Eiffel TowerThe Eiffel Tower
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Eiffelturm - Facts & Summary
Eiffel et Compagnie, a consultancy and building company of the renowned bridging constructor, architects and metal experts Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, was awarded the contract. Eiffel himself often received full recognition for the memorial bearing his name, but it was one of his co-workers - a stress analyst called Maurice Koechlin - who developed and refined the idea.
Its cornerstones are aligned with the four points of the sky. Koechlin's initial plans for the tower were said to have been turned down by Eiffel, who instructed him to include more artistic ornaments. Hundreds of employees spend two years erecting the frame of the Icon Tower, which inaugurated in March 1889 almost 1,000 ft high and was the highest building in the whole wide globe - an award he received until the Chrysler building in New York City was completed in 1930.
At first, only the terrace on the second storey of the Eiffel Tower was open to the general public, later all three floors, two of which are now equipped with dining facilities, were accessible via a staircase or one of eight lifts. For example, the writer Guy de Maupassant detested the tower so much that he often dined in the basement café, the only viewpoint from which he could totally escape the view of the emerging outlines.
The Eiffel Tower, conceived of as a provisional exhibition, was almost demolished and scraped in 1909. A few years later, during the First World War, the Eiffel Tower caught hostile radiocommunications, passed on airship alarms and was used for the deployment of rescue troops. For a second occasion in the Second World War it evaded destruction: Hitler first ordered the tearing down of the city's most popular icon, but the order was never executed.
Even during the Nazi invasion of Paris, the Eiffel Tower's lift cords were crossed by enemy troops and the Nazis had to ascend the steps. The Eiffel Tower has been the scene of many top-class gestunts, festive occasions and even academic experiment. Also the Eiffel Tower has inspire more than 30 replica and similar constructions in various towns around the time.
The Eiffel Tower, today one of the most famous buildings in the world, was subjected to a large face-lift in 1986 and is painted every seven years. Around 500 staff are in charge of day-to-day operation, working in the restaurant, occupying the lifts, providing safety and guiding the bustling masses of people who populate the tower's decks to take in the panorama view of the City of Lights.