Tuesday, February 28, 2012

La Tour Eiffel (The Eiffel Tower)

View of the Tower from the Trocadéro

View into the Tower from the Ground

View of the Lattice Structure

View of one of the Legs from inside the Tower
View Down into the Eiffel Tower

View of the top from the Second Floor

The Eiffel Tower, nicknamed "La Dame de Fer", is the tallest tower in Paris, and it is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world and is the most visited paid monument in the world. Built in 1889 for the World Fair, it is an ingenious example of engineering. The tower is 324 meters tall (1,063 feet), equivalent to 81 stories tall, with 600 steps up to the second floor from the ground (300 from the ground to the first, and then 300 from the first to the second).  It held the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world for 41 years until the Chrysler building was built in New York City (1930). It took two years to build (1887-1889) and was opened March 31, 1889. There are three floors that are available to be accessed by visitors, but the third floor is only accessible by elevator. We climbed all 600 stairs to the second floor, but we could not reach the third floor because the elevator was under maintenance.  The tower is made out of pig iron, made from smelting iron ore, in a lattice structure formation making it very stable; research shows that the tower sways a maximum of two to three inches in the heaviest of winds. It is painted three different shades of the same color to give it the proper perspective; the cost to repaint the tower every seven years is $5,300,000. The electric bill every year is $400,000 (7.5 million kilowatt-hours). The scrap value of the tower is $3,500,000, while the land is worth $350,000,000 (according to the show "Pricing the Priceless". The tower has become the most prominent symbol of Paris and France. 

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