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The Eiffel Tower

Közzétéve ekkor: 2019. július 8. 09:53

 

Every year approximately 7 million visitors climb the Tower. Its success is such that many countries all over the world have replicated the Tower more or less identically to the original one. Can you really imagine Paris without the Eiffel Tower? During your stay in Paris, don’t miss the Eiffel Tower light showsthat have been delighting the tourists and Parisians since the end of the XIXth century.

The most popular tourist place in Paris has stretched to the Parisian skies for 130 years. Although now symbolic of France, it wasn’t meant to last. Without a doubt, the turning point in the Eiffel Tower history took place at the 1889 Universal Exposition. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, a competition was organized with the aim to “build on the Champ-de-Mars an iron tower with a square base.” Out of the 107 proposals submitted, Gustave Eiffel’s was chosen. By his side were engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier as well as architect Stephen Sauvestre.

 

The Design of the Eiffel Tower

The plan to build a tower 300 metres high was conceived as part of preparations for the World’s Fair of 1889.

The wager was to “study the possibility of erecting an iron tower on the Champ-de-Mars with a square base, 125 metres across and 300 metres tall”. Selected from among 107 projects.

Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin, the two chief engineers in Eiffel’s company, had the idea for a very tall tower in June 1884. It was to be designed like a large pylon with four columns of lattice work girders, separated at the base and coming together at the top, and joined to each other by more metal girders at regular intervals.

The tower project was a bold extension of this principle up to a height of 300 metres – equivalent to the symbolic figure of 1000 feet. On September 18 1884 Eiffel registered a patent “for a new configuration allowing the construction of metal supports and pylons capable of exceeding a height of 300 metres”.

In order to make the project more acceptable to public opinion, Nouguier and Koechlin commissioned the architect Stephen Sauvestre to work on the project’s appearance.

 

The construction

The assembly of the supports began on July 1, 1887 and was completed twenty-two months later.

All the elements were prepared in Eiffel’s factory located at Levallois-Perret on the outskirts of Paris. Each of the 18,000 pieces used to construct the Tower were specifically designed and calculated, traced out to an accuracy of a tenth of a millimetre and then put together forming new pieces around five metres each. A team of constructors, who had worked on the great metal viaduct projects, were responsible for the 150 to 300 workerson site assembling this gigantic erector set.

 

The rivet workers

All the metal pieces of the tower are held together by rivets, a well-refined method of construction at the time the Tower was constructed. First the pieces were assembled in the factory using bolts, later to be replaced one by one with thermally assembled rivets, which contracted during cooling thus ensuring a very tight fit. A team of four men was needed for each rivet assembled: one to heat it up, another to hold it in place, a third to shape the head and a fourth to beat it with a sledgehammer. Only a third of the 2,500,000 rivets used in the construction of the Tower were inserted directly on site.

The tower was assembled using wooden scaffolding and small steam cranes mounted onto the tower itself. The assembly of the first level was achieved by the use of twelve temporary wooden scaffolds, 30 metres high, and four larger scaffolds of 40 metres each. “Sand boxes” and hydraulic jacks – replaced after use by permanent wedges – allowed the metal girders to be positioned to an accuracy of one millimetre. It only took five months to build the foundations and twenty-one to finish assembling the metal pieces of the Tower.

The construction work began in January 1887 and was finished on March 31, 1889. On the narrow platform at the top, Eiffel received his decoration from the Legion of Honour.

 

 

https://www.pariscityvision.com/en/paris/landmarks/eiffel-tower/history

https://www.toureiffel.paris/en/the-monument/history

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