Considered one of the world’s most iconic monuments, The Eiffel Tower, turned 130 as the rest of Paris celebrated the event with aplomb. A 12-minute laser show was organised that chronicled the structure’s colourful history. Setting up the lights for the show involved professional climbers who scaled the tower.

This wasn’t the only event to mark the occasion; around 1300 children were invited to for ‘snack time’ beneath the mammoth tower. The Iron Lady, as the monument is commonly called, was first built in 1889 for the World’s Fair and stands at a height of 324 metres, weighing all of 7,300 tonnes.

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A Brief History of the Eiffel Tower

Built by Gustave Eiffel, it first opened to the public on May 15, 1889. It was originally supposed to be a temporary addition to the Paris skyline and was almost torn down in 1909. The only reason it was saved was that officials realised that it could also function as a radio-telegraph station.

Eiffel tower

Rising above being just an aesthetic monument, it was successful at intercepting enemy radio communications during World War I. It avoided demolition a second time during World War II despite Hitler’s orders to destroy it. His commands were never carried out. In its long history, the Eiffel tower has been the site for several scientific experiments and ceremonial events.

The tower, which is almost synonymous with France, sees nearly seven million visitors every year. When it was first built it was the tallest monument in the world but was later dethroned 41 years later by the Chrysler Building which was constructed in New York in 1930. Owing to its beauty and stature it has inspired over thirty replicas in many cities across the world. It is also repainted every seven years and has over 500 employees working together for its daily upkeep.

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