Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Eiffel Tower

Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower is the tallest building in Paris and one of the most recognized structures in the world. More than 200,000,000 have visited the tower since its construction in 1889, including 6,719,200 in 2006, making it the most visited paid monument in the world. Including the 24 m (79 ft) antenna, the structure is 325 m (1,063 ft) high (since 2000), which is equivalent to about 81 levels in a conventional building.

Eiffel Tower October 2007
When the tower was completed in 1889 it was the world's tallest tower — a title it retained until 1930 when New York City's Chrysler Building (319 m — 1,047 ft tall) was completed.[6] The tower is now the fifth-tallest structure in France and the tallest structure in Paris, with the second-tallest being the Tour Montparnasse (210 m — 689 ft), although that will soon be surpassed by Tour AXA (225.11 m — 738.36 ft).

The metal structure of the Eiffel Tower weighs 7,300 tonnes while the entire structure including non-metal components is approximately 10,000 tonnes. Depending on the ambient temperature, the top of the tower may shift away from the sun by up to 18 cm (7 in) because of thermal expansion of the metal on the side facing the sun. The tower also sways 6–7 cm (2–3 in) in the wind.

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