Eiffel Tower│On this day, our third day in Paris, we explored the following: the Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries, Ponte de la Concorde, Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, and Place Du Trocadero. The Eiffel Tower is definitely not a bad “final stop” for a day jam-packed with incredible Paris sights. We had spotted the tower from the Ponte de la Concorde and, of course, it is the main view from the Place du Trocadero, but we really wanted to get up close to this world-famous landmark.
The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. It was constructed from 1887-89 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair. Interestingly enough, it was initially criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design. It has since become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world with almost 7 million people ascended it in 2015.
Above, on the left is the Pont d’lena (Jena Bridge)
Pont d’Iena, links the Eiffel Tower to the Trocadero district. The bridge was built on the orders of Napoleon to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Jena in 1807. The bridge was constructed between 1808 and 1814. We crossed this bridge and made our way over to the base of the Eiffel Tower.
The tower is 324 metres tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building, and the tallest structure in Paris. Its base is square, measuring 125 metres on each side. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was finished in 1930. The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels. The top level’s upper platform is 276 m above the ground – the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to ascend by stairs or lift (elevator) to the first and second levels. The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the climb from the first level to the second. Although there is a staircase to the top level, it is usually only accessible by lift.
Above, The view of the Eiffel Tower from underneath, and below, The stages of the Tower’s construction.
Source of images
Gustave Eiffel engraved on the tower the names of 72 French scientists, engineers and mathematicians in recognition of their contributions to the building of the tower. At the beginning of the 20th century, the engravings were painted over, but they were restored in 1986–87 by the Société Nouvelle d’exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, a company operating the tower.
Below, one of the residential areas to the west of the Eiffel Tower. Talk about amazing views! These apartments look directly at the tower, and must cost a pretty penny.
We wandered around this area, admiring the view of the tower between each block of apartments that we passed.
On this particular day, we didn’t want to stay too close to the tower because Bastille Day was the following day, and the crowds seemed a little too much for us. It was good seeing the tower up close, but admittedly, it wasn’t the experience that we thought it would be. There were many shady characters near the Trocadero and on the Ponte d’lena. It wasn’t that we didn’t feel safe, but rather that we felt like we had to constantly hold our bags close to us in order to prevent being pick-pocketed. There were numerous dodgy groups of people playing a “cup game”. They would hide a ball under one cup and then move three cups around, and have people place bets on where the ball was. It was CLEAR that these people were all working in undercover groups, and purposefully scamming those passing by. To top it off, there were men everywhere, trying to sell bottles of alcohol on the sly. It all just felt so shady. All in all, it wasn’t the magical, “let’s go see the Eiffel Tower”, experience that we had imagined.
Thankfully, we knew that we were coming back to Paris at the end of August so we decided to move a little away from the tourist traps and scams. The Eiffel Tower is great up-close, but as with everything of that magnitude, a few steps away is usually a better view anyway. We left the Eiffel tower hoping for a more romantic encounter on our next visit to Paris.
We never could have imagined what our next Eiffel Tower experience would be like…
We have PLENTY more posts to get thorough before you get to read about that!!