The Eiffel Tower, history and gastronomy
If you ask anyone on this planet the name of the most famous monument in the world, they will certainly give you one answer : The Eiffel Tower. For anyone taking French courses in France, this is a must to visit !
The very symbol of France and Paris has a History that finds its roots in… the United States! For the International Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia, American engineers thought of building a 300 meters tower. Their project was pretty different from the Eiffel Tower we know. The project ended up not being made, but it gave ideas to others, including the Eiffel company that specialized in iron structures, thus giving its name to the tower.
Two engineers can be called the fathers of the Eiffel Tower : Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier.
Gustave Eiffel’s part in the project was to make it known to French political leaders and get their approval to have the tower built for the 1889 International Exhibition in Paris. This event was important as it was the centennial of the French Revolution, and France wanted to make this event more remarquable than ever.
It took two years, instead of the one that was initially planned, from 1887 to 1889 to raise the structure and give Paris this now inevitable landmark.
If today Paris wouldn’t Paris without the Tower, not everyone was initially pleased with the idea of the 300 meters structure.
Many artists, like Emile Zola, Alexandre Dumas or Charles Gounod opposed the project. Guy de Maupassant, who despised it, had lunch on the first floor’s tower’s restaurant as it was the only location in Paris where he could eat without seeing the Eiffel Tower.
Stil today, you can have lunch or dinner in the monument. Two restaurants are located inside the structure. On the first floor, you will find the “58 Tour Eiffel” (58 referring to the number of meters above the ground the restaurant is), and on the second floor, a gastronomic restaurant called “Le Jules Verne”, that holds one star on the famous “Guide Michelin” that is now run by world famous chef, Frédéric Anton, who took the succession from Alain Ducasse. If you want to learn more abot French History, check it out at our last French History Course