Just imagine you are standing 300 meters that is 984 ft above the ground, looking down at the beautiful city of Paris. The wind is blowing at your face and it is messing up your hair, but you do not care. You are on the top of the highest building in the center of culture, the magnificent Paris and that is all that matters. Yes, you are standing on top of Eiffel Tower.

This is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Paris, the tall, lean tower. But have you ever wonder what would a symbol of Paris be if Eiffel Tower were never built When you think about Eiffel Tower you seem to automatically associate it with Paris but that was not always the case. Eiffel Tower, consider by many as a miracle of the world, is a magnificent creation of the 19 th century European architecture that has become a characteristic symbol of Paris. Undoubtedly, Eiffel Tower is one of the greatest monuments of the world. It was built for the 1889 International Exposition and was created to mark the 100 th anniversary of the French Revolution While the Eiffel Tower has welcomed 32, 250, 297 people to L'exposition de Paris, Parisians did not welcome the tower at first. Many famous artists and writers protested against the construction of the tower claiming that it will change the image of Paris and will put other monuments in shade.

Also, many felt that it was dangerous because of its height it might fall, ugly, and did not reflect their city's culture. In an attempt to appease the opponents, the space between the tower's four legs is filled in by ornate arches. In spite of their appearance, these massive spans serve no practical function. They are strictly ornamental and do not help support the structure, which was the first object built to withstand the forces of the wind as well as gravity.

Only now, more than one hundred years later, can we see the tower in context. It has aged gracefully and no longer stands in contrast to th ornate architecture that has survived in modern Paris. Once the exposition was over, plans were made to destroy the Eiffel Tower. The monument that brought so much displeasure because it represented that which was modern, new, and very un-Parisian, was actually saved by technological advances.

Engineers realized that the structure would make a perfect broadcasting tower. The tower gets its name from Gustave Eiffel, the man who designed the monument, and also did the girder work for the Statue of Liberty now in New York harbor. Looking at its open frame, it comes as no surprise that Eiffel was a bridge engineer when he entered the competition along with 100 other people to design this lasting monument to French culture. In fact, it took just two years and 300 steel workers for it to reach its pre-television height of 984 feet. The construction work began in January 1887 and was finished on March 31 1889. In spite of this height, the Eiffel Tower has just four floors.

All are served by specially designed elevators that, instead of running up a vertical track, move along a curve dictated by the tower's sloping form. Reaching the top level presents visitors with a visual delight - a 40-mile view of Paris. The Tower is made of 12, 000 pieces of pre-formed steel put together like a big puzzle. It was the first tower tall enough that it had to be designed to counter the effects of wind. At 300 meters (320. 75 m including antenna), 1652 steps to the top, and 7000 tons, it was the world's tallest building until 1930.

A piece of iron from the Eiffel Tower is sealed in a time capsule at the top of the John Hancock building in Chicago. The tower has been used for many purposes. The three areas that Eiffel put the Tower to work include: meteorology- the Tower was used as a weather station; radiotelegraphy - the Tower was used as a radio broadcasting station; and aerodynamics - the Tower was used as a means to observe objects falling from a great height. During its lifetime, the Eiffel Tower has also witnessed a few strange scenes, including being scaled by a mountaineer in 1954, and parachuted off of in 1984 by two Englishmen. In 1923, a journalist rode a bicycle down from the first level. Some accounts say he rode down the stairs, other accounts suggest the exterior of one of the tower's four legs, which slope outward.

However, if its birth was difficult, it is now completely accepted and must be listed as one of the symbols of Paris itself. So, if you ever have a chance to climb 1652 steps to get to the top of Eiffel Tower, do it and you won't regret it The view is amazing. Numbers of visitors in 2000: 6. 315. 324 Numbers of visitors up until 12/31/2000: 192.

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