After locating our Paris hotel and getting checked in, our first order of business was to go to that large, iron structure that we saw on our way in. La Tour Eiffel, erected in 1889, has stood since then as a symbol representing Paris, France, love, happiness and so much more. It was originally constructed as the entrance arch to the Exposition Universelle of 1889. This event was held the year of the 100th anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille, which is considered to have been the start to the French Revolution. On the morning of 14 July 1789, the medieval fortress and prison where the royal authority operated out of was seized by the partisans of the Third Estate in France. La Prise de la Bastille was an uprising against monarchy, a symbol that the French citizens had enough of King Louis XVI’s oppression. Finally, success for the partisans was had, and the people created a structure of government and militia.
The Exposition Universelle, or World’s Fair, lasted from 6 May to 31 October of 1889 and was of great significance, honoring the 100th anniversary of such an important event in French history. The expo was held on the Champ de Mars in Paris. It was decided that a grand entrance way was necessary. Two senior engineers who worked for the Compagnie des Établissements Eiffel were drafted for the project. Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier drafted the first design in May 1884 and showed it to Gustave Eiffel, the head of the company they worked at. Eiffel added a man named Stephen Sauvestre to the project, who added embellishments and a glass pavilion to the first level. Eiffel presented this idea to a civil engineering group and said that the tower would symbolize “not only the art of the modern engineer but also the century of industry and science in which we are living, and for which the way was prepared by the great scientific movement to the eighteenth century and by the Revolution of 1789, to which this monument will be built as an expression of France’s gratitude.”
The meaning behind the Eiffel Tower makes it that much more significant in Paris. This monument, which people around Paris wanted to tear down after the expo, is a vital part of French history. It still stands as a “hats off” to the partisans who sacrificed all in the name of French freedom. The Storming of the Bastille and French Revolution cannot be forgotten and will not be because of the large iron structure that still stands high in the sky in Paris. Not only does this beautiful landmark pay homage to those who fought for the ideals of the French Revolution, it also holds significance in relation to World War II. There is a plaque on the top of the tower that describes how on 25 August 1944, the tricolor flag was flown from the Eiffel Tower which symbolized the end of the occupation. The tower has so much history that having torn it down after the 1889 expo would have been a crime. The Eiffel Tower holds a magical sentiment that well-known around the world; the tower is a symbol representing hope, romance and beauty in Paris.