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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > March 2015 > Travel Icon: the Eiffel Tower

Travel Icon: the Eiffel Tower

A TRIOMPHE OF ENGINEERING

Described by contemporary critics as ‘monstrous’, ‘useless’, ‘ridiculous’ and a ‘hateful column of bolted sheet metal’, the Eiffel Tower has since found a place in Parisian hearts, and has so far lasted 106 years beyond its scheduled dismantling date. Built for the 1889 World’s Fair, the tower was originally a monumental gateway like its Parisian comrade the Arc de Triomphe, as a well as a showpiece for new revolutionary iron-lattice architecture. It was an instant hit, and remains by some measures the world’s most visited paid-for tourist attraction – over 250 million have ascended its giddy heights since opening, or four times the population of France today. Zut alors!

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