In 1889, Paris hosted an Exposition Universelle (also known as World’s Fair, to mark the centenary of the French Revolution. More than 100 artists submitted competing plans for a monument to be built on the Champ-de-Mars, located in central Paris, and serve as the exposition’s entrance. The commission was granted to Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel. He and Maurice Koechlin, a structural engineer, had collaborated to build the Eiffel Tower. Its name was originated from the designer’s name, Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel.
Eiffel’s final design called for more than 18000 pieces of puddle iron, a type of wrought iron used in construction, and 2.5 million rivets. The construction started in 1887. Several hundred workers spent two years assembling the framework of the iconic lattice tower, which at its inauguration in March 1889 stood nearly 1000 feet high and was the tallest structure in the world from 1889 to 1930.
Now one of the most recognizable structures on the planet, the Eiffel Tower underwent a major facelift in 1986 and is repainted every seven years. It plays an important role in television and radio broadcasts. It is considered an architectural wonder and attracts more visitors than any other paid monument in the world – an estimated seven million people per year.