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Eiffel Tower – when science becomes art

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Situated on the Left Bank of the River Seine and easily accessible by public transport (e.g. metro Trocadéro), Paris’s most charming iron lady can be seen from virtually every place of the city. It is particularly impressive at the end of the day if you look at it against the background of the setting sun and also at night, when thousands of little lights make it look like a giant Christmas tree. 

 

Completed in 1889 for the World Exhibition under the supervision of the French engineer Gustav Eiffel, known for his revolutionary building technique,s the tower is unanimously recognised today as an iconic landmark of the French capital city, but back in the late 19th century it sparked off a passionate debate among French intellectual and artistic elites. It was nearly destroyed at the end of the initially planned 20 year life-span, but was finally kept “alive” thanks to its utility for telecommunications.

 
There is a much to explore about the past and the present of the tower and the best way to discover it is to ascend – by stairs, lift or elevator. On the first of the three visiting platforms (about 58 meters high) you will find a circular exhibition presenting milestones of tower history and design. A special observatory enables you to follow the movements of the tower summit while an electronic telescope gives a detailed view of the city. For more scientific and historical facts as well as for breathtaking views of the city you will need to get to the second and the third levels (116 and 276 metres respectively).

 
For gourmands we recommend a gastronomic break at one of the tower restaurants. The choice between “58 Tour Eiffel” and Jules Verne restaurant is up to your taste and your purse, Jules Verne being higher in both altitude and prices.

 
To fully appreciate your “vertical” visit in all its diversity – the sensation of seeing the city from above, intellectual stimulation from exhibitions, as well as physical stimulation from climbing the stairs - allow at least a half day inside the tower. You can then spend the other half walking around, enjoying Trocadéro fountains or having a rest on the green lawn in the Parc du Champs-de-Mars.