Archive for the ‘viewshed’ Category

The Eiffel Tower

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The Eiffel TowerYesterday was all about the famous Eiffel Tower.  When we saw it on the boat tour on the first night (which was only a week and a half ago….WHAT?), I was a bit disappointed with the structure that most Americans think of when they think of Paris.  I was not as excited to finally be seeing it as I thought I should be.  Therefore, I was not as excited for yesterday’s class as I usually am (sidenote: I’m hopefully going to the Catacombes today which I am realllllly excited about).

As we walked to it and Professor Smith told us about its history, I was a bit more intrigued.  The Eiffel Tower was constructed 1887-1889 for the 1889 World Fair and to celebrate the Centennial of the Revolution.  It was a result of the Industrial Revolution and was the last symbol of France’s economic might. The Eiffel Tower required 2 1/2 million rivets and over 18,000 pieces of iron ( Eiffel Tower 1898  It was the tallest structure in the world for 50 years until the Chrysler building was finished.  While it was not built with the intention of staying permanently, it was kept because it was used as a radio tower.  Gustave Eiffel, the engineer behind the Eiffel Tower and who it is named after, said that the tower could be used as an observatory and a laboratory so that his work would not be torn down (

Now, a lot of preservation work is put into the Eiffel Tower.  The tower is constantly repainted so that the paint will protect the metal, preventing corrosion.  500 meters around the tower is preserved for the purpose of protecting the tower’s viewshed.  Only in Europe would they be able to do so in order to preserve an incredible viewshed.  I doubt enough Americans would care enough about a view to be willing to do so.

As we climbed up 668 steps, I was hating the Eiffel Tower; however, the view from the tower was completely worth it.