1957 1991 320.75 1,052 Antenna Broadcast antenna added in 1957 which made it the tallest tower in the world until the Tokyo Tower was completed the following year in 1958.
1991 1994 317.96 1,043 Antenna change
1994 2000 318.7 1,046 Antenna change
2000 2022 324 1,063 Antenna change
2022 Current 330 1,083 Antenna change Digital radio antenna hoisted on March 15, 2022.[90]

Taller structures

The Eiffel Tower was the world's tallest structure when completed in 1889, a distinction it retained until 1929 when the Chrysler Building in New York City was topped out.[91] The tower also lost its standing as the world's tallest tower to the Tokyo Tower in 1958 but retains its status as the tallest freestanding (non-guyed) structure in France.

Lattice towers taller than the Eiffel Tower

Name Pinnacle height Year Country Town Remarks
Tokyo Skytree 634 m (2,080 ft) 2011 Japan Tokyo
Kyiv TV Tower 385 m (1,263 ft) 1973 Ukraine Kyiv
Dragon Tower 336 m (1,102 ft) 2000 China Harbin
Tokyo Tower 333 m (1,093 ft) 1958 Japan Tokyo
WITI TV Tower 329.4 m (1,081 ft) 1962 United States Shorewood, Wisconsin
St. Petersburg TV Tower
326 m (1,070 ft) 1962 Russia Saint Petersburg

Structures in France taller than the Eiffel Tower

Name Pinnacle height Year Structure type Town Remarks
Longwave transmitter Allouis
350 m (1,150 ft) 1974 Guyed mast Allouis
HWU transmitter 350 m (1,150 ft) 1971 Guyed mast Rosnay Military VLF transmitter; multiple masts
Viaduc de Millau
343 m (1,125 ft) 2004 Bridge pillar Millau
TV Mast Niort-Maisonnay 330 m (1,080 ft) 1978 Guyed mast Niort
Transmitter Le Mans-Mayet 342 m (1,122 ft) 1993 Guyed mast Mayet
La Regine transmitter 330 m (1,080 ft) 1973 Guyed mast Saissac Military VLF transmitter
Transmitter Roumoules
330 m (1,080 ft) 1974 Guyed mast Roumoules Spare transmission mast for longwave; insulated against ground



The nearest Paris Métro station is Bir-Hakeim and the nearest RER station is Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel.[92] The tower itself is located at the intersection of the quai Branly and the Pont d'Iéna.


More than 300 million people have visited the tower since it was completed in 1889.[93][3] In 2015, there were 6.91 million visitors.[94] The tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world.[95] An average of 25,000 people ascend the tower every day which can result in long queues.[96]

Illumination copyright

The tower and its image have been in the public domain since 1993, 70 years after Eiffel's death.[97] In June 1990 a French court ruled that a special lighting display on the tower in 1989 to mark the tower's 100th anniversary was an "original visual creation" protected by copyright. The Court of Cassation, France's judicial court of last resort, upheld the ruling in March 1992.[98] The Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE) now considers any illumination of the tower to be a separate work of art that falls under copyright.[99] As a result, the SNTE alleges that it is illegal to publish contemporary photographs of the lit tower at night without permission in France and some other countries for commercial use.[100][101] For this reason, it is often rare to find images or videos of the lit tower at night on stock image sites,[102] and media outlets rarely broadcast images or videos of it.[103]

The imposition of copyright has been controversial. The Director of Documentation for what was then called the Société Nouvelle d'exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SNTE), Stéphane Dieu, commented in 2005: "It is really just a way to manage commercial use of the image, so that it isn't used in ways [of which] we don't approve".[104] SNTE made over €1 million from copyright fees in 2002.[105] However, it could also be used to restrict the publication of tourist photographs of the tower at night, as well as hindering non-profit and semi-commercial publication of images of the illuminated tower.[106]

The copyright claim itself has never been tested in courts to date, according to a 2014 article in the Art Law Journal, and there has never been an attempt to track down millions of people who have posted and shared their images of the illuminated tower on the Internet worldwide. It added, however, that permissive situation may arise on commercial use of such images, like in a magazine, on a film poster, or on product packaging.[107]

French doctrine and jurisprudence allows pictures incorporating a copyrighted work as long as their presence is incidental or accessory to the subject being represented,[108] a reasoning akin to the de minimis rule. Therefore, SETE may be unable to claim copyright on photographs of Paris which happen to include the lit tower.


As one of the most famous landmarks in the world, the Eiffel Tower has been the inspiration for the creation of many replicas and similar towers. An early example is Blackpool Tower in England. The mayor of Blackpool, Sir John Bickerstaffe, was so impressed on seeing the Eiffel Tower at the 1889 exposition that he commissioned a similar tower to be built in his town. It opened in 1894 and is 158.1 m (519 ft) tall.[109] Tokyo Tower in Japan, built as a communications tower in 1958, was also inspired by the Eiffel Tower.[110]

There are various scale models of the tower in the United States, including a half-scale version at the

Durango, Mexico that was donated by the local French community, and several across Europe.[111]

In 2011, the TV show Pricing the Priceless on the

National Geographic Channel speculated that a full-size replica of the tower would cost approximately US$480 million to build.[112]
This would be more than ten times the cost of the original (nearly 8 million in 1890 Francs; ~US$40 million in 2018 dollars).

See also



  1. ^ a b "Eiffel Tower". CTBUH Skyscraper Center.
  2. ^ a b "Eiffel Tower". Emporis. Archived from the original on 22 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b c SETE. "The Eiffel Tower at a glance". Official Eiffel Tower website. Archived from the original on 14 April 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  4. ^ Tourism Statistics, "Visit Paris Region" site of the Paris Ile de France Visitors Bureau, retrieved March 22, 2022.
  5. , retrieved 14 November 2021
  6. ^ "Eiffel Tower grows six metres after new antenna attached". Reuters. 15 March 2022. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  7. ^ Engineering News and American Railway Journal. Vol. 22. G. H. Frost. 1889. p. 482.
  8. ^ Harvie, p. 78.
  9. ^ a b Loyrette, p. 116.
  10. ^ Loyrette, p. 121.
  11. ISSN 0362-4331
    . Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  12. ^ "Diagrams - SkyscraperPage.com". skyscraperpage.com.
  13. ^ Loyrette, p. 174.
  14. .
  15. ^ Harvie, p. 99.
  16. ^ Loyrette, p. 176.
  17. ^ a b "The Eiffel Tower". News. The Times. No. 32661. London. 1 April 1889. col B, p. 5.
  18. .
  19. .
  20. ^ a b c d SETE. "Origins and construction of the Eiffel Tower". Official Eiffel Tower website. Archived from the original on 31 July 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  21. ^ Loyrette, p. 123.
  22. ^ Loyrette, p. 148.
  23. ^ Eiffel, G; The Eiffel TowerPlate X
  24. ^ Harvie, p. 110.
  25. ^ "Construction of the Eiffel Tower". wonders-of-the-world.net.
  26. ^ Harvie, pp. 122–23.
  27. ^ a b SETE. "The Eiffel Tower during the 1889 Exposition Universelle". Official Eiffel Tower website. Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  28. ^ Harvie, pp. 144–45.
  29. ^ Eiffel, Gustave (1900). La Tour de Trois Cents Mètres. Paris: Lemercier. p. 335.
  30. ^ Jill Jonnes (23 May 2009). "Thomas Edison at the Eiffel Tower". Wonders and Marvels. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  31. ^ Watson, p. 829.
  32. .
  33. ^ a b Vogel, pp. 23–24.
  34. ^ "M. Santos Dumont's Balloon". News. The Times. No. 36591. London. 21 October 1901. col A, p. 4.
  35. ^ Theodor Wulf. Physikalische Zeitschrift. Contains results of the four-day-long observation done by Theodor Wulf at the top of the Eiffel Tower in 1910.
  36. ^ "L'inventeur d'un parachute se lance de le tour Eiffel et s'écrase sur le sol". Le Petit Parisien (in French). 5 February 1912. p. 1. Retrieved 26 November 2009.
  37. .
  38. ^ Smith, Oliver (31 March 2018). "40 fascinating facts about the Eiffel Tower". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  39. .
  40. .
  41. ^ "An air tragedy". The Sunday Times. Perth, WA. 28 February 1926. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  42. ^ Harriss, p. 178.
  43. ^ Claudia Roth Pierpont (18 November 2002). "The Silver Spire: How two men's dreams changed the skyline of New York". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 27 February 2012.
  44. ^ Harriss, p. 195.
  45. ^ a b Harriss, pp. 180–84.
  46. ^ "HD Stock Video Footage – The Germans unfurl Nazi flags at the captured Palace of Versailles and Eiffel Tower during the Battle of France". www.criticalpast.com.
  47. ^ Smith, Oliver (4 February 2016). "Eiffel Tower: 40 fascinating facts". The Telegraph – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  48. .
  49. ^ SETE. "The major events". Official Eiffel Tower website. Archived from the original on 31 March 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
  50. ^ Harriss, p. 215.
  51. ^ a b SETE. "The Eiffel Tower's lifts". Official Eiffel Tower website. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  52. ^ Nick Auf der Maur (15 September 1980). "How this city nearly got the Eiffel Tower". The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  53. ^ Robert J. Moriarty. "A Bonanza in Paris". Air & Space Magazine. Retrieved 4 April 2008.
  54. ^ Jano Gibson (27 February 2007). "Extreme bid to stretch bungy record". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  55. ^ "Tour Eiffel". Thierry Devaux (in French). Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  56. ^ SETE. "The Eiffel Tower's illuminations". Official Eiffel Tower website. Archived from the original on 22 August 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2014.
  57. ^ a b c SETE. "All you need to know about the Eiffel Tower" (PDF). Official Eiffel Tower website. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  58. ^ "The Eiffel Tower". France.com. 23 October 2003. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  59. ^ Denis Cosnard (21 April 2014). "Eiffel Tower renovation work aims to take profits to new heights". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  60. .
  61. ^ "Eiffel Tower gets glass floor in refurbishment project". BBC News. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  62. .
  63. .
  64. ^ Harriss, p. 60.
  65. ^ Harriss, p. 231.
  66. ^ SETE. "Debate and controversy surrounding the Eiffel Tower". Official Eiffel Tower website. Archived from the original on 8 September 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
  67. ^ a b "Elegant shape of Eiffel Tower solved mathematically by University of Colorado professor". Science Daily. 7 January 2005. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  68. ^ Watson, p. 807.
  69. ^ SETE. "FAQ: History/Technical". Official Eiffel Tower website. Archived from the original on 8 April 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  70. ^ Dali Wiederhoft. "Eiffel Tower: Sightseeing, restaurants, links, transit". Bonjour Paris. Archived from the original on 6 January 2014.
  71. ^ "Eiffel Tower in Paris". Paris Digest. 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  72. ^ Caitlin Morton (31 May 2015). "There is a secret apartment at the top of the Eiffel Tower". Architectural Digest. Conde Nast. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  73. ^ Marcus, Frances Frank (10 December 1986). "New Orleans's 'Eiffel Tower'". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  74. ^ Thomas, Jabari (15 September 2015). "Where you can find pieces of the Eiffel Tower in New Orleans". WGNO. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  75. ^ Eiffel Tower, Paris, France hisour.com. Retrieved 29 August 2021
  76. ^ Vogel, pp. 20–21.
  77. ^ a b Vogel, p. 28.
  78. ^ Eiffel, Gustave (1900). La Tour de Trois Cents Mètres (in French). Paris: Société des imprimeries Lemercier. pp. 171–3.
  79. ^ SETE (2010). "The Eiffel Tower Laboratory". Official Eiffel Tower website. Archived from the original on 12 February 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  80. ^ SETE. "The Eiffel Tower gets beautified" (PDF). Official Eiffel Tower website. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 November 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
  81. ^ SETE. "Painting the Eiffel Tower". Official Eiffel Tower website. Archived from the original on 26 October 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  82. ^ Oliver, Huw. "The Eiffel Tower is being painted gold for the 2024 Olympics". Time Out Worldwide. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  83. ^ "Eiffel Tower receives €50m makeover to make it look more golden for the Olympics". The Independent. 3 February 2021. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  84. ^ "History: Development of clear span buildings – Exhibition buildings". Architectural Teaching Resource. Tata Steel Europe, Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  85. ^ "The Eiffel Tower". France.com. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  86. ^ "Eiffel Tower (Paris ( 7 th ), 1889)". Structurae. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  87. ^ Bavelier, Ariane (3 December 2013). "Coup de pinceau sur la tour Eiffel". Lefigaro. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
  88. ^ "Paris time by wireless". The New York Times. 22 November 1913. p. 1.
  89. ^ "Eiffel Tower, Paris - SkyscraperPage.com". skyscraperpage.com.
  90. ^ "Eiffel Tower grows six metres after new antenna attached". reuters.com. 15 March 2022.
  91. ^ Chrysler (14 June 2004). "Chrysler Building – Piercing the Sky". CBS Forum. CBS Team. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  92. ^ SETE. "Getting to the Eiffel Tower". Official Eiffel Tower website. Archived from the original on 14 April 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  93. ^ "300 million visitors to the Eiffel Tower since 1889. The Tower celebrates on 28th September!". 21 September 2017.
  94. ^ "Number of Eiffel Tower visitors falls in wake of Paris attacks". France 24. 20 January 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  95. ^ Jean-Michel Normand (23 July 2007). "Tour Eiffel et souvenirs de Paris". Le Monde. France. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  96. ^ "Eiffel Tower reopens to tourists after rare closure for 2-day strike". Fox News. Associated Press. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  97. ^ "Why it's actually illegal to take pictures of Eiffel Tower at night". The Jakarta Post. 9 December 2017.
  98. ^ "Cour de cassation 3 mars 1992, Jus Luminum n°J523975" (in French). Jus Luminum. Archived from the original on 16 November 2009.
  99. ^ Jimmy Wales (3 July 2015). "If you want to keep sharing photos for free, read this". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  100. ^ "The Eiffel Tower image rights". Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel. 31 March 2021.
  101. ^ Hugh Morris (24 June 2015). "Freedom of panorama: EU proposal could mean holiday snaps breach copyright". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 10 January 2022. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  102. ^ Nicholls, Will (14 October 2017). "Why Photos of the Eiffel Tower at Night are Illegal". PetaPixel. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  103. ^ Cuttle, Jade (1 July 2019). "Why Photos of the Eiffel Tower at Night are Illegal". The Culture Trip. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  104. ^ "Eiffel Tower: Repossessed". Fast Company. 2 February 2005. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  105. ^ James Arnold (16 May 2003). "Are things looking up for the Eiffel Tower?". BBC News. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  106. ^ Steve Schlackman (16 November 2014). "Do night photos of the Eiffel Tower violate copyright?". Artrepreneur Art Law Journal. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  107. ^ Larsen, Stephanie (13 March 2017). "Is it Illegal to Take Photographs of the Eiffel Tower at Night?". Snopes. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  108. . La représentation d'une œuvre située dans un lieu public n'est licite que lorsqu'elle est accessoire par rapport au sujet principal représenté ou traité
  109. ^ "The Blackpool Tower". History Extra. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  110. ^ "The red and white Eiffel Tower of Tokyo". KLM. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  111. ^ Todd van Luling (19 August 2013). "The most legit Eiffel Tower replicas you didn't know existed". Huffpost Travel. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  112. ^ "Eiffel Tower". Pricing the Priceless. Season 1. Episode 3. 9 May 2011. National Geographic Channel (Australia).


External links

Preceded by
World's tallest structure
312 m (1,024 ft)[1]
Succeeded by
World's tallest tower
Succeeded by
Preceded by World's tallest tower
Succeeded by
  1. ^ "Official website–figures". 30 October 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2019.