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On This Day… The Eiffel Tower Opened

Written by: George Chittenden : 09 Jul 2019

It was on this day, 31st March, back in 1889 when the Eiffel Tower was officially opened! Unfortunately, the elevators hadn’t been completed, so the genius who designed the tower, Gustave Eiffel climbed the stairs instead and raised an enormous French flag on the structure’s flagpole. When Gustave Eiffel finally climbed back down, he addressed the guests and about two-hundred workers.

The tower was built to honour the centenary of the French Revolution. Countless designs were submitted, but Eiffels was chosen. Many doubted his ambitious design was even possible, yet he completed his great tower under budget in just over two years. On completion it became the tallest man-made structure on earth, which was a title it held until the completion of New York’s Chrysler Building in 1930.

Gustave Eiffel

Gustave Eiffel

Interestingly the tower shrinks by about six inches in cold weather, and its lifts travel a combined distance of 103,000 km a year which is two and a half times the circumference of the Earth! During the German occupation of France, Nazi soldiers tried to attach a swastika to the top of the tower, but it was so large it blew away and had to be replaced with a smaller one.

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