Take out your horizontal stripes and pre-order your fresh baguettes, today marks the 126th anniversary of France’s Eiffel Tower being open to the public, May 6th, 1889!
Work on the iconic structure started 2 years before in January 1887, the tower was to be the official entrance arch for the 1889 World’s Fair, which itself celebrated the centennial anniversary of the French Revolution.
Sceptics were many, as it was going to be the tallest structure in the world, people didn’t think it was possible. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel and his company (which designed and built the tower) knew they had it all figured out, and they achieved the impossible. The Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure in the world for 40 year, until the Chrysler Building was erected in New York City in 1930.
Still the most visited paid monument in the world today, it was bound to trickle down and influence popular culture and art in a big way. We’ve all seen thousands of examples of the Eiffel tower on t-shirts, on hats, Eiffel tower prints, Eiffel tower purses, Eiffel tower bed sheets. Not to mention all those romantic movies that end with the couples kissing at the foot of the tower. The tower has become the go to reference for anything Parisian or French. It’s become a cliché, almost.
So on this anniversary day, what should we be doing?
Take out that mothball scented Eiffel Tower t-shirt from your souvenir trunk,put it on and pull out that photo album of your last Paris trip and reminisce. It’s all we can afford to do, those Paris plane tickets are crazy expensive!