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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Reproductions of original drawings by Gustave Eiffel (first floor)

Copy of Gustave Eiffel's original plates (2nd floor)

Preliminary sketch of tower

Champ de Mars and Ecole Militaire

Construction: Tangle wire mesh near the first platform - January 1888

Elevator system brings visitors to the second floor

Tower foundations

Excavating foundation

Breaking ground

Scaffolding

Getting there

First stage of the tower completed

The finished product: Eiffel Tower: 1889 Exposition Universelle

Gustave Eiffel

The official opening: May 15, 1889

Open to visitors

Souvenirs

Lift off

Billet

It opened up to visitors in 1889 and was the world's tallest monument for four decades. Since then, more than 250 million people have visited.

Here's one of the founding documents for the tower, thanks to a joint project of the Google Cultural Institute and the Eiffel Tower Operating Company. The organizations dug through archives to chronicle the story of this amazing monument's development.

Caption by / Photo by Google/Collection tour Eiffel
Caption by / Photo by Google/Collection tour Eiffel
Gustave Eiffel registered a patent "for a new configuration allowing the construction of metal supports and pylons capable of exceeding a height of 300 metres."
Caption by / Photo by Google/Collection tour Eiffel
The Champ de Mars and Ecole Militaire from the heights of the Trocadero before the construction of the Eiffel Tower.
Caption by / Photo by Google/Collection tour Eiffel
Caption by / Photo by Google/Parisienne de photographie - Jacques Boyer / Roger-Viollet
Caption by / Photo by Google/Collection Tour Eiffel
Work on the tower foundations began on January 26, 1887. That work finished up four months later.
Caption by / Photo by Google
Drawing of workman excavating the foundation of the tower.
Caption by / Photo by Google/Collection tour Eiffel
Construction started on July 1, 1887. Workers completed the tower 21 months later.
Caption by / Photo by Google
Temporary wooden scaffolds were used to assemble the first floor of the Eiffel Tower.
Caption by / Photo by Googe
Piece by piece, the tower takes shape.
Caption by / Photo by Google
Caption by / Photo by Google/Collection tour Eiffel
The finished product was made with help from 18,038 metal parts, 5,300 workshop drawings, 50 engineers and draughtsmen, 150 workers employed at the Levallois-Perret factory, between 150 and 300 workers on the construction site, 2,500,000 rivets, 7,300 tons of iron and 60 tons of paint.
Caption by / Photo by Google/Parisienne de photographie - Neurdein / Roger-Violle
Portrait of Portrait de Gustave Eiffel.
Caption by / Photo by Google/Collection tour Eiffel
The Eiffel Tower remained the world's highest construction until the Chrysler Building was erected in New York in 1930.
Caption by / Photo by Google
Caption by / Photo by Google
High above the city, commerce -- in the form of tchotchkes -- awaits. Even back then.
Caption by / Photo by Google
Two of the original lifts are still in service on the Eiffel Tower today.
Caption by / Photo by Google
A hot ticket at the time. Even hotter today.
Caption by / Photo by Collection tour Eiffel
Updated:
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