60 Tons of Paint
you'd lived in Paris between 1889 and 1930, you would
have enjoyed the sight of the world's tallest building.
La Tour Eiffel was named after
its head contractor, Gustave Eiffel, and was built to
commemorate the centennial
of the French Revolution. It remained the world's
tallest structure until it was
surpassed by New York City's 319-meter-high
Chrysler Building in 1931.
built close to the Eiffel's height are most often used
for communication. Television, radio, and cell phone
companies depend on such
towers to transmit their
signals. But the Eiffel Tower was built before radio
communication was necessary, and even before the radio
As one of the
world's most famous monuments, the tower has attracted
a lot of attention, but not all Parisians welcomed its
construction. The French writer Guy De Maupassant
supposedly hated the
structure, but ate at its restaurant every day.
When asked why, he remarked
that it was the only place in the city from which he
couldn't see the tower. During the years between 1925
and 1930, the tower acted as
the world's largest sign, advertising cars for the
French company, Citroen. When the German army invaded
Paris in 1940, the lift cables were cut as Hitler's men
stormed the city. However,
German soldiers still climbed all the way to the
tower's flagpole in order to fly the
make the Eiffel Tower look small
in comparison. Today's architects design
populated buildings that surpass 500 meters—nearly
double the height of the Eiffel Tower. Even so, the
romance continues, and the tower welcomes over 6 million
visitors per year. To keep the 118-year-old structure
looking fresh, 60 tons of paint are
reapplied every 8 years!
Through it all, the grand old tower lives on.