Eiffel Tower at Night

Gustave Eiffel’s 1889 masterpiece, constructed in celebration of the French Revolution’s 100th anniversary Universal Exposition. The other buildings of the exposition were built nearby, on the Champs de MarsĀ  and across the Seine.

After the exposition closed, just about everything was torn down. However, the tower remained, by design, to help recover the costs of its construction.

It was supposed to be dismantled after 20 years, in 1909, but by then its usefulness as a radio transmission tower had been discovered by the military, and so it was left in place indefinitely. Today, there is no talk of dismantling the tower.

The names of 72 French scientists and other famous individuals are permanently affixed to the sides of the tower in 60-cm letters just beneath the first platform, with 18 names per side. They are rarely visible in photographs, but you can see them easily from the base of the tower in person and are part of the original tower design.

The Eiffel Tower makes a regular appearance at the top of the list for most photographed landmarks in the world.

Galleries: Paris, France. Tags: architecture, eiffel tower, museums, and world travels.