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Once An Eyesore, Now An Eye Candy!

This is a guest article written by Ritu.

Eiffel_Tower Did you ever know that the Eiffel Tower- the icon of France, one of the most remarkable structures made by man – was once called an eyesore! No sooner than its construction began, the art community of Paris came out with protests. The writers, artists, sculptors, painters of Paris were completely against its construction for they looked at it as an ugly stain on the face of architecturally-rich Paris.

On 14th February 1887, when the construction had barely begun, an article titled "Protest against the Tower of Monsieur Eiffel" was published in the newspaper Le Temps addressed to one of the authorities concerned with its construction. It called the Eiffel Tower as-" A Truly Tragic Street Lamp", "High And Skinny Pyramid Of Iron Ladders" ,"A Carcass Waiting To Be Fleshed Out With Freestone Or Brick", "A Funnel-Shaped Grill" ,"A Factory Chimney".

The Eiffel Tower – also known as the “Grand Iron Lady”-is named after its designer, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel-the same person who built the internal frame of the Statue of Liberty. It was built for the International Exhibition of Paris of 1889 commemorating the centenary of the French Revolution.

Alexandre Gustave EiffelWhat is now adored as a true masterpiece of engineering was welcomed with such derogation!

An extract of the article-

"We come, we writers, painters, sculptors, architects, lovers of the beauty of Paris which was until now intact, to protest with all our strength and all our indignation, in the name of the underestimated taste of the French, in the name of French art and history under threat, against the erection in the very heart of our capital, of the USELESS and MONSTROUS Eiffel Tower…."

"To comprehend what we are arguing, one only needs to imagine for a moment a tower of ridiculous vertiginous height dominating Paris, just like a gigantic black factory chimney, its barbarous mass overwhelming and humiliating all our monuments and belittling our works of architecture, which will just disappear before this stupefying folly. And for twenty years we shall see spreading across the whole city, a city shimmering with the genius of so many centuries, we shall see spreading like an ink stain, the odious shadow of this odious column of bolted metal. "

It was signed by several big names from the world of literature and arts- Charles Gounod (French Composer), Guy de Maupassant (Noted French Writer), Alexandre Dumas Jr (Author and dramatist), François Coppée (poet and novelist), Leconte de Lisle (French poet), William Bouguereau (Painter), Victorien Sardou (Dramatist), Charles Garnier (French Architect)-to name a few.

The tower was originally under a 20-year lease in Paris and it was to be dismantled after the expiry of the lease. But, it was found to be useful for radio transmission and telegraphy; hence, it was retained.

Novelist Guy de Maupassant claimed to hate the tower so much so that he supposedly ate lunch in the Tower’s restaurant every day. When asked why, he answered that it was the only place in Paris where he did not have to see the structure!

The Eiffel Tower weighs less than the surrounding air, due to which it sways as much as six inches in strong wind! However it is completely safe and can withstand wind speeds at more than five times the strongest winds ever known.

Today Eiffel Tower is internationally recognized as the symbol of Paris and it stands as one of the most-visited paid monuments in the world!

This is a guest post by Ritu who writes at Weird World of Thoughts. She’ll be happy to know your views about this article, so do drop her a comment.

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29 Responses to Once An Eyesore, Now An Eye Candy!

  1. Thewebtricks.com August 29, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    hey , i read it and it was nice,never read a thing like this before.

  2. Sell House Quick August 30, 2010 at 12:08 am #

    The Eiffel Tower has become a global icon of France. Really a great place which is an iron tower built on the Champ de Mars beside the River Seine in Paris.

  3. Ritu August 30, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    Thanks a lot!!

  4. Ritu August 30, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    Majestic it is!

  5. Aditya Kane August 30, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    This is truly a great post. Informative as usual. Apparently the Louvre Museums glass pyramid is often called the same thing by modern day parisans as an "eye sore" 😀 wonder if it will go down to match the Eiffel Tower in terms of history and popularity.

  6. paris apartment August 31, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    Once the tallest structure in the world, the Eiffel Tower is probably Europe's best known landmark and Paris's most famous symbol.

  7. Jack F August 31, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    I knew that. However, I wonder how many people knows that the symbol of USA, the statue of liberty, comes from France 😉

  8. holiday france September 3, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Don't mind but doesn't it sound a bit nonsensical to call a protest against a structure which was in the early stages of its completion? I mean how did they know that it is going to look pitch ugly? I am glad you shared this side of the story with us. I can't imagine that people are so mob minded.

  9. Project Management September 4, 2010 at 6:42 am #

    Great History! Great Post! One of the Global Icon that is based in France. And also sometimes called the lovers spot. Nice. I really want to go there and experience what the Eiffel Tower do have, history, emotions, and the place. Anyway thanks.

  10. Vinayak Nagri September 6, 2010 at 6:03 am #

    Great info
    Good work again Ritu

  11. pop art leinwand September 6, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    Indeed Eiffel Tower is internationally recognized as the symbol of Paris. It is also called the lovers spot. Anyway I really like all the facts that you've posted about the Eiffel Tower. I was surprised that even though it sways in a strong wind but it can withstand the strongest wind that ever known, like this fact. Thanks for sharing this great historic infrastructure to us.

  12. Anabolic Supplements September 6, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    You have provide good information about Eiffle Tower thanks for sharing

  13. Dropship September 8, 2010 at 3:28 am #

    That's really an interesting piece! It's almost impossible to imagine Paris without the iconic Eiffel tower.

    It's always fun to look back at the past 'hot button' issues of the day, and ponder how things might have been if the chose the alternate path.

  14. Anshul September 8, 2010 at 5:42 am #

    Yeah you are right. First thing that comes to one's mind on hearing Paris is the majestic Eiffel Tower.

    Btw, using your name instead of that of your company will make us connect better. People love to know the person behind a comment. Even when you use your name, you are getting a link back to your website. :

  15. Ritu September 10, 2010 at 6:49 am #

    Thankyou!! May we live to know the fate of Louvre Museum's glass pyramid 😛

  16. Ritu September 10, 2010 at 6:51 am #

    Eiffel Tower is truly one of its kind in the whole world.

  17. leila September 11, 2010 at 12:52 am #

    Wow, I never thought that people had been so opposed with the building of the Eiffel Tower before. But thinking about the reaction further I came to realize that it was just a natural reaction. Like everything on this earth, when its new and you don't know a lot about it you're gonna be a bit biased on how you feel about it

  18. Ritu September 12, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    Thanks Jack! I knew about it but I agree very few people do…

  19. Ritu September 12, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    🙂 People are! Our history tells us! 😉

  20. Ritu September 12, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    My Pleasure! 🙂

  21. Ritu September 12, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    Thanks Vinayak!

  22. Ritu September 12, 2010 at 1:57 pm #


  23. Ritu September 12, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    Yes! Change is difficult to accept for most people… or so says , 'Who Moved My Cheese?' 🙂

  24. womens wedding bands September 15, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

    With every structure to be built, always has it's doubters. The Eiffel tower is a symbol of France and it's recognized worldwide. There will always people who wont like it and would like it to be replaced with something different. Look at the future world trade center and how the plans changed over the 9 year period!

  25. Ritu September 19, 2010 at 8:06 am #

    yeah…i agree with you.

  26. Bathroom Furniture September 20, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    I was knowing little bit about Eiffel Tower but reading to this post now i can say i know more about Eiffel Tower.

  27. Ritu September 22, 2010 at 7:32 am #

    good to know that you found the article useful.

  28. Jones January 5, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    I was not knowing this part of Eiffle tower. Thanks for sharing this.

  29. Brenda Bashir November 10, 2011 at 6:17 am #

    The fact you mention (that there were protests against the Eiffel tower’s construction) here is well known, and I’m surprised so many people find it to be news. Also, I think the tower is very ugly, and the fact hasn’t changed just because people have gotten used to it. An eyesore is an eyesore.

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