The famous symbol of Paris, which gives the city a look familiar to the whole world, is located on the Champ de Mars, a former military parade ground, which has been turned into a beautiful park. It is divided into alleys, decorated with small ponds and flower beds. Opposite the tower is the Jena Bridge. The graceful openwork design is visible from many points in Paris, although Eiffel did not initially plan this.
But who could have thought 120 years ago that this eerie structure, against which the highly respected personalities of Paris signed petitions, would become the sovereign symbol of the French capital?
The tower, by the way, might not exist at all. But here a world exhibition was being prepared, timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Great French Revolution. Among the proposals was the idea of building a giant guillotine. A bit gloomy, isn't it? - although in essence it fully corresponded to the spirit of the honored event. But here the engineer Gustave Eiffel accidentally, but in time, rummaged in his sketches. “The 300-meter iron tower”, as he himself called his future brainchild, he clearly did not consider a masterpiece, which he did not fail to notice, however, as an option, he proposed.
When the tower was only in plans, almost everyone did not believe that it would be able to resist at all. Of course: there were no such tall buildings in Paris! But here the architect's professional pride leaped up: Eiffel pledged his personal fortune for the reliability of his brainchild and, moreover, bought insurance in case the building collapsed.
Of course, the original sketch was decently edited, trying to adapt the iron monster as much as possible to the exquisite architecture of Paris. It took a long time to build the tower - 20 years. But Monsieur Eiffel went into a rage - and the tower was raised in record time, that is, in two years. In those days, it was unprecedented speed. Everything was explained by the highest accuracy of the drawings, in which the size of more than 18 thousand structural details was scrupulously accurately indicated. And surprisingly, there were no casualties. Although in the century before last, there were serious problems with safety technology, and any construction site killed at least a couple of workers.
It was easily assembled, mostly in parts. The first tier beams were erected using conventional cranes, until one day the height of the building "outgrew" the cranes. And then mobile lifting structures had to be installed on the structure itself. The workers used 2.5 million rivets to fasten the separately prepared elements. Rivet holes were already drilled in the parts prepared in advance, and most of them were installed, which significantly accelerated the assembly.
For the first time six months after the opening, 2 million tourists came to see the miracle tower. A fantastic figure for those times!
Meanwhile, the poor fellow Eiffel was "pecked" for a monstrous and useless project. Dumas the son shouted that the tower was outrageous for its absurdity, Paul Verlaine, according to rumors, traveled special routes - so that he would not come across a giantess in sight. And Guy de Maupassant deliberately dined at the famous Jules Verne restaurant: "This is the only place in Paris where you can't see the tower."
An interesting detail: the entire restaurant had to be lifted by an elevator and the structure had to be assembled at the top, which was successfully done, despite technical hiccups and problems. In order to eat here and sit in a cozy atmosphere, you need to book a table several weeks in advance.