The History of the Eiffel Tower

The history of the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is a famous landmark in Paris. The Eiffel Tower is named after its main designer; the French metallic structure expert and engineer, Gustave Eiffel. What many people do not know is that the Eiffel Tower was originally planned to be constructed in Barcelona, for the Universal Exposition in 1888, but the people of Barcelona did not want it, saying that it was “too expensive and strange”. Instead, Eiffel tried to build the Eiffel Tower in Paris for the Universal Exposition in 1889 and this time the building was approved.

There were 107 bids submitted to construct the Eiffel Tower, 50 people worked on the design, and more than 100 built the parts. 132 workers assembled the parts on site. Construction began on January 28, 1887 and was concluded on March 31, 1889. When the tower was built, it was only meant to be kept for 20 years.

During its planning and construction phase, many protested against the construction of the Eiffel Tower. Even after its construction, the Eiffel Tower was highly controversial amongst the Parisians. 

One famous quote is from novelist Guy de Maupassant, who hated the tower but still went to its restaurant every day. When asked why, he said it was because it is the only place in Paris where one cannot see the structure.

After the 20 years , the tower became the property of Paris again. By this time, the city had learned that the tower could be used to help with communications. The military used the tower to communicate during battle. The tower was used in the capture of the spy, “Mata Hari”.The Eiffel Tower also experienced the German occupation of Paris during the Second World War. During the occupation, the lift cables inside the tower were cut by the French.  This to make sure Hitler had to take the 1665 stepped stairs if he wanted to scale the top, since the proper parts to repair the lift wereimpossible to obtain during the war. When visiting Paris, Hitler remained on ground. That’s why it’s said Hitler conquered France, but he did not conquer the Eiffel tower. At the liberation of Paris in 1944, the Eiffel tower became a symbol of liberty when a French flag, made of three bed sheets sawn together, was raised on the top of the tower.

So, as time passed, more and more people started to like the building. Today, almost all Parisians love the tower. The tower is without a doubt one of the most famous buildings in the world. If you plan to visit it, you won’t be the only one to see the tower, as it is the most visited paid monument in the world. An estimate of over 200 million people has seen the tower, on site, since its construction in 1889. Visiting Paris, but not the Eiffel Tower, is no visit at all.


landmark – monumento

to be named after – essere chiamata come quaclosa

metallic structure – struttura metallica

expert – esperto

to be constructed – essere costruito

instead – invece

to be approved – essere approvato

to submit a bid – presentare un’offerta

to assemble – assemblare, montare

to be concluded – essere concluso

construction phase – fase di costruzione

to protest against – protestare contro

highly controversial – molto controverso

novelist – romanziere

property of – proprietà di qualcuno

to learn something – imparare qualcosa

military – militare

battle – battaglia

to capture – catturare

spy – spia

to experience – sperimentare

occupation – occupazione di qualcosa

cable – cavo

to scale the top – scalare


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