The first half of the nineteenth century was marked by the Industrial Revolution in Europe, in which the expanding science of metallurgy played a primary role.
Cast iron made its debut in the construction industry in 1779 with the bridge at Coalbrookdale in England, followed in 1803 by the Pont des Arts bridge in Paris. By around 1845 laminated iron was taking over as a more efficient and economic material than cast iron, heralding a spectacular rejuvenation in the conception of buildings.
The central market building in Paris, Les Halles, was erected in 1853 by Victor Baltard and Felix Callet. It was the first building in France to openly display its metalwork. It opened the way for the construction of new types of edifice required by an industrialized society, such as railway stations, markets, factories, large stores, glass-roofed buildings, pavilions and exhibition halls.
During the last twenty-eight years of his life he became passionately interested in three areas of avant-garde science, all three linked to possible uses for his "masterpiece", the Tower. He had to prove the usefulness of the Tower because according to the terms of the concession awarded by the City of Paris, it was to stand for only twenty years.
The three areas in which he put the Tower to work as a laboratory on a massive scale were meteorology - the Tower as a weather station; radiotelegraphy - the Tower as a radio mast; and aerodynamics - the Tower as a means to observe objects falling from a great height.
The Eiffel Tower adorns itself in a new sparking finery - At the occasion of the passage to the new year 2000 the Tower puts on a brand new lighting display: 20,000 flashes of lightning turn the Eiffel Tower's golden lightning into a mantle. The Tower will display its sparking lights, on all its sides, from the top to the ground, throughout the year 2000 down to the turn of the new millenium.
In collaboration with the Tower's organization and technical teams, the design and production of the sparking display are from light designer Pierre Bideau, who also created the lighting display that has been illuminating the Eiffel Tower since 1986 Twenty climbers have been working every night during three months to fix 20. 000 bulbs, 50 miles of electric cables, the whole representing 400 kW of power. The Eiffel Tower sparks every hour at sunset during 10 minutes, the last sparking is at 2:00 a.m. as the usual Tower's lightnings are off.
From the day of its inauguration in 1889, tourists and celebrities rubbed shoulders on the Tower. A total of two million people made the ascent.
In the visitors' book one can find the signatures of George I of Greece, the Shah of Persia, Prince Baudouin, the Czarevich and the son of the Emperor of Japan. Thomas Edison visited the Tower and wrote a dedication to "the courageous builder of such a gigantic and original example of modern construction". Over 185 million people have visited the Tower since its construction, and today over 6 million people make the ascent every year.
When it expired in 1980, the City of Paris took more direct control of the Tower, through the means of a mixed capital company called SNTE (Société Nouvelle d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel).
One of its first actions was to launch an ambitious program of restoration and renovation of the Tower. The structure was given a thorough examination, strengthened in parts and also lightened by the removal of 1,340 tons of material that had been added over the years.
The Eiffel Tower will continue to display its glittering lights for 10 minutes every hour on the hour, from sunset until 1 am. The lights shut down for night on the Tower at 1 am, so that the last ten minute sparkle will be the only light visible.
A double set of elevators go from the second level to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Riding up the shaft of the monument, these panoramic elevators offer a spectacular view.
To go up, there are two possibilities: To go from the ground to second floor in large capacity elevators, which are also panoramic (you may of course stop off on the first floor). To climb the stairs - some 704 steps up to the second floor : a great moment in your visit.
Handicapped people - in wheelchairs, or the physically disabled, can go to the 1st and 2nd floors by elevator. For security reasons, the top of the Eiffel Tower is not accesible to them.
A series of conferences/guided visits were scheduled with the support of the National Monument Center covering such topics as the history of the monument in its early days, its contribution to modern metallic architecture, as well as all the scientific and technical applications it demonstrates.
Tickets are valid for the period and eventually, hour indicated. Access is limited to those hours open to the public. The hour of final admission may be earlier than indicated in case of large crowds. Tickets sold may not be resold, reimbursed or exchanged. They do not entitle the purchaser to any claim or compensation in the event of incidences independent of the good faith of management, or resulting from circumstances outside their control, causing partial or total closing of the monument.
The geography and important attendance of the monument impose special measures with regards to the security of visitors, bagage and animals. Hence, the appliance of general and specific security measures may cause the unexpected closing of all or part of the areas available to the public, as well as inspection of bags or packages. Large bags and animals are not allowed on the monument. There is no cloak or baggage room available.
For security reasons, animals are not allowed on the Tower. Handicapped people - in wheelchairs, or the physically disabled, can go to the 1st and 2nd floors by elevator. For security reasons, the top of the Eiffel Tower is not accesible to them.
The visitor's galaxy - Alias, the friendly robot guide, accompanies you in the construction of a virtual Eiffel Tower made of a million stars, each one the result of a visitor to the monument. Fly with Alias through the Eiffel Tower's galaxy, engrave your own star with your initials, find your creation on the web later, and why not communicate with others around the world who helped build this Tower of the future? A very original and much appreciated attraction. An electronic panel also indicates the number of entries as visitors enter the Tower, with the total number since its construction.
Buffets, on the ground floor, first and second floors offer a choice of dishes and drinks for a quick meal.
"LE JULES VERNE" - Situated on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, this fine gastronomic restaurant has an excellent reputation (1 star in the Michelin guide). Direct access by private elevator directly from the ground floor in the South pillar.
Articles from Paris may be found in the souvenir shops of the Eiffel tower located at the foot of the pillars, on the first and second floors.
Although the Tower is mare than one hundred years old, its modernity makes of it an important place for telecomunication in France. To foreigners it is still the symbol of France. That is why the Tower is the perfect place to organize cultural or professional events.
The Eiffel Tower invites you to take a virtual visit of its rooms via the 360° spherical panoramics. It gives you the possibility to freely navigate from the molding on the ceiling to the different floors.
For this visit you do not need any plugins but the navigator must be Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer version 3 or more recent. This site is optimized 800/600 colour screens. You can also access pages providing more information about renting rooms at the Eiffel Tower and come back at any moment to the panoramics.
A spectacular location and a refined ambiance - The room's extensive panoramic bay windows offer a view over Paris from a height of close on 60 metres, and give the opportunity to discover the Sacré coeur, the Concorde, or the Louvre.The ability to host a wide range of event
Modular, divisible into two parts, including a stage and full technical equipment, the room has the capacity to host such varied events as public relation operations, trade meetings, conferences, seminars, debates, fashion shows, shows, exhibitions, private showings, cocktails, lunches or dinners, etc.
The entry, which is located on the lower level, is equipped with a reception desk, cloakroom and washroom. On the same level is the artists' dressing room, (dressing tables and washroom) and the office for the caterers. Two staircases give access to the room.Reception, ascend to the first floor
Hostesses, direction marking, floral decoration are options that should be considered. Elevator ride: 40 seconds (one elevator every 5 minutes). 400 people per hour go up on public elevator. Free elevator tickets for up to 200 people included in the flat rate rental fee for the Gustave Eiffel Room.For more than 200 people, tickets cost half price. Reservations: please refer to the directory sheet in the appendix. The reception area located on the first level of the Eiffel Tower blends its prestigious qualities with those of charm and modernity. The fully equipped panoramic Gustave Eiffel Room plays host to all types of commercial or cultural events (with the exception of family celebrations). Generally rented out to one party, the Gustave Eiffel Room can also act as a central meeting point for an event thatwill move on to Altitude 95, the restaurant located on the first level.
The Machinery of the 1899 elevator - Every visitor with a ticket to visit the monument can check out the elevator machinery in the East and West pillars when in operation. This voyage underground, brings to mind the world of Jules Verne, allowing one to discover the imposing hydraulic machines designed by Gustave Eiffel. Restored and computerized since then, the same machinery is still used.
There are fun displays that let you discover the Tower'spast and present, the technology and know-how that it symbolizes as well as the momentous events that happened during its lifespan. A large circular gallery leads you through the sites and monuments of Paris, indicated with explanatory panels.
Panoramic elevators provide a spectacular ascension and a view on the extraordinary daring of the monument. The ascend of 180 meters ends on the discovery of the Parisian panorama. Two levels, one outside and a sheltered one give the opportunity to walk around and appreciate the view in the day or in the evening.
The Secrets of the Eiffel Tower, told by Michel Chevalet
The Eiffel Tower, which was begun in 1887, had been very criticised... but today it appears that every people seems astonished by this monument. In fact, everybody ask themselves how engineers and blue-collar workers could make it possible to realise such a structure in such a short period of time and with the rudimentary means of the period.