Eiffel Tower

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Eiffel Tower
Tour Eiffel
Image of the object
Basic data
Place: Champ de Mars in the 7th arrondissement
Department: Paris
Region: Île-de-France
Country: France
Altitude : 33  m
Coordinates: 48 ° 51 ′ 29.6 "  N , 2 ° 17 ′ 40.2"  E
Use: Telecommunication tower , radio transmitter , restaurant , observation tower
Accessibility: Transmission tower open to the public
Owner : Société d'exploitation de la tour Eiffel (SETE)
Tower data
Construction time : 1887-1889
Operating time: since 1889
Total height : 324.82  m
Viewing platforms: 57.6  m , 115.7 m, 276.1 m
Restaurant: 115.7  m
Operation room: 295  m
Total mass : 10,100  t
Data on the transmission system
Last modification (antenna) : 2000
Waveband : FM transmitter
Radio : VHF broadcasting
Send types: DVB-T, directional radio
Further data
named after: Gustave Eiffel
Opening: March 31, 1889

Restaurant second floor:

Surname: Jules Verne
Places: 95 seats
Base area : 500 

Position map
Eiffel Tower (Paris)
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
Localization of Paris in France

The Eiffel Tower ( French Tour Eiffel ,  [ tuʁ‿ɛˈfɛl ] ) is a 324 meter high iron lattice tower in Paris . It stands in the 7th arrondissement at the northwestern end of the Champ de Mars (Marsfeld), near the banks of the Seine . The structure, which was erected from 1887 to 1889, was built as a monumental entrance portal and observation tower for the World Exhibition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution . The tower, named after the builder Gustave Eiffel and at the time of construction, still 312 meters high, was the tallest structure in the world from its construction to the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930 . With the broadcast of the first public radio program in Europe in 1921 and the first French television program in 1935, the building contributed to the history of radio and television as a transmission tower . The TV tower is the main transmitter of Greater Paris and home to the tower restaurant that with a Michelin star awarded restaurant Le Jules Verne . Please click to listen!Play

As the tallest building in Paris, it still shapes the cityscape today and, with around seven million paying visitors per year, is one of the most visited landmarks in the world. The tower is one of the most famous icons of architecture and engineering. The Eiffel Tower is the model of many imitation buildings and is taken up in art and culture in connection with Paris and France. It is considered a national symbol of the French and has become a global icon of modernism . The Eiffel Tower has been listed as a monument historique since 1964 , and in 1986 the American Society of Civil Engineers added the structure to the list of historical milestones in civil engineering .



Drawing of the Centennial Tower compared to other structures

With the technical possibilities of industrialization , ideas came up to erect high structures. Tower structures in particular reflected the zeitgeist of the time.

As early as 1833, the Englishman Richard Trevithick suggested building a 1000 feet (304.80 meters) high cast iron column supported by 1000 supports with a diameter of 30 meters at the base and 3.60 meters at the top. However, Trevithick died shortly after his plans were published. The American engineers Thomas Curtis Clarke (1848–1901) and David Reeves took up the idea and wanted to build such a tower (Centennial Tower) for the 1876 ​​World's Fair in Philadelphia . The construction envisaged a cylindrical iron tube with a diameter of 9 meters as the core, which was to be anchored with steel cables. The project was not realized. According to current knowledge, this structure would have fallen victim to wind vibrations.

In 1881 the French engineer Amédée Sébillot returned from a trip to America with the idea of ​​illuminating the entire urban area of ​​Paris with a beacon on a "sun tower". After the French government had announced the plan for the world exhibition for the year 1889 in May 1884, he drew up plans together with the builder of the Palais du Trocadéro , Jules Bourdais . The design, which was reminiscent of a romanticized reconstruction of the legendary lighthouse of Pharos with many decorations, met with great reservations and was publicly discussed until the official planning competition in May 1886. Due to a lack of technical feasibility, both the American Centennial Tower and the Sun Tower remained unrealized.

project phase

In June 1884, the two engineers Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier , both from Gustave Eiffel's office, presented a design for a 300-meter-high metal mast that should rest on four feet. The steel framework construction was developed in such a way that the struts offered the least possible resistance due to their angle of inclination to cross winds. The shape of the tower supports resembled the line of moments of a vertical cantilever arm under wind load. In this way, the cross winds should be deflected downwards as much as possible, which should give the tall structure an extremely high level of stability. Eiffel and his office had already gained fundamental experience in bridge building in the years before. The largest railway bridges of that time came from Eiffel, such as the Garabit Viaduct , which spans the Truyère Valley at a height of 122 meters. The pylons from the bridge construction were the inspiration for the tower project. On September 18, 1884, Eiffel had the design patented.

Maurice Koechlin pylons.jpg
Draft Eiffel Tower - Stephan Sauvestre (1887) .jpg

Design by Koechlin and Nouguier (1884) with height comparison of other important structures (left), Stephen Sauvestre's revised preliminary design from 1887 (right) was submitted to the competition

However, the technically mature design did not correspond aesthetically to Eiffel's ideas. The pylon-like structure was too reminiscent of an oversized overhead line mast - the work designation indicated this with pylône de 300 mètres de hauteur . Eiffel realized that the overly technical design could not convince in comparison with the ornate structures of the world exhibition, and in the spring of 1886 commissioned the architect Stephen Sauvestre to redesign the shape of the tower in order to increase its acceptance. One of the most striking changes made by Sauvestre is the monumental arch with the first floor , which is not necessary for the load-bearing capacity . It lived up to the claim to serve as the entrance portal for the world exhibition much better and made the tower appear less sober. Sauvestre provided the building with masonry plinths, made the pillars that reach upwards converge earlier, changed the layout of the floors and added a number of decorations. The architect changed the originally intended tip in the shape of a pyramid to an onion-shaped lantern .

It was only this design that convinced Eiffel that he acquired the rights of use for the “300 meter tower”. Eiffel praised the concept in front of the exhibition commissioner not only as an exhibition structure, but also emphasized the scientific importance for meteorology , astronomy and aerodynamics . Eiffel did not particularly emphasize Koechlin's name. This led to the fact that the tower was already associated with the engineer Eiffel during the project phase and was given the name Eiffel Tower even before it was built; Eiffel himself had never called him that. In the spring of 1885, the construction costs were estimated at 3,155,000 francs and the tower mass was projected to be 4810 tons. In the end, the pure steel construction of the Eiffel Tower had a mass of 7,300 tons and the construction costs increased to more than two and a half times.

The agreement signed on January 8, 1887 between Minister Édouard Lockroy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Prefect Eugene Poubelle and Gustave Eiffel, which regulates the conditions for the construction and operation of the 300-meter tower

On May 1, 1886, the Minister of Commerce, Édouard Lockroy, announced the ideas competition for the buildings of the Paris World Exhibition, which was aimed at French architects and engineers. Around 100 applicants took part, many of whom took up the idea of ​​a tower structure. After the first selection, three templates remained, including Eiffel's contribution, the designs by Ferdinand Dutert and Jean Camille Formigé . Eiffel had Sauvestre's ornate version reworked again without some decorative elements and won the competition with this compromise proposal. He signed a contract with the city on January 8, 1887, which provided a subsidy of 1.5 million gold francs, and construction began on January 26. Since Eiffel had to bear the remaining construction costs of more than seven million francs himself, the 18-paragraph contract guaranteed him a twenty-year usage license. Eiffel signed the contract personally, not on behalf of his construction company. The remaining costs were financed by a stock corporation with a share capital of five million francs, of which he took over half; the other half made available as loans from two major Parisian banks. The owners of Eiffel Tower shares, which paid out the highest returns in the history of the French stock exchange, were allowed to use the tower free of charge once a year.

Even if Eiffel touted the tower as a closed project from his own hand and thus made a strange idea his own, it is historically certain that without Eiffel's personal and entrepreneurial commitment the building would never have come about in this form.

Construction work from January 1887 to March 1889

With keen public interest, construction work began on January 28, 1887, with excavation work for the foundations . A total of 30,973 cubic meters of earth were excavated for this . Since the foundation below the level of the Seine river bed set , one compressed air introduced into the waterproof metal casing , so that the work could be carried out below the water level. Gustave Eiffel had already tried this method in 1857 when building the 500 meter long railway bridge in Bordeaux .

Construction progress of the Eiffel Tower
Foundation work on pillar No. 4 (west pillar) on April 13, 1887
July 18, 1887: Attachment of the metal rails to pillar No. 4 (west pillar)
December 7, 1887: erection of a temporary wooden scaffolding at the tower feet
March 20, 1888: Installation of the horizontal support beams
May 15, 1888: erection of the pillars above the first floor
August 21, 1888: assembly of the second floor
December 26, 1888: completion of the upper area
March 15, 1889: Construction of the lantern
Eiffel Tower after completion

Eiffel used as a building material in puddling produced wrought iron , which has contributed to its special durability. Since the iron connection with a low carbon content could not be welded, but only riveted , Eiffel had the necessary individual parts pre-produced using the modular principle at its headquarters in Levallois-Perret and assembled on site in Paris. The parts were calculated exactly, cut and provided with the holes for later riveting. Eiffel had a fixed schedule for pre-production through to construction. Defective parts were sent back to the factory and not adjusted on site. A staff of around 40 technical draftsmen, architects and engineers recorded the entire structure, consisting of 18,038 individual parts, in 700 overall views and 3,600 work drawings.

Illustration of the caisson during the foundation work

On July 1, 1887, the construction of the four tower feet began. The rafters , which were initially self - supporting , were supported by 30-meter-high temporary scaffolding . On December 7, 1887, the first floor was assembled, at the height of which a 45 meter high scaffold served to support the horizontal beams. Above the floor, the buttresses supported themselves. All workpieces were positioned by steam-powered cranes on the guide rails on which the lower elevators would later operate. One of the most delicate construction phases was the connection of the four horizontal girders on the first floor. For their exact alignment, Eiffel used so-called sand boxes , with which the girders could be swung out with millimeter precision. In two pillars there were manually operated hydraulically adjustable lifting spindles with hand pumps, with which the rafters were brought into position. This enabled the bars to be adjusted very precisely. After the pillars were firmly connected to each other, the lifting spindles were replaced by anchored steel wedges. The careful planning and execution meant that the rivet holes only had to be adjusted from a height of 57 meters. The high precision was probably achieved by putting the parts together in the workshop and then reaming the rivet holes. Eiffel himself stated:

"[...] in our method, all the holes were drilled in advance with great accuracy, the assembly was regulated by the holes themselves, and stitched together, i. H. by forcibly driving a large number of steel spikes into the holes, the assembly was brought about. "

Construction progress after completion of the first level in 1888

On August 14th, 1888, the second floor was built and the upper part was cantilevered. At the same time, the platforms were equipped. The individual parts pre-drilled in the factory were brought into their final position on site with conical mandrels under the action of impact. A total of 2.5 million rivets hold the components together in the Eiffel Tower . The riveting was done by four men. The first workers left the rivet hot dip and brought him using a small forge glow. As a second step, another worker inserted the rivet into the borehole. A third punched the lock head in shape. In a final step, the bolt was compressed.

Contemporary artwork by Charles Paul Renouard of two workers at the Eiffel Tower

Up to 250 people were involved in the construction work, around 150 of whom were used to rivet the components on site. In addition to carpenters, the construction workers also included chimney sweeps, as they were used to working at great heights. The work shifts lasted nine hours in the winter months and twelve hours in the summer months. In September 1888 there was a workers' strike; three months later they stopped working again and asked for more wages. Gustave Eiffel negotiated with them and set up a canteen for them on the first already completed platform . There was a single fatal accident during the entire work. An Italian worker had an accident while installing the elevators after the official opening.

At the same time as the cantilever assembly of the top floors from December 1888, the platforms were equipped. After the lantern was erected on the top of the tower on March 15, the work could be completed a few days later, on March 31, 1889, a few weeks before the opening of the world exhibition.

Protests and resistance to the establishment

Caricature of Le Temps in the zeitgeist of the time with an oversized head on February 14, 1887

Even before construction began, there was resistance among intellectuals and artists to the construction of the Eiffel Tower. The art and cultural historian Jacob Burckhardt saw in the building an advertisement for the thoughtless day thieves all over Europe and America. Numerous personalities, including Charles Gounod , Alexandre Dumas , Charles Garnier , William Adolphe Bouguereau and also Guy de Maupassant as one of the strongest critics, published a protest by the artists on February 14, 1887, a few days after the start of construction, in the then renowned newspaper Le Temps :

“We writers, painters, sculptors, architects and passionate lovers of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris are protesting with all our might in the name of the misunderstood French taste against the erection of the unnecessary and monstrous Eiffel Tower in the heart of our capital, which has often been inspired by common sense and justice The mockery of the popular soul has already baptized the Tower of Babel. [...] To understand what we see coming, one has to imagine for a moment a dizzying, ridiculous tower that towers over Paris like a huge, gloomy factory chimney, one has to imagine how all our monuments are being humiliated, all our buildings are being reduced in size, Until they disappear into this nightmare. [...] "

The letter of protest was not an isolated incident; others accompanied the construction work. Léon Bloy described the Eiffel Tower as a “really tragic street lamp”, Paul Verlaine as the “skeleton of a bell tower” and François Coppée as “an iron mast with rigid rigging, imperfect, confused and misshapen”. The strong rejection was directed, on the one hand, against the immense height for the time, on the other hand, the openly displayed iron construction with the missing facade was felt to be downright scandalous.

Another point of criticism from the opponents was the fact that the tower should not be dismantled again after the exhibition like the other festival architecture, but should remain permanently. The protest, which was mainly drawn from the academic-elitist environment, could not be calmed down by Eiffel's shrewd courtesy to dismantle the tower into individual parts for a fraction of the construction costs and to rebuild it elsewhere. Every practical aspect that submitted to the necessities of everyday life could not satisfy the traditionalists' noble concept of art - in their eyes, industry and art had to remain strictly separate. However, the protests of many artists should not hide the fact that the building was extremely popular with the general public from the outset and the site was well attended.

However, fears and resistance were not confined to polemical writings. Even numerous technicians feared that the foundations of the tower would not be able to withstand the iron framework. A mathematician prophesied that the steel structure would collapse as soon as it exceeded a height of 228 meters. A resident of the Champ de Mars even filed a lawsuit against the state and the city for fear that the Eiffel Tower could collapse and destroy his house. The court only allowed the building to continue on condition that Gustave Eiffel was liable for any damage.

Opening and reactions

Gustave Eiffel (bottom left) on top of the Eiffel Tower 1889

On the opening day, March 31, 1889, Gustave Eiffel climbed the tower with a delegation at around 1.30 p.m. - as the elevator was not yet completed - and hoisted a French tricolor at its top , 7 meters long and 4.40 meters wide was.

The protest against the Eiffel Tower, which was openly carried out in the press, fell silent almost completely after its opening and sometimes even turned into enthusiasm and pride. In a press release it said:

"Before the fait accompli - and what a fact! - we have to bend. I too, like many others, said and believed that the Eiffel Tower was madness, but it is great and proud madness. Certainly, this enormous mass overwhelms the rest of the exhibition, and when you step back out onto the Field of Mars, the huge domes and galleries seem tiny. But what do you want? The Eiffel Tower appeals to the imagination, it is something unexpected, something fantastic that flatters our smallness. When it was barely tackled, the most famous artists and writers, from Meissonier to Zola , signed a fiery protest against the tower as a terrible crime against art. Would you still sign it today? No, of course not, and they would prefer this document of anger not to exist. And as far as the people are concerned, as far as the good citizens are concerned, their feelings can be summed up in a sentence that I heard from the mouth of a good man after he had stood open-mouthed in front of the tower for five minutes: “Enfoncé l ' Europe! "[Europe can pack!]"

Poster for the 1889 World's Fair

Heinrich Schliemann , who had been given the opportunity to climb the Eiffel Tower before the official opening, praised the building in a letter to Rudolf Virchow on May 24, 1889, as a marvel of engineering skills, without which the fourth part of the exhibition - Schliemann meant the fourth World Exhibition in Paris - would have no charm. Despite the euphoria that praised him as a successful national self-expression and demonstration of technical progress, there was also implacable criticism. In any case, according to the French philosopher, writer and literary critic Roland Barthes , it aroused the moods of that time and exerted an enormous attraction on people .

The tower was only accessible to the general public since the opening day of the World's Fair, May 15, 1889. In 1889 the entrance fee was two francs for the first floor, three for the second and five for the third. Entry to the World's Fair cost one franc. A total of 1,896,987 people climbed the Eiffel Tower during the 1889 World's Fair. This means that three quarters of its construction costs have already been amortized. Numerous prominent personalities from contemporary history also paid a visit to the tallest building in the world. On the opening day, a special edition of the daily Le Figaro appeared straight from the Eiffel Tower. For this occasion, the editorial team set up their work rooms on the second viewing platform. Visitors who bought the newspaper directly from the editorial office that day received a signed edition as a "certificate" for climbing the tower. At the time of the opening and closing of each day of the fair, one shot of a salute cannon was fired from the top of the tower.

The tallest structures in the world in 1889

The first entry in the Eiffel Tower's guest book was that of the British Crown Prince, later King Edward VII , who climbed the tower with five family members on June 10, 1889 and personally ran the Eiffel. On August 1, 1889, the then Shah of Persia Nāser ad-Din Schāh visited the new building. There are also the signatures of other prominent contemporaries such as George of Greece , the later King of Belgium Albert I , the Russian Tsar Nicholas II , Sarah Bernhardts and the Japanese emperor's son Yoshihito . The inventor Thomas Edison presented Gustave Eiffel with a dedication on September 10, 1889 for the “construction of the gigantic and original sample of modern architecture” and recorded Eiffel's voice during his visit. On the third platform below the top of the tower, this event in the former Eiffel office is reproduced with wax figures. The pacifist Mahatma Gandhi , who was studying in London at the time, also climbed the Eiffel Tower during the World's Fair.

When the Eiffel Tower opened, it was officially the tallest structure in the world with a total height of 312 meters at the time , replacing the 169.3 meter high Washington Monument , a white marble obelisk in the United States , as the record holder. The tallest accessible building at that time was the 167.5 meter high Mole Antonelliana Synagogue in Turin , which was completed in 1888.

The first 20 years

Advert for the Eiffel Tower radio station. This is the first French ad to advertise a broadcaster; it was advertised in the weekly newspaper La Rampe for a manufacturer of radio sets.

The success and continued existence of the Eiffel Tower beyond the twenty-year concession was uncertain. Eiffel tried again and again to demonstrate the benefits of the building by involving scholars and doing his own research.

On November 5, 1898, Eugène Ducretet and Ernest Roger were able to establish a wireless telegraph connection between the Eiffel Tower and the Panthéon, four kilometers away . The electromagnetic transmission of information was initially reserved for purely military purposes. In the same year, a weather station was set up on the Eiffel Tower. The enormous difference in altitude of 300 meters made it possible to carry out various physical experiments. For example, to calibrate air pressure gauges , an oversized manometer was installed, spectroscopic measurements were carried out, a Foucault pendulum was set up and wind speed and atmospheric temperature were measured. Experiments on the healing effects of mountain air were even carried out. Eiffel set up his own office on the third platform for his astronomical and physiological observations. Eiffel's measurements of aerodynamics became particularly well known . He began a first series of experiments in 1903: he stretched a cable between the second platform and the ground, on which he let various profiles slide downwards. In 1904, time signals on a wavelength of 2000 meters could be received with different devices. In 1909 he expanded his studies by opening a wind tunnel at the foot of the tower and a larger facility on Rue Boileau in 1912.

For the world exhibition in 1900 , which was to take place for the fifth time in Paris, Eiffel considered various renovation plans. The general perception of the tower's aesthetics had changed in the few years of its existence in such a way that its appearance seemed outdated because of its modernity and radicalism. More opulent forms were in demand, as was common in the Belle Époque . Overall, the exhibition was characterized by a retrospective orientation and was therefore more of a closing ceremony of the 19th than an opening ceremony of the 20th century.

For this reason, organizers and architects tried to hide the Eiffel Tower behind a stylish cover. The suggestions ranged from relatively moderate changes such as adding flourishes, pennants, balconies and garlands to massive renovation plans that included a completely new conception of the tower. Guillemonats' draft, for example, envisaged demolishing the tower to the first platform and erecting a huge globe on it. One of the most massive renovation proposals with the project name “la Tour Eifel (sic!) Dans le mont Samson” was that of a certain Samson, who envisaged the tower as a support structure for an artificial mountain and thus had the Eiffel Tower completely behind a mountain backdrop with villages, streets and vegetation disappear. Apart from the fact that Samson did not know how to spell the Eiffel Tower correctly, the poorly executed plan sketch also testified to a lack of seriousness. Gautier's proposal for renovation wanted to use the Eiffel Tower as a support structure for a gigantic pagoda-like gate. Both a demolition and the proposed renovation failed because of Eiffel's ownership rights.

Illumination of the Eiffel Tower during the 1900 World's Fair

On December 28, 1897, it was finally agreed to integrate the Eiffel Tower largely unchanged into the world exhibition. Its technical appearance was only attempted to cover up with a new light installation that emphasized the contours of the building. Eiffel left it at that to repaint the building upwards in a tinted orange-red color and to give the platforms a new external appearance. In addition to a new elevator system, he also made his salon on the third platform available to the public. But for the world exhibition, the tower only attracted half as many visitors with around a million; the number fell further in the following years and leveled off at around 180,000 per year by the beginning of the First World War . From a purely economic point of view, it played a subordinate role, as the construction costs of the Eiffel Tower were amortized after just one and a half years. Eiffel had already become a millionaire several times due to his sole marketing rights and his prosperous company and, in addition to a city palace in Paris, was able to afford other houses in Sèvres , Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the Côte d'Azur and in Vevey on Lake Geneva .

In addition to the scientific use, the military value of the tower also grew. On December 15, 1893, Eiffel allowed War Minister Auguste Mercier to mount antennas on the tower and even paid for them. On January 21, 1904, he assisted Captain Gustave-Auguste Ferrié , an officer in the pioneer troops, to promote wireless telegraphy for military use. Ferrié set up the military network and became the second most important man next to Eiffel. After a wireless connection had already been established in 1898, further radio links were established between the Eiffel Tower and some military installations in Paris in 1903, and a year later the connection was extended to the east of France. In 1906 a radio station was set up on the tower. The license, which expired after 20 years, was extended on January 1, 1910 for a further 70 years. With the increased strategic importance, the continued existence of the Eiffel Tower was secured; it was even decisive for the continuation of the concession, because the scientific benefit remained rather modest in real terms.

Scientific, telecommunications and military use

Use of the tower for wireless telegraphy ( French: télégraphie sans fil TSF) 1914

Transmitter and scientific use

From May 23, 1910, the Eiffel Tower was regularly used by the French Navy as a time signal transmitter . The signal could be received at night up to a distance of 5200 kilometers and during the day up to about half of this distance. Captain Ferrié made it possible to set an international standard for timekeeping.

In the same year, the first radio links were established with airships and one year later with airplanes .

The scientific use and measurements at the Eiffel Tower went far beyond broadcasting and transmission technology. The Jesuit brother and physicist Theodor Wulf (1868-1946) measured the radiation energy for four days at the top and bottom of the tower in 1910 and found a significant difference with which he was ultimately able to detect cosmic radiation . During the First World War, the French physicist and later Nobel Prize winner Louis de Broglie had to forcibly interrupt his studies and did his military service at the radio telegraphic station of the Eiffel Tower until 1919.

First World War

With the beginning of the First World War , the Eiffel Tower was closed to the public. It had established itself as a telecommunications center for the military, which intercepted encrypted enemy radio messages whose message content could be deciphered . The most significant cases include a radio message disguised as a radio program, which led to the arrest of the spy Mata Hari , as well as the Radiogramme de la Victoire ( German  "Funkspruch des Sieges" ).

Radio broadcaster and studio

Inauguration of the radio station by Sacha Guitry (left), Yvonne Printemps and General Gustave-Auguste Ferrié

Successful tests for the wireless transmission of telegraphy signals took place even before the First World War . On December 24, 1921, the transmission of sound signals began . Lucien and Sacha Guitry first broadcast their radio program (Radio Tour Eiffel) from the Eiffel Tower . In doing so, they wrote radio history, as the broadcast was the first public radio broadcast in Europe. A year later, on February 6, 1922, a temporary studio was set up in the north pillar, from which Guitry, Yvonne Printemps and director Ferrié broadcast.

In May 1925, the fraudster Victor Lustig posed as deputy general director of the Ministry of Post and falsified a tender that offered the Eiffel Tower for sale. Lustig managed to sell it to André Poisson, who was hoping for a rise into the Parisian business world. To dispel Poisson's initial doubts, Lustig mimicked a confession that he was a corrupt civil servant who wanted to earn something for his expensive lifestyle. After the deal was over, Lustig went into hiding and moved to Vienna . When the hoax was exposed, Poisson, out of shame, chose not to report the fraud to the police. After a month, Lustig tried to repeat the fraud. However, the buyer became suspicious and went to the police, whereupon Lustig fled.

Weather and TV channels

In 1925, Édouard Belin broadcast the first television signal from the tower. This made the Eiffel Tower the first telecommunications and television tower and, as mentioned below, remained the tallest tower of its kind in the world until 1953.

In 1929 the Eiffel Tower broadcast the data from 350 weather stations and thus enabled an exchange between Europe, North Africa and the islands in the Atlantic Ocean, including Iceland and the Cape Verde Islands .

With the inauguration of the 319-meter-high Chrysler Building in New York City in 1930, the Parisian landmark lost the title of tallest structure in the world, which it had held for almost 41 years. Until the completion of the Tokyo Tower in 1953, it was still the tallest television tower .

The first official television broadcast from the Eiffel Tower on April 26, 1935 at 8:15 p.m. marked the birth of television in France. As with Édouard Belin's programs, the technology of so-called mechanical and sometimes “electronic” television was used . In addition, a 500- watt transmitter radiated on a wavelength of 175 meters, which, however, was soon replaced by a 10-kilowatt transmitter. The program was broadcast in a semi-electronic 60-line standard with 25 frames per second, which was replaced in December by a 180-line standard.

Development to an important sight

1937 to 1979

During the world exhibition in 1937 , which was already under the sign of the competing world powers and the impending conflict with the " Third Reich ", a huge chandelier designed by the architect André Grasset was hung below the first platform of the Eiffel Tower . In addition, the tower with 30 projectors was immersed in white light with blue and red flashes. The event was the last of the six world expositions in Paris. The Eiffel Tower had been an integral part of the exhibition architecture since 1889, but each time it attracted fewer visitors.

During the state visit of the British King George VI. in 1938 he was hoisted on the side of the tower in honor of the Union Jack . The 120 kilogram flag was 30 meters wide and 40 meters long.

June 1940: Adolf Hitler after visiting the Eiffel Tower accompanied by Karl Wolff , Hermann Giesler , Albert Speer and Arno Breker (first row from left to right)

With the occupation of Paris in 1940, the elevator cables were severed. A repair was practically impossible due to the insufficient supply of goods during the Second World War . For the German troops and Adolf Hitler , this meant that they could only climb the Eiffel Tower using the stairs. German soldiers were given the task of climbing to the top to hoist a swastika flag at the top of the tower. Since it was too big, it was blown away after a few hours and replaced a little later by a smaller one. The Wehrmacht also had a banner affixed to the first viewing platform with the words “Germany wins on all fronts”. When Hitler himself visited Paris on June 24, 1940, he preferred not to climb the Eiffel Tower. It was then said that Hitler had conquered France, but not the Eiffel Tower. The swastika flag was also replaced by the French tricolor flag in a secret operation during the occupation. Despite the adversity, the Germans staged the Eiffel Tower for propaganda purposes. Hitler had himself photographed in various poses in front of the Eiffel Tower together with other well-known figures from his regime, such as Albert Speer and Arno Breker, in order to demonstrate the victory over the French in front of the local population.

As during the First World War, the tower remained closed to the public during the Second World War. American troops liberated Paris on August 25, 1944 and installed their transmitter stations on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower in order to be able to use them to communicate with the armed forces on the English Channel . After it reopened to the public in June 1946, over 600,000 visitors climbed the tower in the following six months. With the increasing tourism , the number of visitors rose steadily to over a million annually and increased continuously in the following decades.

The 1950s were shaped by the prevailing medium of television. In April 1952, a live broadcast was first broadcast from Paris to London. The technical difficulty lay in bridging the different transmission standards between France and Great Britain. With the broadcast, the Eiffel Tower wrote television history again. The show hosted Georges de Caunes and Jacqueline Joubert from French television and Miss Reeves from the BBC . The next milestone followed a year later with the establishment of the Eurovision network. Thus, on June 2, the coronation of Elizabeth II could be broadcast to all participating states of the Eurovision; in France, the ceremony was broadcast nationwide from the Eiffel Tower. In 1956 a fire broke out in the transmitter room and destroyed the top of the tower and the broadcasting equipment. A year later, new antenna platforms were built and new antennas were installed. After the renovation, the tower broadcast radio and three television programs. His new antenna raised the landmark to a total of 320.75 meters.

View of the Eiffel Tower, 1968

For the 75th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower in 1964, the operating company invited a total of 75 Parisian citizens born around the year the tower was built in 1889 to a festive gala. Maurice Chevalier was one of the most famous guests .

Over the years, special events have been held at the Eiffel Tower not only for the anniversaries. The status of the building continued to rise due to the increased granting of shooting permits for movies. In addition to always unusual, mostly sporting activities, the Eiffel Tower was increasingly anchored in the everyday life of Parisians, for example by opening an ice rink on the first floor in winter.

Due to the traditional understanding of art in France, which was based on academic-classical ideals, the Eiffel Tower still had a hard time with its recognition as a cultural monument in the late 20th century. It was not until June 24, 1964 that the building was entered in the Inventaire des monuments historiques .

Since 1980: UNESCO cultural heritage and renovations

After the concession awarded to Eiffel and now passed on to his heirs expired on January 1, 1980, the Société nouvelle d'exploitation de la tour Eiffel (SNTE), a subsidiary wholly owned by the City of Paris, took over the operation of the landmark. Since then she has taken care of the maintenance and marketing of the building. On September 9, 1983, the hundred millionth visitor to the Eiffel Tower was greeted with a gift. The singer Mireille Mathieu presented the woman with the keys to a Citroën BX .

The banks of the Seine with its buildings between the Pont de Sully and the Pont d'Iéna at the Eiffel Tower in Paris have been a UNESCO cultural heritage since 1991 .

Eiffel Tower from the north, 2010

In 2000, the broadcasting company TDF took over the assembly of UHF antennas and increased its total height from 318.7 meters to its current height of 324 meters. In 2005, the Eiffel Tower first broadcast digital television. On January 1, 2006, SNTE was transferred to the Société d'exploitation de la tour Eiffel (SETE) for an initial period of ten years. From February 2012 to 2013, extensive renovations and redesigns were carried out in the first platform, which at that time was avoided by around half of the visitors. Among other things, based on the original glass halls, three roofed box-shaped, dark red pavilions - some with a glass floor - were constructed from steel and glass, which run on the side walls between the pillars and parallel to them. During the renovation work, which cost 25 million euros, visitors continued to operate. In addition, lifts for the disabled and a conference hall have been set up.

In autumn 2017, the construction of a fence around the Eiffel Tower began. Two clear glass walls - facing the Seine and facing the field of Mars - are 3 m high and 6.5 cm thick and serve as protection against fire. On the two other sides, 3.24 m high metal fences were erected, the pillars of which are inclined and thus reflect the conical shape of the tower. The construction - it was presented on June 14, 2018 by the operating company Sete - cost 35 million euros and should be completed by mid-September 2018. The glass wall was planned by the architect Dietmar Feichtinger , who lives in Paris and comes from Graz, with the intention of "making the fencing as discreet as possible." In the past, visitors had to go through security gates before climbing the tower.


Location and surroundings

Eiffel Tower seen from the Tour Montparnasse with the Champ de Mars and the École Militaire to the southeast

The Eiffel Tower is located in the west of the 7th arrondissement of downtown Paris at the northwest end of the Champ de Mars . It is 33 meters above sea level, not far from the banks of the Seine , where there are also moorings for excursion boats. Not far from there, southwest of the Eiffel Tower, is the elongated Île aux Cygnes (Swan Island ) in the Seine. In the immediate line of sight of the building, the École Militaire is located to the southeast and the Palais de Chaillot to the northwest on the opposite bank of the river above the Pont d'Iéna, which was widened to 35 meters in 1937 . To the southeast of the École Militaire is the seat of UNESCO in a building built in 1958 with a Y-shaped floor plan . Around three kilometers as the crow flies in a south-easterly direction, a little to the north of the exact line of sight, is the 210-meter-high Tour Montparnasse office tower . To the northeast, near the Eiffel Tower, is the Musée du quai Branly, an ethnological museum .

The following roads open to vehicle traffic affect the tower area: to the southwest the Avenue Gustave Eiffel, to the northeast the Avenue de la Bourdonnais, to the northwest the busy Quai Branly , from which the Pont d'Iéna branches off over the Seine, and to the southeast the Avenue de Suffren. The four streets delimit a wooded, park-like, rectangular plot of land with the Eiffel Tower in the middle. The passage is not permitted for motorized traffic.

The Paris Métro stops closest to the Eiffel Tower are Bir-Hakeim (Tour Eiffel) on line 6 and École Militaire on line 8 . The line C of the Paris suburban train RER stops south-west of the tower at the station Champ de Mars - Tour Eiffel . Various bus routes stop in the immediate vicinity of the Eiffel Tower .


Detailed views
Detail of the arch construction
Buttress and stairs
North pillar from the inside
View from the center up
Upper part from the second floor
View from the third floor straight down

As Gustave Eiffel explained in a lecture to the Société des Ingénieurs civils on March 30, 1885, the architecture of the tower was about

“To do without the large bars of the vertical surfaces that should resist the wind. Therefore, the pillar has to be given a shape that is designed in such a way that all forces for which the wind is responsible are concentrated on the inside of the support posts. [...] The tangents located at points of the same height on these supports must always meet at the point of passage of the resultant of the load that the wind exerts on the part of the pillar above the relevant points. […] Before the supports unite at this high point, they seem to shoot up out of the ground and, as it were, get their shape through the action of the wind. "

As sophisticated as the architecture for optimizing the wind load is, the basic conception of the Eiffel Tower, which is based on the large iron framework railway bridges, is comparatively simple. Sixteen vertically offset main struts, grouped together in groups of four, rise up in an arch and are connected via the three horizontal visitor platforms. Above the second platform, the struts are combined to form a pylon .

Tower base and foundation

Schematic drawing of the Eiffel Tower with technical data

The Eiffel Tower stands at a height of 30.5 meters above sea level at the north-western end of the Champ de Mars (→ location ). The building stands on four mighty support pillars made of iron framework, each 26.08 meters wide; they transfer the entire weight into the foundation, which is 15 meters deep. The pillars rest on solid masonry and are anchored in the ground with 16 rafters at a 54-degree angle. Screws 7.80 meters in length connect the cast iron shoe to the substructure.

The tower construction is supported by the substructure in such a way that, depending on the wind load, it emits a pressure of around 5 kg / cm² to the ground. This corresponds roughly to the pressure that an adult sitting on a chair exerts on the floor - a comparison that Eiffel himself calculated and stated in his publication La Tour de 300 meters .

The pillars are 74.24 meters apart in the lower area, which corresponds to a total spread of the tower at the base of 124.90 meters. The floor plan of the stand is square. The Eiffel Tower was constructed in such a way that each of its pillars is precisely aligned with one point of the compass . The north and west pillars point towards the Seine, the east and south pillars towards the Champ de Mars. In each of the pillars there are entrances with ticket booths, stairwells and elevators, which can be opened differently depending on the number of visitors and the occasion. The distance between the pillars, which are connected by mighty arches, decreases with increasing height. The arches 39 meters above the ground and with a diameter of 74 meters, also made of filigree-looking iron framework, have a purely decorative character and no load-bearing function. The passage between the pillars is reserved for pedestrians only. On the north pillar there is a gold-colored bust on an elongated base in honor of the builder Gustave Eiffel .

A red brick chimney overgrown with bushes protrudes from an artificial grotto southwest of the west pillar . It dates from 1887 and was used during the construction phase for the construction of the south pillar.

First floor

First floor

The first floor above the arches at a height of 57.6 meters offers space for around 3000 visitors on a floor space of 4415 square meters. The 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant , a self-service eatery and the Cineiffel cinema , which can also be used as an exhibition space, are located on this level . The all-round balcony on this level is equipped with panorama boards on the parapet so that the Parisian sights visible from there can be better localized. There is a souvenir shop and a small post office (Bureau de Poste Tour Eiffel) open daily in the south pillar , which has its own postmark as a souvenir receipt . The 300 square meter Gustave Eiffel Hall on the first floor can be rented for meetings, conferences, concerts or receptions.

At the beginning, the Eiffel Tower had lavishly glazed halls on its first floor, which stood out from the outside through arched roof structures. Among other things, there were four restaurants, each with a different theme. The Russian restaurant, which is now called the Gustave Eiffel Room, was located between the north and east pillars. Between the south and west pillars was the Anglo-American bar, between the east and south pillars was the French restaurant, and between the north and west pillars was the Flemish restaurant. The latter was converted into a Dutch restaurant after the exhibition in 1889 and used as a theater hall after 1900. All of these buildings and the historical ornaments were demolished in the course of the 1937 World's Fair and replaced by something less conspicuous from the outside in order to adapt them to the changed taste.

72 names of important scientists and technicians are placed along a frieze on the first floor, 18 on each side. When the tower was repainted at the beginning of the 20th century, the names disappeared; in 1986 and 1987 they were made visible again. They are mainly engineers and mathematicians who worked during the French Revolution and the first half of the 19th century. Eiffel himself chose the names; he has been criticized for some names. He deliberately passed over scientists with long family names and women who have made a name for themselves in science, such as the important French mathematician Sophie Germain .

Second floor

Second floor

At a height of 115.7 meters is the second floor with an area of ​​1430 square meters, which offers space for around 1600 visitors at the same time. The second floor can be reached either via the elevator or one of the stairwells in the pillars; 704 steps lead up from the base to the second floor. At this level, you change to the elevators that continue to the top.

Here is the Jules Verne restaurant with 95 seats. It offers upscale gastronomy, was awarded one star by the Michelin Guide and 16 out of 20 possible points from Gault-Millau . The restaurant with a floor area of ​​500 square meters is slightly elevated on the south pillar at a height of 123 meters and can be reached via a separate elevator. It has been under the direction of chef Alain Ducasse since 2007 .

There is also a snack bar and souvenir shop on this level. The story of the Eiffel Tower is retold in words and pictures in showcases specially set up for visitors.

Third floor and spire

Third floor and spire

The third and top platform is 276.1 meters high and has an area of ​​250 square meters. This floor can only be reached by the public via the elevators. However, there is a continuous staircase that has 1665 steps starting in the east pillar to the top. It replaced the original staircase with 1710 steps in 1983 and is lighter and less dangerous. To date (2020) the top viewing platform is the fourth highest publicly accessible in Europe; Oko Tower 1 in Moscow currently has the highest viewing platform .

Above the covered platform, stairs lead to the approximately 100 square meter open-air platform secured by steel grids. The entire area of ​​the third floor can accommodate up to 400 people at a time. In good weather you can see up to 80 kilometers from here. Boards point to large cities in the world in the corresponding direction and indicate the beeline from the Eiffel Tower. In addition to a champagne bar, Eiffel's study was faithfully restored and decorated with wax figures , which show Eiffel, his daughter Claire and the American inventor Thomas Edison trying out the phonograph that Edison had brought as a present for Eiffel to the opening of the tower.

The top viewing platform

Above the visitor platform at a height of 295 meters there is a beacon for each direction . The movement is controlled by software and can be synchronized in such a way that a continuously rotating cross is simulated with the beacons. There are also several directional antennas at this height . The dipole antennas for the radio frequencies are attached above this ; these are located at 291 meters and 294 meters. In the lower area of ​​the actual antenna mast, which rises from the former lantern, further double dipole antennas are installed on several floors in all directions, which are located at 299 meters and 304 meters. Above that are the UHF antennas - recognizable by the shielding, conspicuously white weather protection boxes. The top of the tower is crowned by further dipole antennas pointing in the four cardinal directions, meteorological measuring instruments and a maintenance platform.

At the top of the tower there are over 120 antennas for the transmission of dozens of radio and television programs (→ use as a broadcast tower ). The antenna height varied over the decades. Since it was opened, the actual structural structure has been 300.51 meters high and, with the lantern and flagpole at its top, has reached a total height of 312.27 meters. Due to the additional installation of antenna platforms, the lantern can only be recognized in the upper third through the curved lattice girders converging to form the antenna mast. With a new antenna in 1991, the total height changed to 317.96 meters and the 1994 renovation at the top of the tower made it 318.70 meters high. The last change in the total height of the tower was made in 2000 when it grew to its current height of 324 meters.

Due to the effects of wind, the top of the tower swayed up to about 13 centimeters from its rest position during a storm in 1999. The expansion of the tower as a result of strong solar radiation can be several centimeters in height, the previous peak of 18 centimeters was reached in the summer of 1976. According to Eiffel's calculations, the tower could even expand by up to 70 centimeters. In addition, it inclines slightly to the side facing away from the sun, as the side facing the sun expands more than the other three. At the top, this effect can add up to several centimeters.



The elevators in 1889

The ascent in the Eiffel Tower is made possible by a total of nine different elevators - five in the tower pillars, which run between the entrance and the second floor, and two pairs of elevators with double cabins between the second and third floors.

Between the ground floor and the second floor there are partly double- deck inclined elevators that adapt to the variable inclination angle of 54 ° to 76 ° of the tower pillars. The further ascent takes place via a vertical elevator after changing on the second floor. Special elevators for the Eiffel Tower, for which the enormous height as well as the inclination of the tower pillars are characteristic, represented a technical challenge for the industry at that time, which at that time only existed for a few years, because the first hydraulic elevator was at presented at the World's Fair in 1867. Despite many renovations and modernizations, the elevators work from the basic principle as they were designed by Eiffel to build the tower. The machine room with the hydraulic drive of the elevators can be viewed as part of special tours in the basement of the building.

Inclined elevators in the tower pillars

Double-deck inclined elevator

When building the tower, Eiffel consciously relied on different technologies and manufacturers in order to remain independent in the event of a fault. Otis elevators worked in the north and south pillars until 1910 . The two-story cabins were pulled up using a cable puller. Until 1897 there were elevators from Roux, Combaluzie and Lepape in the east and west piers; they could carry up to 200 people with the help of an endless double chain. Both systems were operated by a hydraulic conveyor system. On the occasion of the World Exhibition in 1900, Eiffel replaced the elevators and also the steam engines , which powered the hydraulics, with electric motors . Two historical systems, installed by Fives-Lilles in the east and west piers in 1899 , can still be viewed today on a special tour. The elevators were modernized in 1986 and 1987 and have been overhauled several times since the 1990s. In 2010, modern and air-conditioned two-story cabs were installed, each capable of transporting 56 visitors.

In the south pillar there is an inclined elevator from Otis, which has been used exclusively for visitors to the Jules Verne restaurant since 1983. In 1989 this elevator was supplemented by a four-ton freight elevator. In 1965, an inclined elevator from Jeumont-Schneider was installed in the north pillar ; it was completely overhauled in the 1990s. The elevator in the north pillar has a capacity of 920 people per hour, while that of the east and west pillar can handle 650 people per hour. The small elevator to the restaurant can carry a maximum of ten people per trip. The goods elevator in the south pillar can either transport 30 people or four tons of goods per trip.

Vertical elevators from the second floor

Vertical elevator

The original vertical elevators for the passage from the second to the third floor were built by Léon Edoux, an Eiffel classmate. The lifts, which were also operated hydraulically, used two counter-rotating cars instead of a counterweight, which kept each other in balance. The principle required that visitors had to change cabins halfway up - around 228 meters. The intermediate platform that was specially used as a walkway can still be seen today on the tower shaft. Since the hydraulic pressure to drive the elevators was built up with water stored in tanks in the viewing platforms, the elevators could not be used in the winter months. These elevators ran for almost 100 years and were only replaced by Otis electric elevators in 1983. The total of four cars connect the second and third viewing platforms directly with one another. This system can transport up to 1140 people per hour.


Color history of the Eiffel Tower

The iron framework of the Eiffel Tower made of puddle iron is protected from rust and weathering with several layers of paint . Gustave Eiffel already emphasized that the coating is of great importance for durability. The tower was first deleted two years after it was opened and it has been repainted 19 times, most recently from March 2009 to October 2010 to mark the 120th anniversary of the building. This means that the Eiffel Tower is completely repainted every seven years on average. The painting work is done by hand by 25 painters and costs around three million euros each.

Réfection de la peinture de la Tour Eiffel, 1924 - Gallica.jpg
Maintenance work on the Eiffel Tower.jpg

Painting work in 1924 (left) and 2010

Around 60 tons of paint - including 10 tons of primer - are required for the area of ​​250,000 square meters , of which around 45 tons are sanded off by erosion. The specially trained painters are secured with around 60 kilometers of safety ropes during the work. From the base of the tower to its top, the varnish used is tinted slightly in order to make the tower look the same color against the background.

The color of the Eiffel Tower was redesigned several times. While a Venetian red was still predominant at the beginning of the construction of the tower, when it opened in 1889, it switched to reddish brown. This was replaced by ocher brown as early as 1892. In 1899 a yellow-orange was used in five tones and in 1907 the landmark was painted in yellow-brown. Orange yellow and chestnut brown followed until the last change to a bronze brown tone was made since 1968. The color "Eiffel Tower Brown" contains the color pigments red, black and yellow. These are manufactured by the German specialty chemicals company Lanxess and mixed especially for the Eiffel Tower by the Norwegian paint manufacturer Jotun. The copyrighted special paint is characterized by a high degree of durability and flexibility and keeps chipping under wind and temperature fluctuations as low as possible.

Lighting and light art

General lighting

Citroën neon sign from 1925 to 1936

At the time of its completion, the Eiffel Tower was lit with gas lanterns. At the top of the tower there were also two light projectors that could be moved on rails and immersed the Parisian night sky in the colors of the French tricolor with a bright beacon. In 1900, gas lighting gave way to a more modern electric string of lights made up of 5000 light bulbs, which traced the contours of the tower. In 1907, a six-meter-high clock with luminous numbers was installed on the first viewing platform. Before that, at 12 o'clock, a cannon shot was fired to signal the noon.

From July 4, 1925, an advertisement consisting of 250,000 lightbulbs was lit on the Eiffel Tower with the letters CITROËN vertically mounted on three sides of the Eiffel Tower . The advertisement designed by André Citroën was the largest neon sign in the world at the time. In 1933, Citroën added a clock with a diameter of 15 meters and colored hands to the advertisement. The neon sign of the expensive light spectacle could be deciphered up to a distance of 40 kilometers and was discontinued in 1936.

Illuminated spire

For the World Exhibition in Paris in 1937 , the architect André Granet covered the Eiffel Tower in rays of light. In 1985, the lighting engineer Pierre Bideau installed a new light unit on the Eiffel Tower, which was inaugurated at the turn of the year 1986. It consists of 352 high-pressure sodium headlights, each with a power of 600 watts, in groups of four to seven light units and has a total output of 320 kW. The system shines from bottom to top and illuminates the building from inside the tower, making the structure more visible. Annual electricity consumption is around 680,000 kWh and fell by around 40% with the new installation. With this constant load, a light bulb has an average life expectancy of a good 6000 hours. Since June 21, 2003, 20,000 lamps have been making the tower sparkle like a diamond for five minutes at the beginning of every hour from dusk until 1 a.m. - in the summer months until 2 a.m.

In 2015, the lighting was changed again as part of an energetic renovation of the tower. The previously installed lamps were replaced with energy-saving LED lighting . In addition, a heat pump heating system , a photovoltaic system and two small wind energy systems with horizontal rotors were installed in order to cover part of the tower's energy requirements using renewable energies .

On April 5, 1997 - exactly 1000 days before the beginning of the year 2000 - the then Mayor of Paris, Jean Tiberi, opened a countdown to a height of 100 meters on the shaft of the Eiffel Tower. On the north-west side of the Trocadéro, 33 meters high, 12 meters wide, 50 tons and made up of 1342 projectors, illuminated numbers that indicated the remaining days up to the year 2000 were illuminated day and night. New Year's Eve on January 1, 2000 was ushered in with fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. The countdown display changed the lettering to 2000 and shone all year round.

Event-related special lighting

In the past, the Eiffel Tower was given special lighting on certain occasions. In the year of its centenary in 1989, the letters 100 ans (100 years) shone from the tower shaft. As part of the Franco-Chinese cultural exchange program, the tower was bathed in red light between January 24th and 29th, 2004 - the time when the Chinese celebrate New Year. The inauguration of the light ceremony was attended by the French and Chinese ministers of culture as well as the mayors of Paris and Beijing . The 20th anniversary of Europe Day on May 9, 2006 was honored with blue light at the Eiffel Tower. On February 1, 2007, the Eiffel Tower took part in the Earth Hour environmental protection campaign, and on that day switched off the lights completely from 7:55 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to promote energy saving . This action was repeated on October 22 of the same year. For the Rugby Union World Cup 2007 from October 7th to 20th, the lower part of the tower up to the second viewing platform was illuminated in green light, which symbolized the playing area. In addition, the Eiffel Tower was irradiated with an oversized gate and a rugby ball . In 2008, from July to December, on the occasion of France's presidency, the tower was illuminated in blue and showed the twelve yellow stars of the European flag .

After the attacks of November 13, 2015 in Paris and the attack in Nice on July 14, 2016, the Eiffel Tower shone in the French national colors for three days ; divided by the three platforms. After the radical right-wing attack in Munich in 2016 , the Eiffel Tower shone in the German national colors black, red and gold the next day, after the terrorist attacks in Brussels on March 22, 2016 , it was illuminated in the colors of the Belgian flag .

Copyright of the irradiated Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower 2015

Since there is no freedom of panorama in France , the operating company SETE claims the copyright for nocturnal recordings in which the irradiated Eiffel Tower can be seen as the main object, although the building itself no longer has copyrights. She sees the illumination as a work of art in itself, although this attitude is controversial and has never been confirmed in court. The 1992 court ruling on which it is based relates exclusively to a light show from 1989 and not the daily nightly lighting of the tower. Regardless of this, private pictures without commercial use generally do not constitute an infringement. Only pictures with commercial use require approval if the structure is protected by copyright. Detailed shots or panoramic shots , in which the Eiffel Tower is only visible as an accessory , can be published without permission, regardless of the purpose. This is due to the protective principle of the country not for the distribution. B. in Germany.


Facilities for the public

Queue at the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is open to the public 365 days a year without a day of rest. Only in the case of strong storms can there be closure or restrictions. In total, more than 600 people are employed at or for the landmark. Among them are 280 administrative employees who work for SETE. Around 240 are employed in the restaurant businesses, 50 in souvenir sales and 50 carry out other, mostly technical, activities. There is a post office in the tower, and a separate police force guards the monument. Due to the comparatively high income, the Eiffel Tower is one of the few French sights that can get by without any state subsidies.

Visitor numbers and statistics

In the year it opened, just under 1.9 million of the 32.3 million visitors to the exhibition also climbed the Eiffel Tower as part of the 1889 World's Fair . In the following ten years, the number of visitors dropped to an average of around 250,000. During the World Exhibition in 1900 , the Eiffel Tower recorded a visitor number of just over 1 million despite significantly more exhibition visitors (50.8 million). In the following years the number fell further below the level of the first ten years, until the tower was closed to the public during the First World War in the years 1915 to 1918. When it reopened in 1919, the number of annual visitors rose to almost 480,000. There were two striking outliers in 1931 and 1937 at the Paris colonial and world trade exhibitions , each with over 800,000 guests. Because of the Second World War, the Eiffel Tower had to be closed for the second time for several years (1940-1945). After the war, the Eiffel Tower reopened in June 1946. The number rose continuously to around 1 million visitors in the early 1950s and continued to grow in the following decades thanks to tourism. In the mid-2000s, the visitor mark climbed to over 6.5 million and reached its preliminary record in 2011 and 2014 with a good 7 million each. The turnover generated in 2011 reached 85.7 million euros. With the increased number of visitors, which reaches around 35,000 on peak days, not only do waiting times increase to several hours, but the attraction threatens to become overcrowded. Including 2011, over 260 million have visited the building since it opened, making it the most visited in the world. The 300 millionth visitor was counted on September 28, 2017.

Number of visitors to the Eiffel Tower from 1889 to 2017
year Visitors year Visitors year Visitors year Visitors year Visitors year Visitors year Visitors
1889 1,968,287 1910 203,803 1931 822,550 1952 1,250,094 1973 2,914,814 1994 5,419,462 2015 6,917,000
1890 393.414 1911 204.168 1932 339.242 1953 1,204,371 1974 3,018,455 1995 5,212,677 2016 5,841,026
1891 335.829 1912 258,950 1933 363.720 1954 1,301,152 1975 3,045,573 1996 5,530,279 2017 6,207,303
1892 277.276 1913 261,337 1934 322,969 1955 1,435,192 1976 3,050,606 1997 5,719,773
1893 265,894 1914 152.725 1935 288,643 1956 1,476,400 1977 3,298,844 1998 6.051.603
1894 210.836 1915
closed all year round
1936 264.145 1957 1,632,647 1978 3,430,886 1999 6,368,534
1895 218.974 1916 1937 809.978 1958 1,591,005 1979 3,429,571 2000 6,315,324
1896 226,654 1917 1938 258.306 1959 1,668,558 1980 3,594,190 2001 6,103,987
1897 199,827 1918 1939 252,495 1960 1,735,230 1981 3,393,208 2002 6,157,042
1898 183.391 1919 311.714 1940
closed all year round
June '46 open
1961 1,763,448 1982 3,399,683 2003 5,864,969
1899 149,580 1920 417,869 1941 1962 1,735,796 1983 3,701,558 2004 6.230.050
1900 1,024,887 1921 426,635 1942 1963 2,013,594 1984 4,183,857 2005 6,428,441
1901 131,724 1922 422.172 1943 1964 2,143,173 1985 4,368,573 2006 6,719,200
1902 121.144 1923 551,444 1944 1965 2,295,193 1986 4,386,291 2007 6,959,186
1903 122,979 1924 585.730 1945 1966 2,405,554 1987 4,293,187 2008 6,929,463
1904 156.918 1925 631.758 1946 603,349 1967 2,416,502 1988 4,668,468 2009 6,603,792
1905 169.770 1926 657.004 1947 1.009.161 1968 2,070,417 1989 5,580,363 2010 6,709,634
1906 182,399 1927 555.087 1948 958.386 1969 2,561,157 1990 5,698,613 2011 7,086,273
1907 190.026 1928 634.819 1949 1,143,046 1970 2,757,768 1991 5,442,346 2012 6,270,000
1908 189,338 1929 577,624 1950 1,026,631 1971 2,899,070 1992 5,747,357 2013 6,740,000
1909 181,574 1930 580.075 1951 1,129,637 1972 3,003,659 1993 5,537,155 2014 7.097.302

Number of visitors to the Eiffel Tower from 1889 to 2017 (cumulative)
year Visitors year Visitors year Visitors year Visitors year Visitors year Visitors year Visitors
1889 1,968,287 1910 7.104.524 1931 15.156.185 1952 25.175.987 1973 68.200.687 1994 156.888.933 2015 290.903.462
1890 2,361,701 1911 7,308,692 1932 15,495,427 1953 26,380,358 1974 71.219.142 1995 162.101.610 2016 296.744.488
1891 2,697,530 1912 7,567,642 1933 15,859,147 1954 27,681,510 1975 74.264.715 1996 167,631,889 2017 302,951,791
1892 2,974,806 1913 7,828,979 1934 16.182.116 1955 29.116.702 1976 77,315,321 1997 173.351.662
1893 3,240,700 1914 7.981.704 1935 16,470,759 1956 30.593.102 1977 80.614.165 1998 179,403,265
1894 3,451,536 1915 7.981.704 1936 16,734,904 1957 32.225.749 1978 84.045.051 1999 185.771.799
1895 3,670,510 1916 7.981.704 1937 17,544,882 1958 33,816,754 1979 87,474,622 2000 192.087.123
1896 3,897,164 1917 7.981.704 1938 17,803,188 1959 35,485,312 1980 91,068,812 2001 198.191.110
1897 4,096,991 1918 7.981.704 1939 18,055,683 1960 37.220.542 1981 94.462.020 2002 204.348.152
1898 4,280,382 1919 8,293,418 1940 18,055,683 1961 38,983,990 1982 97.861.703 2003 210.213.121
1899 4,429,962 1920 8,711,287 1941 18,055,683 1962 40,719,786 1983 101,563,261 2004 216.443.171
1900 5,454,849 1921 9,137,922 1942 18,055,683 1963 42,733,380 1984 105.747.118 2005 222.871.612
1901 5,586,573 1922 9,560,094 1943 18,055,683 1964 44,876,553 1985 110.115.691 2006 229.590.812
1902 5,707,717 1923 10,111,538 1944 18,055,683 1965 47.171.746 1986 114.501.982 2007 236.549.998
1903 5,830,696 1924 10,697,268 1945 18,055,683 1966 49,577,300 1987 118.795.169 2008 243,479,461
1904 5,987,614 1925 11,329,026 1946 18,659,032 1967 51.993.802 1988 123.463.637 2009 250.083.253
1905 6,157,384 1926 11,986,030 1947 19,668,193 1968 54.064.219 1989 129,044,000 2010 256,792,887
1906 6,339,783 1927 12,541,117 1948 20,626,579 1969 56,625,376 1990 134,742,613 2011 263.879.160
1907 6,529,809 1928 13.175.936 1949 21,769,625 1970 59.383.144 1991 140.184.959 2012 270.149.160
1908 6,719,147 1929 13,753,560 1950 22,796,256 1971 62.282.214 1992 145.932.316 2013 276.889.160
1909 6,900,721 1930 14,333,635 1951 23,925,893 1972 65.285.873 1993 151.469.471 2014 283,986,462

According to a statistical survey of 7,989 visitors, the following profile emerged in 2009: The majority of visitors come from Western Europe (43%), metropolitan France (29%) and North America (11%). Apart from France, the strongest visitor countries are Germany with 8.5%, the United Kingdom with 8.1%, followed by the United States (7.6%), Spain (7.3%), Italy (4.8%) and Australia (4.1%). If the age of the visitors is divided into the categories “under 25”, from “26 to 35”, from “36 to 45” and “over”, they each take up around a quarter. Over 56 years were only 6.4%. Most of the visitors come with their families (63.8%), around 23% visit the Eiffel Tower with friends and 7.8% in organized tour groups. Almost half (46.1%) travel by metro, 17.3% come on foot, 12% use their own car and 7.5% are brought by bus. About 46% of the people surveyed have been to the Eiffel Tower before.


Accidents and deaths

The omnipresence of the Eiffel Tower in the Parisian cityscape repeatedly led people to daring adventures or top sporting performances. On July 13, 1901, the Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos Dumont narrowly escaped a collision with his airship when he was maneuvering the aircraft between Saint-Cloud and Champ de Mars.

Film contribution to Franz Reichelt's jump from the Eiffel Tower

The tower inspired some people to jump from the Eiffel Tower with self-made, parachute-like constructions. One of the tragic figures is the tailor Franz Reichelt , who made a frock coat with a wide cape and attached springs to it. His announced project attracted numerous onlookers. After some hesitation, the Austrian-born Reichelt jumped with his flightless outfit from the first platform in front of the journalists and spectators present and had a fatal accident. There is even a historical film document of this event.

The Frenchman Marcel Gayet was killed in a similar attempt in 1928 by jumping from the first floor. Further attempts with new types of parachutes were successful, which inspired the makers of the James Bond films to create a corresponding scene. The then 23-year-old aviator Léon Collot had an accident in November 1926 while trying to fly through the arch of the tower at the base in his light aircraft . He was blinded by the sun and got caught in a radio antenna that was stretched between the top of the tower and the ground.

The Parisian landmark was also the scene of many suicides . The first suicide was reported on June 15, 1898, when a woman hanged herself. In total, around 400 people took their own lives at the Eiffel Tower.

Sporting achievements and records

Title page of Le Sport on the Tower Run on November 26, 1905

The Eiffel Tower always encouraged people to take on artistic or sporting challenges. Count Lambert successfully flew over the tower with his airplane on October 18, 1909. In addition, the tower was also the scene of unusual achievements, fun records or other activities that received media attention. As early as 1905, the newspaper Le Sport launched a competition for the fastest ascent to the second platform. 227 runners took part in the stair running competition on November 26th. The winner Forestier did this in 3 minutes 12 seconds and received a Peugeot bike for his performance . On the Eiffel Tower's 75th birthday in May 1964, mountaineers Guido Magnone and René Desmaison, officially approved, climbed the Eiffel Tower on its outside. The spectacle was broadcast on Eurovision .

On June 4, 1948, an 85-year-old elephant, who had escaped from the Bouglione Circus, climbed to the first platform. In 1983 Charles Coutard and Joël Descuns rode their motocross motorcycles up and down the stairs in the Eiffel Tower. A year later, Amanda Tucker and Mike MacCarthy managed to parachute off the third platform without official permission. The New Zealander A. J. Hackett dared to bungee jump from the second viewing platform for the first time in 1987.

In 1989 the high wire artist Philippe Petit managed to cross around 800 meters on a cable stretched from the Palais de Chaillot to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower over the Seine. Petit worked for about 15 years for this project to be approved. Around 250,000 spectators followed the one-hour run.

In 1995 the triathlete Yves Lossouarn broke the record for climbing the tower. It took him 8 minutes and 51 seconds to reach the top. In the sporting event initiated by the TV broadcaster arte , he emerged as the winner of a field of 75 athletes. Base jumpers also jumped from the Eiffel Tower several times, including the well-known Swiss Ueli Gegenschatz , who jumped down from the highest platform on April 1, 2008.

Major events and concerts

In addition to the four world exhibitions in 1889, 1900, 1931 and 1937, the Eiffel Tower was repeatedly used as a backdrop or venue for concerts or other major events.

On September 25, 1962, Édith Piaf sang her last concert on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower in front of an audience of 25,000. At the same time, the event was used as an advertising platform for the film The Longest Day . The chansonniers Charles Aznavour and Georges Brassens also gave a concert at the Eiffel Tower in 1966. On July 14, 1995, Jean-Michel Jarre held a concert for greater tolerance at the foot of the Eiffel Tower under the auspices of UNESCO. The concert, which was broadcast worldwide, had 1.2 million listeners.

For the 12th World Youth Day 1997 , around 300,000 pilgrims gathered on August 21 on the Champ de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower, where the then Pope John Paul II gave a speech.

The Orchester de Paris and the Boston Symphony Orchestra held a free concert in May 2000 under the direction of Seiji Ozawa in front of the Eiffel Tower, which was specially illuminated for the occasion. Around 800,000 people attended the concerts. In the same year, on June 10th, Johnny Hallyday gave an open-air concert in front of 600,000 spectators, which was accompanied by a light and pyrotechnic show.

Reception and effect

Reception in architecture

The wave of the tower caused by the Eiffel Tower

Contemporary depiction of Blackpool Tower (1899)
London's Watkin's Tower , inspired by the Eiffel
Tower, was supposed to tower above it, but was never completed. The tower stump, demolished in 1907, was only 47 meters high.

The construction of the Eiffel Tower brought the city a considerable increase in prestige and triggered a worldwide wave of tower construction. Many other cities, especially in the early days of the great colonial power of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, tried to emulate the project. One of the first replicas is the 158.1 meter high Blackpool Tower in the English seaside resort of Blackpool , built between 1891 and 1894 . Despite its strong links with the Eiffel Tower, this tower is architecturally successful and has been included in the monument protection with the highest classification level (Grade I) in England. The tower grows from a large, multi-story Victorian-style base house and is home to a number of attractions, including a renowned circus. The Blackpool Tower has been extensively restored in recent years and is still considered a tourist attraction in the region of North West England . The New Brighton Tower, built according to a similar concept (construction started in 1896), was less successful ; it had to be removed in the 1920s because the steel lattice structure had become dilapidated. This 172.8 meter high tower also had a base building with a wide range of leisure activities, including the largest ballroom in Great Britain. After their construction, both towers were the tallest structures in the country.

The British capital London also put out an ambitious tower construction project in 1890. The project proposals envisaged towers made of steel between 300 and 456 meters high. A year later, construction began on Watkin's Tower , which was projected to be 358 meters and thus around 50 meters higher than the Eiffel Tower. The initiator of the project, Sir Edward Watkin , originally tried to recruit Gustave Eiffel himself as a designer; however, the French refused for patriotic reasons. When the project ran out of funds, leaving only a 47 meter stump, the tower was demolished in 1907. Other tower projects also had moderate success. The construction of the tower in Douglas , the capital of the Isle of Man , had to be finished again shortly after the foundations were installed in October 1890. The 70-meter-high pyramid-shaped tower in the seaside resort in Morecambe , a building that was architecturally distinct from the Eiffel Tower, was demolished at the beginning of the First World War in order to produce ammunition. In Germany, too, there were sometimes adventurous project proposals to trump the Eiffel Tower. In 1913, for example, a questionable design for the Rhine Tower - today the television tower in Düsseldorf bears the name Rheinturm - was presented, a 500-meter-high steel lattice tower with a strong stylistic reference to the Eiffel Tower. The project was never implemented.

Shaping role model

Tokyo Tower (built 1958)

In January 1890, a 60-meter-high ephemeral replica of the Eiffel Tower made of ice could be admired in St. Petersburg . In 1891, on the occasion of the industrial exhibition in Prague, the 60-meter-high Petřín observation tower was built , which took up the shape of the Eiffel Tower. But in France, too, the Parisian model was emulated. The 85.9 meter high Tour métallique de Fourvière in Lyon , built between 1892 and 1894, reproduces the basic structural shape of the upper part of the Eiffel Tower. The tower was open to the public and also housed a restaurant. Since 1953 it has only served as a radio and television tower. With the spread of radio waves, more towers became necessary, especially from the 1920s. Even if the design of these buildings showed little resemblance to the Paris Tower, the correspondence of four tower feet and the construction-related necessity of tapering towards the top was often enough for these buildings to be or are popularly associated with the Eiffel Tower. Examples of this are the transmitter in Gleiwitz ("Silesian Eiffel Tower"), the former transmitter Ismaning ("Bavarian Eiffel Tower") or the Bismarck Tower in Wiesbaden ("Wiesbadener Eiffel Tower"). The Berlin radio tower from the mid-1920s also follows this design principle.

In the 1950s, several television and observation towers designed by the architect Naitō Tachū (1886-1970) were built in Japan , which are aesthetically more technical, but are still based on the design of the Eiffel Tower. In 1954 came Nagoya TV Tower , 1956, the TV tower Tsutenkaku , 1957, the TV Tower Sapporo and 1958, the Tokyo Tower . The Tokyo Tower in particular, which with its 333 meters towers over the Eiffel Tower by a few meters, is often mentioned in connection with the imitation of the structural structure. Architecturally, it is viewed as less successful because of its proportions in the tapering of the steel lattice structure towards the top and the tower cages as well as the choice of diagonal bracing.

Eiffel Tower replicas

The 165-meter-high replica of the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas (built in 1999)

With the establishment of reinforced concrete television towers in a vertical cantilever construction, beginning with the Stuttgart television tower in the mid-1950s, the design similarities between the towers and the Eiffel Tower decreased significantly. Nevertheless, the Eiffel Tower was repeatedly taken up in numerous replicas due to its symbolic appearance. In France and the United States, in particular, replicas that are only a few meters high can be found in roundabouts, as advertising media or in front gardens. The leisure industry in particular has discovered its strong advertising power and has tried to draw attention to itself again and again with replicas. One of the most famous replicas is a 108-meter-high replica in the Window of the World amusement park in Shenzhen, China . Another 108 meter high replica - on a scale of 1: 3 - is 9,275 km from the original in Tianducheng, China. At 165 meters, the tallest replica to date is in Las Vegas . The replica from 1999 - over 100 years after the construction of the Eiffel Tower - at the Paris Las Vegas hotel complex also houses a tower restaurant and, like its model, has mountable viewing platforms. Another replica of the Eiffel Tower was realized in 2016 on the Cotei Strip in Macau on the same scale .

In addition, the Paris Eiffel Tower is recreated in almost all miniature parks .

Architectural historical evaluation

The Eiffel Tower is assigned to the architectural style of historicism of the Wilhelminian era , which he initiated himself, which distinguishes it from the classical architecture of the 19th century. It is an important milestone in functionalism , which in Europe only manifested itself sporadically through engineering structures such as the Crystal Palace in London. In this way, modern civil engineering re-establishes the unity of construction and structure that was lost after the Gothic , which gives the Eiffel Tower a position comparable to that of a historical religious building. His structural approach of the broadly extending foundation due to the downward increasing stress from wind pressure has its natural model in the trees, which are attached to the ground with a widely ramified root system and whose trunk is tapered in height. (→ Architecture ) This means that it takes on a pioneering role not only formally, but also technologically, as practically all free-standing transmission towers made of steel or iron trusses were built based on the Eiffel model before the Stuttgart TV tower was erected. The architecturally outstanding position and evaluation of the Eiffel Tower is based not only on its far-reaching effect, but also on the fact that it was created without any historical model.

Political and social reception

Many traditional artists, for whom the ancient world was the model, saw the Eiffel Tower as a mixture of art and everyday life and therefore vehemently rejected it. In particular, the cultural world of France at that time turned against any state pressure to bring together artistic and industrial workers for product improvement. However, the writer Charles Baudelaire , who did not experience the Eiffel Tower, put it this way:

"L'Industrie, faisant irruption dans l'art, en devient la plus mortelle ennemie."

"If technology breaks in on art, it is certain death."

A photochromic print shows the Eiffel Tower during the 1889 World's Fair

This was accompanied by a discussion about the radicalization of the concept of art; it was further fueled by the erection of the Eiffel Tower. The principally idealized character of art was socially primarily related to the upper class and, with the new Parisian landmark, suddenly took on a role in the way ordinary people lived. The aversion to popular amusement was combined with the fear of the common people's insurrectional potential against the upper class. The Parisian upper class stayed away for the most part from the tower as well as from the mass event of the world exhibition. The reluctance of the upper class towards the "little man" is also reflected in the legend according to which Guy de Maupassant is said to have climbed the tower especially because it is the only place where he does not have to see it, although he is one of them was the strongest opponent of the mass operation, which was characterized by heat, dust and stench. The Republican press was the project total weighted than the conservative religious forces often monarchist tendencies. The collective work of master builders on the one hand and building contractors on the other, which was underlined in the ceremonial speech for the completion of the Eiffel Tower, met with rejection in some places. Eiffel even addressed the proximity to the working class himself when he showed himself in a poster with a measuring tool, but also in a working class, and thus embodied the connection between mental and physical exertion. For the old elites, this devotion to the masses was a threat to their claim to leadership.

The construction of the highest tower in the world was also received outside of France. Germany in particular, which was in a tense relationship with France after the Franco-Prussian War , commented on the World Exhibition and the Eiffel Tower with an implicit political tinge. The ambivalent judgment between an admiring impression and a certain discomfort becomes the tenor of the opinions. The Deutsche Rundschau emphatically characterizes the Eiffel Tower as a machine monster. In the mythical parallel to the Tower of Babel, in addition to the enthusiasm for the conquest of the powers, there is always also the concern about having challenged these powers. From the point of view of the journalist Eugen von Jagow , who even emphasizes the ethereal character of the transparent architecture and cannot escape a certain fascination, this form castigates as unarchitectural, confusing and ultimately makes it fail on itself. The sheer height, which almost doubles the Cologne Cathedral, impressed him, but in terms of artistic size and grandeur, the old church building was far superior to him. His conclusion is that the tower is more of a triumph of science than art. In a time that was generally hostile to art, he was the symbol of modernity. It is precisely this juxtaposition of quantitative and qualitative size that corresponds to the prevailing argumentation strategy of delimiting the elitist concept of art from mass culture. The interpretation as the victory of the masses over the individual becomes part of the struggle with democracy, which since Alexis de Tocqueville has assumed a topical character as a criticism of America .

Reception in art

Regardless of the controversy, the Eiffel Tower already cast its shadow before its erection and inspired Jules Verne in the August 1886 science fiction novel Robur the Victorious to process his impressions of a tower on the Champ de Mars:

“Then he slid up to the height of the tallest structures, as if he had wanted to strip off the ball from the Pantheon or the cross from the Invalides. He steered between the two minarets of the Trocadero through to the iron tower of the Marsfeld, whose enormous reflector flooded the whole capital with electric light. "

Apollinaire's calligrams , shaped like the Eiffel Tower

After its opening, the poets were among the first to describe the Eiffel Tower. The writer Blaise Cendrars sang the "tower, tower of the world, tower in motion". The Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro described it as a "heavenly guitar" ("Guitarra del cielo") and in 1918 brought out a volume of poetry entitled Tour Eiffel . The writer Jean Cocteau , who also worked as a director, published the libretto Les mariés de la tour Eiffel (German: Wedding on the Eiffel Tower), which was performed as a ballet on June 18, 1921 at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. The absurd, surrealistic story of a wedding couple takes place on the Eiffel Tower, which stands in the middle of the Namibian desert. The poet Guillaume Apollinaire processed his experiences of the First World War with a poem in the book Calligrammes in the form of the Eiffel Tower. The poetry that begins with a greeting to the world ends with gigantic French insults against the Germans.

The Eiffel Tower is also repeatedly used in music. Among others, Michel Emer in Paris, mais c'est la Tour Eiffel , Charles Trenet in Y'a d'la joie, la Tour Eiffel part en balade , Léo Ferré in Paris portait sa grande croix , Jacques Dutronc in La Tour Eiffel a froid aux pieds and Pascal Obispo in Je suis tombé pour elle . The Estonian composer Arvo Pärt created the symphonic poem Silhouette - Hommage à Gustave Eiffel for string orchestra and percussion, which premiered a year later in Paris, in 2009, which reproduces the architecture of the tower in the structure of the composition and at the same time through the design of the air movements caused by the rods flow, poetized.

Delaunay's La Tour Eiffel from the 1920s

Painting also dealt intensively with the Eiffel Tower. It has been painted in almost all styles by a large number of internationally renowned visual artists since the late 19th century . Thanks to its technical character, the tallest Parisian landmark contributed to a debate in art that found completely new approaches to architectural and spatial forms of expression.

As early as 1888 - before its completion - Georges Seurat painted a picture with the title La Tour Eiffel , which is now on display in the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco . The most famous painters who painted the Eiffel Tower include Henri Rousseau , Paul Signac , Pierre Bonnard , Maurice Utrillo , Marcel Gromaire , Édouard Vuillard , among others . Raoul Dufy painted Seine Grenell in 1890 , the picture is privately owned. Marc Chagall painted Paris Through the Window in 1913 , where he depicted the Parisian cityscape with the dominant Eiffel Tower and a parachutist next to it. In 1954, Chagall took up the motif of the tower again in Champ-de-Mars .

Robert Delaunay even created a whole series of pictures in which he depicted the tower in a cubist manner from many perspectives . The most famous are The Red Tower from 1911, which is in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum , and La ville de Paris from 1910/12, which hangs in the Center Georges-Pompidou . Delaunay used the architecture and lighting effect of the building to examine the harmony and interplay of colors.

Contemporary painters also repeatedly take up the Eiffel Tower as a motif.

Reception in the film

Due to its importance and fame, the Eiffel Tower is repeatedly featured in films. In almost all films with the setting Paris it is a distinguishing feature of the city skyline . In addition, he was often the scene of cinematic acts himself. The film genres in which it was discussed range from pure documentary films to crime films , romantic love comedies and action , science fiction and disaster films . The diverse inclusion of the Eiffel Tower can be explained on the one hand by its strong symbolic character, on the other hand because the tower and cinema were created in the same time period (→ film history ).

Documentary by the Lumière brothers (1897)

One of the first films ever was the documentary Panorama pendant l'ascension de la tour Eiffel by the Lumière brothers from 1897, in which the tower ascent is shown, and Images de l'exposition 1900 by Georges Méliès . The first science fiction silent film in which the Eiffel Tower was included as an object was Paris qui there (German: Paris in Sleep ) by director René Clair from 1925. It is assigned to the avant-garde films due to its unreal atmosphere . A man wakes up on the Eiffel Tower after an attack by a mad scientist, finds Paris as a ghost town and searches for a way out with a few people who have also been spared. In 1928 Clair addressed the architecture and rigor of the construction of the Eiffel Tower in La Tour .

In the love comedy Ninotschka from 1939 , Count Leon, played by Melvyn Douglas , follows the still unknown Ninotschka, played by Greta Garbo , on a walk to the Eiffel Tower, which she wants to visit. There the two meet, and Leon explains to Ninotschka the advantages of the iron construction in great detail. In the thriller The Man from the Eiffel Tower from 1949 , the tower is the central location and appears in the film title and in the poster. The director Burgess Meredith plays in his film himself. Towards the end of the film there is a spectacular climb on the iron struts of the landmark.

Short fade-ins of the Eiffel Tower - mostly to refer to the city of Paris - were for example in the films Casablanca , The Bridge on the Kwai , Happiness came overnight or you kissed and hit him . In the Truffaut crime thriller Auf Liebe und Tod , Fanny Ardant as Barbara Becker beats down a priest with an iron replica of the Eiffel Tower. The scene is also themed in the original movie poster . In the spy film parody The Tall Blonde with the Black Shoe , the top of the Eiffel Tower is used as an agent's headquarters. In the agent film James Bond 007 - In the Face of Death from 1985 , a spectacular chase takes place, which ends with a parachute jump from the building.

In end-time films , the Eiffel Tower was often destroyed or depicted as a ruin to increase its emotional impact . This happens, for example, in the H. G. Wells film adaptation of the Battle of the Worlds from 1953, in the US film Independence Day from 1996, in the science fiction satirical Mars Attacks! from 1996 and in the disaster film Armageddon - The Last Judgment from 1998. In the action film GI Joe - Cobra , the Eiffel Tower is the target of a criminal demolition squad.

The Eiffel Tower and its history have also been the subject of documentary fiction adaptations (→ films about the Eiffel Tower ) several times .

Importance and appreciation as a national symbol

High towers not only have a cultural background due to the biblical model of the Tower of Babel , but are also a symbol for overcoming gravity, as a sign of dominion over space and thus often over the people in the vicinity. In this context, the original resistance against the Eiffel Tower can be seen as a particularly outstanding example of the dominant power of technical towers such as blast furnaces , winding towers , gasometers , silos or industrial chimneys that emerged in the 19th century. On the other hand, with the construction of his tower, Eiffel apparently fulfilled a human dream , after the dream of flying had already been realized by Montgolfière around 100 years earlier .

Hoisting of the French tricolor in the year of its completion in 1889 as a sign of national solidarity

In addition to its architectural achievement, the Eiffel Tower had a strong impact on French national consciousness. The building presents itself as a historical reminder of the French Revolution and underlines the emerging economic power of France at the end of the 19th century. Pride in this past and emancipation from the monarchy shaped the spirit of the world expositions that took place in Paris in 1867 and 1878. This open commitment to democratic ideals and thus to the anti-monarchical attitude stood in the way of the worldwide acceptance of the exhibition project, especially in the case of monarchical states. In the historical context, the Eiffel Tower thus has the function of a revolutionary monument. Eugène-Melchior de Vogue even saw it as the new church of inner-worldly perfection. The Eiffel Tower embodies the triumph of the French Revolution, the Third French Republic and the Industrial Age . The tower was very attractive to the general public; especially the common people from the provinces of France wanted to see the marvel. The Eiffel Tower was also a meeting point for the different social classes, which at that time were strictly separated in public life. For this reason, the building contributed to the fact that the dividing line between the classes was completely blurred in the republican ethos .

The Eiffel Tower thus positions itself as a modern form of festival architecture and as a medium that non-violently swore the French people to republican values. Because it represents France's strength and power so effectively, the Eiffel Tower, nicknamed la dame de fer (German: the iron lady), is associated with France like few other buildings. As early as 1987, 25% of the French stated in a survey which historical building best represented their country, the Eiffel Tower, well ahead of the Palace of Versailles with 17%, the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Bastille with 13% each. The French philosopher Roland Barthes derives the worldwide omnipresence of the tower from its symbolism and writes:

“[...] The Eiffel Tower [is] present all over the world. […] Its simple form, acting as a matrix, gives it the ability to use an infinite cipher: one after the other, depending on the appeals of our imagination, a symbol for […] modernity, for communication, for science […], rocket, stem, derrick, phallus , Lightning rod or insect. "

The Eiffel Tower on postage stamps and currency

Eiffel Tower on the 200 franc banknote that was in circulation until the introduction of the euro

Until the introduction of the euro , the Eiffel Tower could be seen as a stylized silhouette on the front and back of the 200 franc banknote . While the portrait of Gustave Eiffel was shown on the front, in addition to the silhouette, a view through the tower base of the four pillars was shown on the back. To mark the 100th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower, in 1989 the Banque de France issued a 5-franc commemorative silver coin with an edition of 800,000 . On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the inauguration of the Eiffel Tower, a 50 euro gold coin will appear in France on March 3, 2014 in a limited edition of 1000 copies. The front of the coin shows the UNESCO logo and a city map on which the Eiffel Tower is located. The back focuses on the steel strut construction through a stylized and detailed view.

The French postal service held at the beginning with an appreciation of the building on a stamp back. The first postage stamp in France with the Eiffel Tower as the main motif appeared in the year of its 40th anniversary on May 5, 1939 (Yvert et Tellier No. 429) with a circulation of 1,140,000. The tower is shown on the pink postage stamp with 90c + 50c franking at a 45-degree angle. However, as early as 1936 a series appeared with a mail plane over the sky of Paris, in which the silhouette of the city could be seen in the background with the Eiffel Tower. It became the main motif again in 1989 for its 100th anniversary, as well as in 2009 and 2010. The Eiffel Tower has been used repeatedly as a symbol on postage stamps over the past few decades for some congresses and events that took place in Paris. For example, for the 2011 World Weightlifting Championships in Paris, a large block edition was published in which the Eiffel Tower, graphically represented as a weightlifter, lifts a dumbbell, the two weight plates of which each have a round stamp with a face value of 60 and 89 cents. By 2011, well over 30 French postage stamps had the Eiffel Tower as a motif.

Advertising, marketing and commercialization

Reproduction of a paper kit from 1889
Eiffel Tower miniatures from 2012

The commercial marketing of the Eiffel Tower began even before its completion. Gustave Eiffel organized appropriate measures at regular intervals - not least to create a counterweight to the protest voices that were repeatedly loud . As early as the spring of 1886, articles, brochures and various images were produced and distributed. This made the tower world famous even before it opened. The extent of this prompted the journalist and dramaturge Henry Buguet (1845–1920) as early as September 13, 1888 in Le Soir to ask the following indignant question:

“Don't you think that until this phenomenal tower has been completed to everyone's and even universal satisfaction, the Eiffel Tower men should leave us a little quiet with this gigantic nail that they hammer into our ears day after day and hour after hour? "

Eiffel Tower keychain

The mass production of Eiffel Tower souvenirs began with the opening of the landmark. Even then, the variety of shapes knew hardly any limits. This was also continued by the current operating company. In addition to handicraft sheets, pendants, candles, snow globes , crockery or lamp bases, countless tower models made of different materials are on sale. In the Eiffel Tower there are a total of eight official souvenir shops spread over the first two levels and on the ground floor at the base of the tower; they carry over 700 different products. According to the operator, over a million visitors shop in the stores every year. The demand for Eiffel Tower reproductions is also attempted by numerous black market vendors flying around the tower.

After the car brand Citroën had already drawn attention to itself in the 1920s and 1930s with a conspicuous neon sign on the Eiffel Tower , many well-known French brands used the famous landmark for their advertising purposes, including Air France , La Samaritaine , Yves Saint Laurent , Jean Paul Gaultier , Nina Ricci , Alain Afflelou or Campari . According to architectural historian Bertrand Lemoine, the Eiffel Tower served the universal idea of ​​material and social progress very early on and thus fulfilled a “ Julesvernesque ” dream about nature in the sense of the Enlightenment century . That explains the success as an advertising medium, which also stands for modernity and ambition. The effectiveness of the Eiffel Tower seems unbroken to this day, because contemporary advertising still refers to the building, as in an IBM commercial in the 2000s . Many advertising motifs with the Eiffel Tower have in common that they either indicate an extraordinary success or the city of Paris or the country of France is highlighted. The Eiffel Tower is a symbol of both success in general and France. For example, in 1952 Air France showed in an advertising poster all the important Parisian buildings united in the dominant outlines of the Eiffel Tower, behind which a stylized land mass can be seen, which stands for the entire country. The poster designed by the French graphic artist Bernard Villemot (1911–1989) has now become a classic and is still offered as a reproduction today .

Paris FC logo

Various toy manufacturers such as MB / Hasbro or Ravensburger have brought out a 3D puzzle of the famous Parisian landmark . Lego made a 1: 300 scale kit of the Eiffel Tower from 3428 parts. The built model from 2007 is 1.08 meters high and is now a coveted rarity. A Korean company also offers the tower as a 1: 160 scale model kit. The approximately two meter high bronze model weighs around 25 kilograms. In addition, there are also models made of paper, wood or matches from various other manufacturers, as well as posters, pictures and wall tattoos .

The Summer Olympics in Paris in 1900 advertised the event in the official poster with the Eiffel Tower. The French football club Paris FC , founded in 1969, has the Eiffel Tower as its emblem; it has been modified again and again over the years. The current logo shows the tower in stylized brushstrokes. The Paris Saint-Germain football club, founded in 1970, also features the Eiffel Tower in its emblem. In the Netherlands even a team playing in the first basketball league named itself after the Eiffel Tower. EiffelTowers Den Bosch , based in 's-Hertogenbosch , also have the Paris Tower in their logo.

Eiffel's estate

Page from the reprint of Eiffel's La tour de trois cents mètres

One of the most comprehensive technical representations of the Eiffel Tower is the publication by Gustave Eiffel himself, which appeared on June 1, 1900. The extensive folio volume printed on vellum paper in two editions with the title La tour de trois cents mètres (German: The 300-meter tower ) is divided into eight parts and presents the building in around 4,300 plans, drawings and double-sided panels as well as contemporary photographs. The plans are generally printed on a scale of 1: 200, smaller details are shown on a scale of 1:50, 1:20 or 1:10. All components are provided with size information and the text deals precisely with the origins, the construction principle, the costs, the execution of the work on the foundations and the metal construction as well as the renovation work for the 1900 World Exhibition. Eiffel even devotes a separate chapter to erecting the scaffolding. This very comprehensive representation reflects the encyclopedic spirit in the tradition of the Enlightenment . In addition to the technical and engineering aspects, it was also a tribute to all employees. All 326 engineers , foremen and workers who were involved in the design and construction of the Eiffel Tower are named at the beginning of the book. At the same time, the monumental book served not only as an inventory, but also as a balance sheet, gift and advertising medium in which Eiffel wanted to preserve his performance for posterity.

For the builder himself, the tower symbolized the “century of industry and science”, which in his opinion began especially in the post-revolutionary period in France. For this reason, he had the names of 72 scientists attached to the structure of the tower as a souvenir. At the same time, he used all the technical means available up to that point, such as electrical lighting and elevator technology, in order to combine industrial and scientific achievements in the building.

Frequencies and Programs

The Eiffel Tower is the tallest television tower in France and at the same time the most important transmitter for terrestrial broadcasts in the Paris region, especially for VHF radio programs and digital television . The tower supports over 120 transmitting antennas . The transmission infrastructure is operated by TDF . Currently (2013) the Eiffel Tower broadcasts over 30 radio and 45 television programs.


program RDS PS RDS PI regionalization
Antenna pattern
round (ND) / directional (D)
horizontal (H) /
vertical (V)
87.8 France Inter __INTER_ F201 - 10 ND V
89.0 Radio France Internationale __R_F_I_ FE10 - 10 ND V
89.9 TSF Jazz TSF_JAZZ F223 - 6.3 ND V
90.4 nostalgia NOSTALGI F218 - 10 ND V
90.9 Chante France CHANTE_F FE43 - 4th ND V
91.3 Chérie FM CHERIEFM F224 - 10 ND V
91.7 France Musique _MUSIQUE F203 - 10 ND V
92.1 Le Mouv ' __MOUV'_ F208 - 8th ND V
93.5 France Culture _CULTURE F202 - 10 ND V
94.3 Radio Orient _ORIENT_ F22B - 4th ND V
96.0 Skyrock SKYROCK_ F214 - 10 ND V
96.4 BFM Business ___BFM__ F227 - 4th D. V
96.9 Voltage FM VOLTAGE_ FE45 - 4th ND V
97.4 Rire et Chansons _RIRE _ & _ F226 - 4th ND V
99.9 Sud Radio + SUDRADIO F20B - 4th ND V
100.3 NRJ __NRJ___ F220 Paris 10 ND V
100.7 Radio Notre Dame _N.DAME_ FE32 - 10 ND V
101.1 Radio Classique CLASSIQ_ F221 - 10 ND V
101.5 Radio Nova __NOVA__ F22A - 10 ND V
101.9 Fun radio ___FUN__ F217 - 10 ND V
102.3 Ouï FM _OUI_FM_ F21D - 4th ND V
102.7 MFM radio M_RADIO_ F225 - 10 D. V
103.1 Radio Monte Carlo ___RMC__ F216 - 10 ND V
103.5 Virgin Radio _VIRGIN_ F219 Paris 10 ND V
103.9 RFM __RFM___ F212 - 10 ND V
104.3 RTL __RTL___ F211 - 10 ND V
104.7 Europe 1 EUROPE_1 F213 - 10 ND V
105.1 FIP __F_I_P_ F204 - 10 ND V
105.5 France Info __INFO__ F206 - 10 ND V
105.9 RTL 2 __RTL2__ F215 - 10 ND V
107.1 France Bleu 107.1 __BLEU__ F20A - 10 ND V

Digital television (DVB-T)

channel Frequency
(in MHz)
Multiplex Programs in multiplex ERP
(in kW)

round (ND) /
directional (D)
horizontal (H) /
vertical (V)
Single frequency network (SFN)
35 586 TNT bouquet R1 50 ND H Paris / Eiffel Tower , Villebon-sur-Yvette , Sannois , Chennevières-sur-Marne
25th 506 TNT bouquet R2 50 ND H Paris / Eiffel Tower , Villebon-sur-Yvette , Sannois , Chennevières-sur-Marne
22nd 482 TNT bouquet R3 (encrypted) 50 ND H Paris / Eiffel Tower , Villebon-sur-Yvette , Sannois , Chennevières-sur-Marne
30th 546 TNT bouquet R4 50 ND H Paris / Eiffel Tower , Villebon-sur-Yvette , Sannois , Chennevières-sur-Marne
28 530 TNT bouquet R5 50 ND H Paris / Eiffel Tower , Villebon-sur-Yvette , Sannois , Chennevières-sur-Marne
32 562 TNT bouquet R6 50 ND H Paris / Eiffel Tower , Villebon-sur-Yvette , Sannois , Chennevières-sur-Marne
23 490 TNT bouquet L8 50 ND H Paris / Eiffel Tower

Analog television (SECAM)

Before the switch to DVB-T, the broadcasting location was still used for analog television (→ Séquentiel couleur à mémoire , SECAM):

channel Frequency
program ERP
Transmission diagram
round (ND) /
directional (D)
horizontal (H) /
vertical (V)
6th 184.00 Canal + 100 ND H
22nd 479.25 France 2 500 ND H
25th 503.25 TF1 500 ND H
28 527.25 France 3 500 ND H
30th 543.25 France 5 / Arte 100 ND H
33 567.25 M6 100 ND H


  • The Tower of Monsieur Eiffel , drama (TV movie), France, Belgium, Switzerland 2005, 95 minutes, director: Simon Brook.
  • Operation Eiffel Tower [Original title: The Hostage Tower ], Action, Crime, USA 1984, 89 minutes, director: Claudio Guzmán.
  • The man who sold the Eiffel Tower , TV movie, Germany 1970, 90 minutes, director: Michael Braun .


Gustave Eiffel's publications

Cover of the first official publication on the Eiffel Tower
  • Projet d'une tour colossale en fer de 300 mètres de hauteur . Paris, 1884 (project description).
  • Tour en fer de 300 mètres de hauteur destinée à l'Exposition de 1889 . Paris, 1885 (first official publication on the Eiffel Tower).
  • The tour of 300 meters . Paris: Lemercier, 1900 - 2 vol. TI: Texts TII: Planches. épuisé mais available gratuitement à la BNF .
  • Origines de la Tour .
  • La tour Eiffel en 1900 . Paris, Masson, 1902.
  • Research expérimentales sur la résistance de l'air exécutées à la tour Eiffel . L. Maretheux, Paris 1907.
  • L'Architecture métallique . Maisonneuve et Larose, Paris 1996, ISBN 2-7068-1189-7 .

Books by other authors

  • Roland Barthes: The Eiffel Tower , from the French by Helmut Scheffel, Suhrkamp Taschenbuch 4632, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-518-46632-2 .
  • Jill Jonnes: Eiffel's Tower: The Thrilling Story Behind Paris's Beloved Monument and theExtraordinary World's Fair That Introduced It , Penguin, New York, NY / London 2010, ISBN 978-0-14-311729-2 (English).
  • Bertrand Lemoine : The Eiffel Tower. Gustave Eiffel: La Tour de 300 Mèters. Taschen, Cologne 2008, ISBN 978-3-8365-0903-9 (various languages).
  • Joseph Harriss: The Tallest Tower: Eiffel And The Belle Epoque , Unlimited Publishing, Bloomington, IN 2008, ISBN 978-1-58832-102-2 .
  • Meg Greene: Building World Landmarks - Eiffel Tower , Blackbirch Press, San Diego, CA 2003, ISBN 978-1-56711-315-0 (English).
  • Bertrand Lemoine: The fantastic story of the Eiffel Tower , Éditions Ouest-France, Rennes 1998, ISBN 978-2-7373-2238-9 .
  • Nigel Hawkes: Wunderwerke , Südwest Verlag, Augsburg 1998, ISBN 3-86047-250-X , pp. 76-79.
  • Erwin Heinle , Fritz Leonhardt : Towers of all times - of all cultures . DVA, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-421-02931-8 , pp. 214-218.
  • Jean-Kyeong Hong: The consequences of the industrial revolution for architecture: the development process of the new building types between Coalbrookdalebrücke 1779 and Eiffel Tower 1889 , [Cologne] 1994, DNB 943067499 (Dissertation University of Cologne 1994, 159 pages).
  • Bertrand Lemoine: La Tour de Monsieur Eiffel , Gallimard, Paris 1989, ISBN 978-2-07-053083-0 (French).
  • Jeannot Simmen (Ed.): Cent mille fois. Competition: 100 Years of the Eiffel Tower , König, Cologne 1987, ISBN 3-88375-062-X .
  • Roland Barthes , André Martin: The Eiffel Tower. Rogner & Bernhard, Munich 1970, ISBN 3-920802-34-9 .
  • Jules Simon : Guide officiel de la Tour Eiffel , Chaix, Paris 1893. ( here online (French))

Technical article

  • Hubert Chanson: Hydraulic Engineering Legends Listed on the Eiffel Tower , in: Great Rivers History , ASCE -EWRI Publication, lecture at the History Symposium of the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009, Kansas City, USA, May 17-19 2009, JR ROGERS Ed., ISBN 978-0-7844-1032-5 , pp. 1-7. ( here online )
  • Hubertus coal : The Eiffel Tower as a revolutionary monument . In: Gudrun Gersmann , Hubertus Kohlen (ed.) France 1871–1914: The Third Republic and the French Revolution , Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 978-3-515-08057-6 , pp. 119–132. ( here online )
  • Hubertus Coal: The apotheosis of iron and iron construction. The Eiffel Tower in Germany. in: Beyond the Limits. French and German art from the Ancien Régime to the present. DuMont Verlag, Cologne, 2000, ISBN 978-3-8321-5341-0 , pp. 262-268. ( here online (PDF); PDF; 783 kB)
  • P. Sandori: The Eiffel Tower is 100 years old , In: Canadian architect , 5/1989, pp. 47-52.
  • E. Schneider: Data on the Eiffel Tower , steel construction, 1989, ISSN  0038-9145 .
  • Patrick Weidmann, Iosif Pinelis: Model equations for the Eiffel Tower profile: Historical perspective and new results . In: Comptes Rendus Mecanique , 332, July 2004 (Issue 7), ISSN  1631-0721 , pp. 571-584. ( available here )
  • Karl Friedrich Walbrach: 110 years of the Eiffel Tower . In: Bautechnik , 76, 1999, issue 8, pp. 696-699, ISSN  0932-8351 .
  • Anna Diercks: A “Triumph of the Naked Facts”: The Eiffel Tower at the 1900 World's Fair ; ub.uni-muenchen.de (PDF; 251 kB)
  • Eiffel Tower . In: Encyclopædia Britannica . 11th edition. tape 9 : Edwardes - Evangelical Association . London 1910, p. 133 (English, full text [ Wikisource ]).
  • Eiffel Tower . In: Brockhaus Konversations-Lexikon 1894-1896, Volume 5, pp. 779-780.

Web links

Wiktionary: Eiffel Tower  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Eiffel Tower  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Document collection on the Eiffel Tower  - sources and full texts (French)

Broadcast contributions

Panoramas and pictures

Individual evidence

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  13. Martin Michalky, Robert Schittler: The big book of the stock exchange , financial Verlag 2007, ISBN 978-3-89879-265-3 , S. 42nd
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before Tallest building in the world after that
Washington Monument (300 m)
Chrysler Building

This article was added to the list of excellent articles on May 22, 2012 in this version .