www.whyville.net Apr 20, 2008 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Remarkable Places of the World

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Traveling is not my thing, but reporting on some of the most remarkable structures and buildings that grab the attention of tourists from all over the world is. For my first article, I've decided to talk about the ever-famous Eiffel Tower in France.

Height: 300 meters (984 ft)
Width: 125 meters (410 ft)
Architect: Gustave Eiffel

Built in 1887 and completed in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is the fifth tallest building in France (tallest in Paris) and is recognized by many people around the world. The iron tower was built on Champ de Mars beside the Seine River in Paris. It had received more than 500,000,000 visitors since it was completed.


The Eiffel Tower was supposed to be built in Barcelona, Spain, but the folks at Barcelona city hall refused. They thought of it as an unusual, expensive, and out-of-place piece of construction. Gustave Eiffel then submitted his draft to the Universal Exhibition in Paris. The tower was opened on May 6, 1889. Unfortunately, most of the public thought it was an ugly sight and hated it at the time. As for today, their minds changed.

The Tower was only allowed to stand for 20 years, and needed to be destroyed by 1909. Because it was a valued communication purpose, it was kept.

Under the first balcony of the Eiffel Tower is where Gustave Eiffel engraved the names of French scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and many other distinguished people. The engraving was painted over in the early 1900s, but was restored in 1986-1987 by Societe Nouvelle d'exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, a company that operated business associated with the Tower.

In case you were wondering, the shape of the Tower was built like that to withstand wind forces. The lower section has stronger resistance, though.

Did You Know?

- The Eiffel Tower was struck by lightning on June 3, 1902, at 9:20 PM. The top part had to be reconstructed and damaged lights were replaced.

- An Austrian tailor named Franz Reichelt jumped from the first deck of the Tower using a home-made parachute and fell to his death on February 4, 1912.

- In 1940 (during WWII), after the Nazi occupied Paris, Nazi soldiers climbed on top of the Tower to put up the swastika, which blew away a few hours later because of how large it was. They eventually replaced it with a smaller one.

- On January 3, 1956, the top of the Tower was damaged because a fire raged out.

- Another fire occurred on July 22, 2003.

The Eiffel Tower suffered quite a few damages through history, but that didn't stop visitors from piling into Paris. As long as it shall stand, it'll remain the global icon of France.

Author's Note: Sources: Wikipedia, Glass Steel and Stone.


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