Eiffel Tower Construction : when was the eiffel tower built ?

Date and major stages of construction of the Eiffel Tower

When was the Eiffel Tower built ? That is the question !

The Eiffel Tower was built for the Universal Exposition of 1889, which celebrated the centennial of the French Revolution. This ambitious, controversial project later became a quintessential feature of the Parisian skyscape and a symbol of the French capital around the world. Stages of construction

The plan to build the Eiffel Tower was initially a response to a competition published in the Official Journal to prepare for the Universal Exposition of 1889. The competition called for the construction of a square iron tower to be 300 meters tall with 125-meter sides (984 feet x 410 feet). It was the highest monument in the world.

The plan proposed by Gustave Eiffel, Maurice Kœchlin and Emile Nouguier was chosen from the 107 submissions.

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Here are some key dates in the construction of the Eiffel Tower:

  • June 1884: The project and blueprints are finalized 
  • January 28, 1887: Construction work begins 
  • July 1, 1887: Pile assembly begins 
  • April 1, 1888: The first level is completed 
  • August 14, 1888: The second level is completed 
  • March 31, 1889: Assembly of the top is completed

In all, the work took two years, two months and five days and the structure was christened on March 21, 1889. Upon completion, its design engineer Gustave Eiffel climbed the 1,710 steps of the tower to personally place a French flag at the top.

A tower built to last

Tour Eiffel

Building the Eiffel Tower required true technical prowess

Such a tall tower has never been built before. Indeed, standing at 984 feet high, the tower reigned for 40 years as the tallest structure in the world – until 1929. Moreover, at the time, the kind of metal structure chosen by Eiffel had only been used to build bridge piles that were far shorter. Thus the project presented a formidable architectural challenge, accompany by additional special constraints: wind resistance, project scale and the deadlines imposed by the opening date of the Universal Exposition. The endeavor seemed all the more far-fetched because of its extreme size and location right in the heart of Paris, where the tower and its 7,300 tons of iron gradually rose from the earth thanks to the labors of 300 workers perched on wood scaffolding. This utopian undertaking has become an unwavering success with the general public.

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A dream fulfilled, a permanent vision

When was the Eiffel Tower built ? It's just a part of the question. The question is for how many years was the Eiffel Tower built ? Indeed, the landmark was built for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris and it had been commissioned as a temporary edifice. It was slated for disassembly in spite of its incontrovertible success: during the event, two million visitors made the trip to admire its architecture and its view of Paris from above. However, it was saved by its function as an antenna: because Eiffel had been encouraged by transmission experiments from the top of the tower, it quickly became indispensable to radio transmissions and telecommunications, the real technological revolution of the coming century. Today still, in addition to its role as a tourist attraction and icon, it also works as a television antenna."