The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris.
Built in 1889, it has become both a global icon of France and one of the most
recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest building in
Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; millions of people
ascend it every year. Named for its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the
tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair.
The tower stands 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an
81-story building. Upon its completion, it surpassed the Washington Monument to
assume the title of tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held
for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930;
however, due to the addition in 1957 of the antenna, the tower is now taller
than the Chrysler Building. Not including broadcast antennas, it is the
second-tallest structure in France after the 2004 Millau Viaduct.
The tower has three levels for visitors. Tickets can be purchased to ascend, by
stairs or lift, to the first and second levels. The walk to the first level is
over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. The third
and highest level is accessible only by elevator. Both the first and second
levels feature restaurants.
The tower has become the most prominent symbol of both Paris and France, often
in the establishing shot of films set in the city.