The Eiffel Tower is certainly one of the most famous buildings in the world. Less known are the fun facts connected to him, such as the tower was sold to old iron for two times, that Robert Moriarty had flown a small plane through the arches of the tower base, that the bungee-jumping has been jumped from the top …
The story of the Eiffel Tower begins at the end of the 19th century (1889) when it was decided to hold a large World Exposition in Paris. The occasion was the centennial fall of Bastilleand the beginning of the French Revolution. As the venue, the largest green area was chosen in Paris (Poljana Marsa). A competition was launched to create a dominant building that will symbolize modern art and reach and progress in engineering, technology and science. Of the 700 works received, 300 m high metal tower won the work of renown edengineer Gustave Eiffel. As sighn of rebbelion part of the French society invested an official “artistic protest” against the “gigantic factory chimney whose form destroyed the architectural harmony of the city”. Despite criticisms and strikes of workers, the tower has been erected in just over two years. The tower has become a real hit from the beginning and has been visited by 2 million people in 6 months. For construction, 18,000 iron parts were used to connect eachother and about 60 tons of paint. It weighs about 7,300 tons. It was the culmination of the then engineering with its performance (Resolved wind resistance problem with hollow sections, 22 m deep foundation and impressive steel structure construction). Later it was added to the antenna and the total height was 324 meters. It consists of 3 galleries (57, 115 and 273 m) with 9 lifts. From today’s perspective, the height of 324 m does not seem spectacular, but at that time it was thought to be a miracle. For Parisians it was the first time they had the opportunity to see their city from so high. At the time of its construction, the tower was conceived as a temporary building that was supposed to be demolished after 20 years. But as the tower gained its communication function over time, and thanks to its strategic role during the First World War (the French Radiotelegraphic Center of the French Army, interfering with the radio links of the Germans) has survived to this day.
With its 7 million visitors, the annual tower is the most visited monument in the world. We may wonder what it is today’s popularity when there are many technically advanced buildings. Its secret is in exquisit beauty and monumental elegance as well as the inseparable symbiosis of the Eiffel Tower and Paris, which is the most romantic city in the world.
Matija Mrvčić, Vladimir Prelog Science School, Zagreb