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Eiffel Tower  

The Iron Lady
One can’t visit Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower—it can hardly be helped. The 18 thousand pieces of pig iron, weighing 7,300 tons and fastened with over two million rivets, tower 1,063 feet above the city.

On its inauguration in 1889, it replaced the Washington Monument as the tallest structure in the world. It remains the second tallest structure in France.

Engineer Gustave Eiffel, the designer for whom the tower was named, was paradoxically accused of designing the tower to be artistic rather than functional and also structural without any consideration for art. Newspapers of the day said it was “like a black blot the odious shadow of the odious column built up of riveted iron plates.” Today, it is one of the most iconic and well-known structures in the world.

When asked personally, Gustave Eiffel said the inspiration for his design was “wind resistance,” and that the “curvature of the monument’s four outer edges, [was as] mathematical calculation dictated it should be.” He concluded that it “will give a great impression of strength and beauty, for it will reveal to the eyes of the observer the boldness of the design as a whole.”

Whether or not visitors find it beautiful, it certainly remains a marvel of wind resisting metal. Even in the strongest gale, the thousand-foot structure sways only 2-3 inches; less than an equivalent 80-story structure of concrete.

The tower consists of three floors. The first two can be reached by humping a combined 600 stairs or by the saner route of one of two elevators. The third may only be reached by a separate elevator.
Visitors who climb the stairs might want to refuel in one of the two restaurants: Altitude 95 on the first floor, named so because it sits 95 meters above sea level, or Jules Verne, which has its own elevator and sits on the second floor, 418 feet above sea level, with a sweeping view of the city.

Originally permitted to stand for only 20 years, after which it would be dismantled and the land returned to the City of Paris, the tower is now a global icon and unforgettable treasure in the city of light.
 
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Eiffel Tower
Parc du Champ de Mars
Paris, France
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Rating 94.12 
Rank [category] 7 
Rank [overall] 29 
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"The most visited paid monument in the world for a reason... it's amazing!"
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