Eiffel Tower Day is celebrated on March 31 to commemorate the inaugural anniversary of the Eiffel Tower. Unveiled to the world on this day 1899, this iconic monument has withstood the test of time and remains one of the most remarkable wonders of the world. Standing at 1,063 feet, the Eiffel Tower overlooks the city of Paris and symbolizes the triumph of modern engineering and western civilization.
Being one of the most recognizable monuments of the world, Eiffel Tower Day is a day of celebration for millions of people. From Calcutta to California, people come together to raise a toast to this architectural masterpiece.
HISTORY OF EIFFEL TOWER DAY
As the country completed a century of the French Revolution, the government of France planned an international fair to display the industrial advancement of the 19th century. A design competition was held in central Paris and more than 100 artists turned in their ideas.
Among the contributors was Gustave Eiffel, who proposed an open-lattice iron tower that would be higher than 1,000 feet. With a loaded resume that included the Statue of Liberty, he was able to convince the Centennial Committee that this unimaginable feat was possible. The contract for building the tower was handed to him in 1887.
Countering years of skepticism, criticism, and even protests, he began working on the project on January 28, 1887. In the short span of two years, two months, and five days he completed the tower and presented it to the French government for exposition. The rest is history.
Gustave’s vision breathed new life onto the streets of Paris and transformed it into the city of love as we know it, although that wasn’t the intention. In his own words, he wanted the tower to be a symbol of the “great scientific movement of the eighteenth century and the Revolution of 1789.”
Today, the tower sits at the heart of Europe and is visited by millions of visitors every year. Since 2000, the golden grandeur of the tower has been complemented with 20,000 6W bulbs, flashed on and off in quick succession for five minutes of every twilight hour. On March 31, we celebrate the genius and his invaluable gift to the world.
HOW TO CELEBRATE EIFFEL TOWER DAY
Bake an Eiffel Tower cake
As we celebrate this architectural marvel, how about showcasing your creative skills in the kitchen. Making an Eiffel Tower Cake is a great way to celebrate this beautiful day with your family. Although we aren’t aiming for perfection here, your Eiffel Tower cake should have four lattices and triple flooring.
Plan a picnic
If there’s anything more impressive than the Eiffel Tower, it’s the picturesque land it stands on. Champ de Mars, the gorgeous 1,011,807 sq. ft park surrounding the tower, hosts millions of picnics each year. On March 31, pack a picnic, head to a nearby park, and pretend that the tower’s looking over you.
Take a virtual tour of the tower
The official website of the Eiffel Tower offers a virtual tour for free. The tour includes high-definition pictures of the monument and interesting facts attached to its history. Visit the website, hit the explore tab, and tour the nooks and crannies of the tower from the comfort of your home.
5 FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT THE EIFFEL TOWER
The first of its kind
Before the plans were laid out for the Eiffel Tower, the world had not seen a monument of its height.
A term of endearment
The Eiffel Tower is popularly called ‘La Dame de Fer,’ which translates to ‘The Iron Lady’.
Survival of the strongest
Following the Nazi occupation of 1944, Hitler wanted to demolish the Eiffel Tower but thankfully, the Military governor of Paris disobeyed his orders.
A place for a post office
The first floor of the Eiffel Tower is home to a working post office — you can send mail to any corner of the world and the receiver will be honored with a unique stamp.
More than a monument
At the First Battle of the Marne, one of the transmitters attached to the tower blocked the German communications — a move pivotal to the Allied victory.
WHY WE LOVE EIFFEL TOWER DAY
It celebrates a genius
French Civil Engineer Gustave Eiffel wasn’t a one-time wonder. His credit roll includes the Statue of Liberty, the Garabit viaduct, and the invention of the wind tunnel. Eiffel defended the work of his subordinates, Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, and fought many challenges to bring their visions to life. Eiffel embraced the challenges and trusted his instincts, and on March 31, we celebrate this true architectural genius.
It will never get old
The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world, hosting seven million visitors in a year. As the tower completes a century and a half, more than 250 million people have already visited this iconic landmark. The world isn’t getting over this wonder anytime soon.
We will always have Paris
In many ways, Paris and the Eiffel Tower are indistinguishable from each other. The Parisian culture has transcended the French denomination and much of the credit goes to the monument that sits at the heart of the city. With Eiffel Tower Day, we also get to celebrate the great city of Paris and its cultural significance in our society.