Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happy 120th Birthday, Tour Eiffel!

Since I've become sadly aware that my days in Paris are numbered, I've had to make a list of "must make time for" these things before I leave. On the list for yesterday was the exhibition at the magnifique Hotel de Ville (main Paris City Hall) in honor of Gustave Eiffel: "Le Magicien de Fer".

The exhibit contains paintings, photos, drawings, and models of Eiffel's work - work which included hundreds of metal structures around the world. Cast iron railway bridges were his favorite structures and his innovative company even produced portable bridges sold in kits.

Eiffel (along with Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc) designed the infrastructure of the Statue of Liberty, which consists of four gigantic steel supports. They also supervised its assembly.

The Tour Eiffel was built for the 1889 Universal Exposition and was meant to be dismantled after 20 years. However, Gustave had other plans. He was determined to find a practical application for the Tour, and he spent the last 30 years of his life working on projects in meteorology, radiotelegraphy, and aerodynamics to ensure that his Tour would remain standing. (And we're glad he did!)

1 comment:

  1. Bon fete, tour eiffel! We rode a barge across one of m. Eiffel's bridges (across the Loire river) a few years ago. See:


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