With the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, the French opened up Belle era (The Good Times), saw the rise of middle- and upper-class families, bringing with it a multitude of technological advancements and even architectural achievements.
Back in 1889, France organized the Exposition Universelle, a world-wide fair with the highlight of this event being Eiffel tower, a temporary structure that has become France’s most beloved national monument. This is what really happened when the Eiffel Tower appeared to the world in 1889.
A lot of people were excited when they first saw the Eiffel Tower. Photo: Grunge.
Gustave Eiffel presided over the opening ceremony
In 2017, France began a 15-year repair of the Eiffel Tower at a cost of more than 300 million USD. This is an extraordinary development when you consider that the Eiffel Tower was originally slated to stand for only two decades. Today, the tower and Paris remain so inseparable that it is difficult to imagine a French cityscape without the Eiffel Tower.
But when the Eiffel Tower appeared to the world on Sunday, March 31, 1889, with Gustave Eiffel himself hosting the event, the tower’s fate remained a mystery. Architect Eiffel gave curious visitors the first tour of his eponymous tower, the tallest structure in the world, a record the tower will hold for four decades.
People have traveled from all over the world to enjoy the amazing aerial views that the Eiffel Tower has to offer. The tower will continue to be a popular magnet, attracting the likes of the Prince of Wales (future King Edward VII), Princess of Wales, French actress Sarah Bernhardt, King George I of Greece, King Shah of Persia and Prince Baudouin of Belgium.
But perhaps the most famous visit was by Sadi Carnot, President of the French Republic. He gave a bonus of 100 francs to every employee, including the printing press of the newspaper Le Figaro located inside the tower.
Besides dignitaries and politicians, 200 workers on the Eiffel Tower attended the festival. They included 150 construction workers and 50 designers and engineers who worked hard to bring Eiffel’s vision to life. The feat achieved by these workers was monumental, including the assembly of 18,038 metal parts using 2,500,000 studs. The tower required 7,300 tons of iron and 60 tons of exterior paint, and five elevators.
When the Eiffel Tower opened in 1889, the elevator was still incomplete. This meant that only the most demanding guests went with a guide, Mr. Gustave Eiffel, to the top of the tower.
In the first week since its appearance, nearly 30,000 people climbed 1,710 steps of the 300-meter-high tower, marveling at the panoramic views that Eiffel had. Despite the temporary nature of the structure, crowds still appreciated the then achievement, dubbed the ‘Iron Woman’, a masterpiece of modern architecture.
The Eiffel Tower elevator began operation on May 26 from an American company known for its outstanding quality standards. In particular, when the elevator finally came into operation, a larger number of people flooded the tower to enjoy the best view of the City of Lights of Paris.
Controversy surrounding the design of the Eiffel Tower
Despite the brilliant reception that Architect Gustave Eiffel’s urban monument received from the crowd, another group of people vehemently opposed his vision. These included some of the most influential artists, architects and writers of the time, who believed that the Eiffel Tower was a ‘tragic street light’.
From skyscrapers with high-speed elevators to airplanes, technology has made aerial views a standard part of people’s lives.
The Eiffel Tower has also fueled a movement concerning the future of architecture and cityscapes, excite individuals to try to break architecture-related records while enjoying the magnifying view. France’s leading city. Among the most famous is a baker from Landes, who walked on stilts before climbing 347 steps to the first floor.
With the statement that the Eiffel Tower represents “not only the art of modern architecture but also the turning point of the industrial and scientific age in which we live”. However, Eiffel did more than that. During the construction of his great ironwork monument, Architect Eiffel carved the names of 72 scientists into the first floor of the tower.
The inauguration ceremony of the Eiffel Tower has proved its charm and splendor. Starting with the official opening on March 31, then opening to the public on May 15, coinciding with the start of the Exposition Universelle festival. Millions of visitors have come to Paris and 1,953,122 people have come specifically to admire the Eiffel Tower. Every day, about 12,000 visitors will come to Eiffel.
France experienced years of political turmoil until 1889. This included defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune uprising, but the country overcame these challenges.
Every evening, the Eiffel Tower will be illuminated by gas lamps with tricolor beacons and the three colors of the country, creating an unforgettable sparkling spectacle. An Exposition Universelle employee noted, “Everything shines with a sparkling, dazzling glow in a perpetual feast for the eyes.”
The Eiffel Tower is filled with fancy shops and newsrooms like Le Figaro and even a post office. But one of the tower’s most intriguing aspects remains Gustave Eiffel’s own office, which sits at the top of the tallest tower in the world. There, he welcomed the likes of Thomas Edison and Charles Gounod to discuss and enjoy the incredible panoramic views. Interestingly, Gounod, a French composer, once signed a petition against the construction of the Eiffel Tower.
After Eiffel’s death, his office was used as a warehouse containing wax sculptures of Gustave Eiffel with Thomas Edison and Eiffel’s daughter Claire Eiffel. This evokes the scene when the famous American inventor visited Paris to participate in the 1889 Exposition Competition for himself. At this meeting, Edison presented Eiffel with one of his first recording mechanisms.
Parisians feel proud when they look at an architecture that represents all that belongs to Paris as the heart of French democracy, modern art and architecture, becoming iconic. for the pride and future of France.
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