The Eiffel Tower

It was for the 1889 World Fair, which was held in the year of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, that the Eiffel Tower was built. The city of Paris had held a competition in 1887, calling for designs for a temporary monument. From 107 entrants, the winning design was of course that of entrepreneur Gustave Eiffel, assisted by engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, and architect Stephen Sauvestre. The monument was officially unveiled on 31 March 1889, when Eiffel climbed the tower’s 1,710 stairs to place a French flag at its top.

Although the tower was initially a visitor attraction, it became a symbol of modernity and dynamism in the 1920s. It was increasingly associated with Paris, even becoming the city’s most recognisable landmark. It’s now a regular feature in films, television programmes, photographs, pictures, books, songs and poems.