The Eiffel Tower in Paris
In 1889, when the Tour Eiffel was completed, it was the tallest building in the world at 300m. The Tour Eiffel was originally built as a tempory structure to commemorate the centenary of the Revolution. And since, the Eiffel Tower has become an enduring symbol of the city of Paris. The Tour was originally built for the 1889 Exposition. This steel construction defied all traditional rules in architecture. It is now the television transmitter for the greater Paris region.
The Tour selected by a competition which was won by Gustave Eiffel, an engineer who had experience of constructing high level railway viaducts. In the public eye, the tower had many mixed opinions, celebrated and loathed in equal measure. Throughout its construction, the residents became convinced that it would collapse, and Eiffel had to personally assure them. The author Guy de Maupassant left Paris permanently to avoid looking at its 'metallic carcass' but others who espoused more self-consciously modern views championed the tower: Seurat and Douanier Rousseau were among the first to paint it, in 1889 and 1890 respectively. On a clear day, it is possible to see Chartres Cathedral from the high level viewing platform.
There are three floors. The first is at 57 m., the second at 115m., and the third at 276 m. The top of the aerial is 320 m. above the ground. And on a nice day, you an see from the top of the platform, the whole of Paris and even the distant suburbs.
The 12,000 steel girders are held together by 2,500,000 rivets to produce a smooth, curving profile. Its functional elegance heralded the dawn of Industrial Art, and has met with much sarcastic comment from more conservative observers ever since it was finished in 1889.
And in 1986 the external night-time floodlighting was replaced by a system of illumination from within the tower's superstructure, so that it now looks at its magical best after dark.