“The Eiffel Tower can last a thousand years”

Since its opening during the Universal Exposition of 1889, the Eiffel Tower has enjoyed incredible success: seven million visitors per year, or over 250 million in total! Detested by intellectuals, loved by Parisians, it has become the very symbol of the City of Light. What were the technical challenges facing Gustave Eiffel and his team of engineers and workers? Is this Iron Meccano game forever? How was it collected? We asked all these questions to CNRS research director Bertrand Lemoine, former president of the Academy of Architecture, director general of the Atelier International du Grand Paris (2010-2013) and author of several books on Paris (most recently: “A History of France”). of stations”) including an excellent book “Monsieur Eiffel’s Tower”.

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What were the technical challenges faced by Gustave Eiffel’s engineers in the beginning?

In the 1880s, we reached a certain maturity in metal fabrication in the principles of both design, calculation, shaping and assembling. Everything is already well established for more than twenty years. Of course, the tangible challenges of building a bridge or tower remain. These challenges require a perfect organization, machines, specialized workers. We manufacture the elements in the workshop, then ship them to the site where


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