“I ought to be jealous of the tower. 

She is more famous than I am.”

–Gustave Eifel

Image: historyextra

 

The Eifel tower, or La Tour Eiffel in French, was the main exhibit of the Paris Exposition, also known as the World’s Fair, in 1889. It 1887, a contest was held to determine the engineering plans that would contruct the main centerpiece of the world fair. Gustave Eifel’s engineering firm won the contest and the construction of the building soon began. It was constructed mainly to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution and to demonstrate France’s industrial prowess to the world.

Although today, the building stands as Paris’s most beloved landmark it wasn’t initially received so favourably. In the late 19th century nothing had been seen like this before and many regarded it as the ugliest building in Paris. When construction of the tower began on the Champs de Mars, a group of 300 artists, sculptors, writers and architects sent a petition to the commissioner of the Paris Exposition, pleading him to halt construction of the “ridiculous tower” that would dominate Paris like a “gigantic black smokestack.”

The tower eventually became a great symbol of modern architecture and is now considered as one of the most famous spots in the world.