An iron lattice tower, La Tour Eiffel has long been France’s global cultural icon and one of the most visited monuments in the world. Paris has many a landmark that could claim grandeur, but perhaps none other quite as well known.
Not everyone shared the engineer’s enthusiasm for the project. A “Committee of Three Hundred” that included some of the most important figures of the French arts establishment sent a petition to the Minister of Works and Commissioner for the Exposition, criticising the project. Their letter was later published by Le Temps:
“We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects and passionate devotees of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris, protest with all our strength, with all our indignation in the name of slighted French taste, against the erection…of this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower…To bring our arguments home, imagine for a moment a giddy, ridiculous tower dominating Paris like a gigantic black smokestack, crushing under its barbaric bulk Notre Dame, Tour Saint-Jacques, the Louvre, the Dome of les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, all humiliates monuments will disappear in this ghastly dream…”
Yet Gustave Eiffel’s speech on the 30th of March 1885, to the Société des Ingiénieurs Civils had been proved correct in its claim that the tower would come to symbolise:
“not only the art of the modern engineer, but also the century of Industry and Science in which we are living, and for which the way was prepared by the great scientific movement of the eighteenth century and by the Revolution of 1789, to which this monument will be built as an expression of France’s gratitude.”
~ All this… and so much more ~
Did you know that the entire weight of the Tour is less than the column of air that would encase it?
I did not know that 🙂
WOW the photo is breath taking !! Nice post Vic !
Thank you, Lala. I must’ve taken a few dozen pictures of the tower that day, but this is the one I like most.
Great shot. It is a bit of a trick to capture the beams of light at the top.
It was a lucky one 🙂 although I did try . I would’ve liked to have a picture of the tower changing colour. It did several times that evening, but no such luck.
Beautiful photo. It’s a dream of mine to see the tower and photograph it so that I can say I have seen it in real life. 🙂
One day you will and I hope you will share it.
I got a couple of it on the hour when the lights twinkle. The effect is less impressive in photography than the real thing.
Agreed! I found out that too once I’d taken the pictures. Perhaps a short video would have been in order, but I didn’t want to watch the entire spectacle through the lens 🙂
Lovely photo. One of my very memorable moments… I will never forget that, especially the 10 min glittering lights 🙂
It is a beautiful sight. I had seen the tower before, but always during the day. This was the first time I got a glimpse of it at night and couldn’t help recording the moment. The glittering was fantastic too, but unfortunately it didn’t come up very well in my pictures. Glad you got to see it on your travels, KG and thank you.