Today, the Eiffel Tower is a symbol of romance and beauty in the heart of the City of Lights, but when it was first built at the end of the 19th century, it received countless criticisms.
Who Built the Eiffel Tower?
Alexandre Gustave Eiffel was born on 15 December 1832 and grew up in Dijon, the capital of Burgundy. Among the members of his family, weaving was a common profession, but his two uncles who were chemists had a great influence on him. They stimulated his interest in various subjects.
Eiffel eventually turned his attention to metalworking and moved to Paris where he tried to make a name for himself. He got a job with a railway engineer named Charles Nepveu, who later commissioned Eiffel to build a bridge in Bordeaux. His work on the bridge was completed in 1860 and led to many similar projects.
In 1886, the French government held a design competition to build a flagship for the upcoming World’s Fair in Paris, which also coincided with the centenary of the French Revolution. This milestone was to be completed within three years.
Eiffel, convinced of his abilities as an architect, decided to submit a design to the competition. His design for a steel lattice tower beat out 700 other submissions received by the Centennial Exposition Committee. Gustave Eiffel’s design was extremely ambitious. At nearly 1,000 feet tall, the Eiffel Tower towers over the Washington Monument, which at 555 feet was the tallest landmark in the world at the time.
Not only was it extremely tall for its time, but the Eiffel Tower was also very elaborate. It will be made of 18,000 pieces of wrought iron held together by 2.5 million rivets, with four curved steel pillars connected by a grid of beams. After careful calculations, the curves of the tower are designed to offer the highest possible effective wind resistance.
What Does The Tower Mean?
For Eiffel, he saw the tower as a symbol of the modern century. He hoped that the building would also be useful for the work of meteorologists and cartographers due to its size. But not everyone was impressed. News of the dark steel tower drew criticism from the public, particularly from the city’s legion of creative artists. Led by Charles Garnier, the architect behind the famous Grand Palais Garnier, hundreds of artists – mostly painters, poets, and writers – signed a public petition protesting the Eiffel Tower.
The extensive petition was published on Valentine’s Day in the local publication Le Temps and explained the group’s stance on the “big black factory chimney”.
But Gustave Eiffel saw it differently. He believed that his proposal if successfully implemented, would be a great success for the company. He insisted that if man rejected his tower, it would be as easy as removing the ancient pyramids of Giza because they are “man-made piles of dirt”.
Fortunately for him, the French government felt the same way, and in January 1887, construction of the Eiffel Tower began.
The Eiffel Tower Today
Despite its inauspicious beginnings, the Eiffel Tower is now a beloved icon of Paris. Although Gustave Eiffel may have exaggerated the importance of his architecture, the construction of the Eiffel Tower was indeed a major undertaking and is as impressive as the best online betting in NZ action to this day.
Despite the initial protests, the imposing landmark, which was once declared a monster, gradually became the most famous symbol of France.