The Eiffel Tower is the most visited paid monument in the world. It was built by Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923), a French engineer, whose early work focussed chiefly on bridges. Eiffel also built the metallic skeleton which supports the copper exterior of the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in New York Harbour.
Eiffel began building the Tower in 1887 on the Champ-de-Mars in central Paris. It was the entrance arch for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) which was held to mark the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The tower is 324 metres tall. It was the tallest building in the world when it was completed.
Many people initially criticised the Eiffel Tower and felt it was an eyesore. Some people would dine in the restaurant at the base in order to avoid seeing the tower. It is today one of the best known structures in the world and attracts an estimated seven million visitors every year. The tower has three levels. The third level, which is 276m above the ground, is painted every seven years. The Eiffel Tower was officially opened when Gustave Eiffel led a group of French Government officials and members of the press to the top of the tower where he hoisted a French flag.
The Eiffel Tower was officially opened by Gustave Eiffel in the year 1889 On This Day.