The Eiffel Tower has been a potent symbol of Parisian identity since the day it opened on March 31 1889. Designed by eminent French engineer Gustave Eiffel, it represented the pinnacle of modernity, reaching over the city of lights with its inimitable lattice design. It was the first tower of its kind, and went on to inspire a whole range of future city towers in the following century. Today, the tower has become an icon of Paris, symbolizing romance, beauty, a vital period in Parisian history, and the city’s role as one of the cultural capitals of the world. But how tall is it? We look into the exact height of the Eiffel Tower, along with a series of fascinating facts about the ultimate emblem of Paris.
The Eiffel Tower Is 984 Feet Tall (Or Maybe More…)
The official height of the Eiffel Tower is 984 feet. However, if you include the broadcast antenna that now sits at the top, the entire tower measures approximately 1,083 feet. It recently had an upgraded antenna installed in 2022, which is six feet taller than the one it replaced. This means the entire monument is now the tallest it has ever been!
In its day, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure in the world, stunning French society and attracting visitors from around the world. It remained the tallest building in the world until 1930, when New York’s Chrysler Building stole the title. Since then, many more towering structures make the tower seem relatively small by comparison. However, the Eiffel Tower is still the tallest building in Paris, making it visible from many vantage points across the city.
Did You Know?
1. The Eiffel Tower Was a Star Attraction at the Paris World Fair
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It was originally built to be a major attraction during the Paris World Fair, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. French engineer Gustave Eiffel won a competition to build a flagship sculpture to sit at the center of the city’s world fair.
2. It Was Supposed to be Temporary
In fact, the French Government had given Gustav Eiffel a 20-year permit to use the land. After that time, Eiffel was to return the land to the city of Paris. This means officials could have destroyed his beloved tower. But in 1889, Eiffel saved his masterpiece by working with military authorities to convert the tower into a giant radio mast, with a large antenna at its summit. Since then, the Eiffel Tower has continued to act as a radio transmitter with an important historical role.
3. Initially, Many Parisians Hated the Eiffel Tower
Some questioned why it was even built at all. The harshest critics were mystified, arguing that the tower’s dominating presence and experimental lattice design was at odds with the classical city. The most outraged members of the public used the words “confused and deformed,” “hideous,” “tragic” and “diabolical” among many others to describe Eiffel’s avant-garde modernist design. Some even protested at the base of the tower, lobbying for its removal.
4. It Was a Symbol of Modernity
Gustav Eiffel saw his tower as the quintessential symbol of its time, representing modernity and scientific advancement. He called his masterwork a symbol of, “not only the art of the modern engineer, but also the century of Industry and Science in which we are living.” Many modernist artists agreed, and made paintings featuring the tower as the stirring symbol of a new age, most notably the Cubist and Orphist painter Robert Delaunay.
5. It Is the Most Visited Fee-charging Monument in the World
Every year, around 7 million visitors make their way to the legendary monument, where they can see three different levels, accessible by elevator. The lower two levels both house popular restaurants which offer striking views out to the city of Paris beyond.