Categories
Clanmother Creativty Legacy Paris

March 31, 1889 Paris

“I ought to be jealous of the tower. She is more famous than I am.”

Gustave Eiffel

On March 31,1889 the Eiffel Tower was officially inaugurated in Paris. The tower stands at 324 meters tall and was the tallest man-made structure in the world until 1930.  

Created by Gustave Eiffel in 1889 to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution, it is a wrought iron technological masterpiece that has become an iconic symbol of France and one of the most recognized structures in the world. Comprised of four legs that converge at the top, it was first positioned as the entrance arch to the Exposition Universelle of 1889, a World’s Fair held in Paris, France.

Gustave Eiffel’s words had a prophetic ring. The Eiffel Tower continues to be more famous than the man who designed and fought for her existence. Surrounded by a history of controversy, (Guy de Maupassant always took lunch in the Tower’s restaurant so he would not have to look at it) the Tower embraces the whole of Paris within her benevolent gaze, confident that her ageless splendour will continue into the next century.

The Eiffel Tower was supposed to be torn down after 20 years but Gustave Eiffel was a clever man.  He embedded a radio antenna and wireless transmitter in the tower which proved to be invaluable.  I often wonder whether Gustave Eiffel envisioned that his tower would become one of the most visited monuments in the world.

“As France’s symbol in the world, and the showcase of Paris, today it welcomes almost 7 million visitors a year (around 75% of whom are foreigners), making it the most visited monument that you have to pay for in the world. A universal Tower of Babel, almost 300 million visitors regardless of age or origin have come from all over the planet to see it since its opening in 1889.” TourEiffel.paris


The Eiffel Tower reminds me that creativity is an essential aspect of human life. It allows us to express ourselves in unique ways and seek innovative means to solve problems. Being creative helps us to think outside the box and find new solutions to old problems. Without creativity, we would be limited in our ability to adapt and grow.

The legacy we leave behind is an important consideration when it comes to creativity. Our creative works can inspire future generations and leave a lasting impact on the world. Whether it is through art, music, literature, or science, our creativity can shape the world around us and make a difference in people’s lives.

By Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

65 replies on “March 31, 1889 Paris”

Fascinating info about the tower, Rebecca. I am worried about human creativity right now because of AI. Will we become as lazy with creativity as we do about counting back change from a cash register because the computer figures it for us?

Liked by 1 person

Many thanks for traveling virtually to Paris with me. Your comments prompted me to consider the idea of creativity in the era of AI and how society transitions to new technologies. As you know, artists were against the construction of the Eiffel Tower. There were about 40 artists including the composer Charles Gounod, the writers Guy de Maupassant and Alexandre Dumas’ son, the poets François Coppée, Leconte de Lisle and Sully Prudhomme, the artists William Bouguereau and Ernest Meissonier, and even Charles Garnier, the architect of the Opera – they christened it a Tower of Babel and a gigantic black factory chimney.

I am very interested in exploring whether AI has the potential to revolutionize or destroy human creativity. I recognize that AI can aid in the creative process by generating new ideas and providing inspiration, but from what I have read it is unlikely to completely replace human creativity. AI lacks the emotional intelligence and unique perspective that humans possess, which are often key components in creative works. As well, the unpredictability and spontaneity of human creativity cannot be replicated by AI. I continue to learn even as the world is changing around us. We live in interesting times.

Like

Lovely post, Rebecca. The Eiffel Tower is so cool. We got up to the second level, but we couldn’t go higher that day because of the wind.

Liked by 1 person

Many thanks for joining me virtually in Paris, Tim. I was reading that the Eiffel Tower moves with the wind, but what I found even more fascinating was that the heat of the sun causes the iron to expand making the Tower grow an average of six inches during hot summer months. Who knew????!!!!

Liked by 1 person

Thank you Teagan for your heartwarming comments of support and encouragement. Did you know that the Eiffel Tower doubled as a scientific laboratory? I just discovered that tidbit of trivia lately. I think of the Eiffel Tower as a great Steampunk structure. Its intricate ironwork design and use of industrial materials, such as wrought iron and steel, align with the steampunk aesthetic which draws inspiration from the Victorian era and the Industrial Revolution. And then there is the tower’s unique shape and function as a communication tower that solidifies, in my humble opinion, its place as a symbol of the steampunk genre. Sending many hugs back on the wing with great speed.

Like

Thank you so much for joining me in Paris and for your comments.

You would be interested in the group of artists against the Eiffel Tower, which included Charles Gounod, Guy de Maupassant, Alexandre Dumas junior, François Coppée, Leconte de Lisle, Sully Prudhomme, William Bouguereau, Ernest Meissonier, Victorien Sardou and Charles Garnier. This is what they wrote:

“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.”

Like

Lovely pétite histoire of the Eiffel Tower, Rebecca. The words ascribed to De Maupassant: how incredibly subtly hilarious. Who knows, the Eiffel Tower me be in for it longer than even the Egyptian pyramids. Definitely a reminder to the French to stop fussing about a modest raise of the retirement age.

Liked by 1 person

Sorry Rebecca, don’t know what happened. Thought I’d lost the post I was writing. Wrote a new one and thought I posted it, but then just the incomplete post turned up. Anyway, love it.

Liked by 2 people

My husband and I enjoyed our cultural stays in Paris very much and despite the fact that we didn’t have much money we allowed ourselves to eat at the Eiffel Tower’s restaurant! I, however, don’t remember having seen any famous artist! Thank you, Rebecca, for your creativity:)

Liked by 2 people

You know, Rebecca, that I had always hoped that, one day, we would manage to meet personally in this great city and have, at least, a drink in one of the restaurants with spectacular view and cero waste food, which I have just visited thanks to your link! In the meantime my husband has, so it seems, overcome his cancer, but we have also become old, so the future remains open. It was really lovely to travel with you virtually, many thanks:)

Liked by 1 person

I am thrilled to hear that your husband has overcome his cancer, Martina!!!!!. What wonderful news to read. I share your joy of virtual travel. Thank you for joining in Paris. I know that there were be many more virtual trips that we will take together. As Marcel Proust wrote, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Sending hugs!

Liked by 1 person

I laughed out loud when I read your comments, Liz! You reminded me of the group of artists that were against the Eiffel Tower, which included Charles Gounod, Guy de Maupassant, Alexandre Dumas junior, François Coppée, Leconte de Lisle, Sully Prudhomme, William Bouguereau, Ernest Meissonier, Victorien Sardou and Charles Garnier participated in a protest that included the words: “odious column of bolted metal.”

Liked by 1 person

Thank you, Mary Jo – for joining me virtually in Paris. These photos were taken back in 2009 with a small camera so I was surprised how well they came through in b&w. When I was in Paris, I imagined that I had gone back to the time of Gertrude Stein, Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso….

Liked by 1 person

I was awestruck the first time I saw this iconic structure. (Only four years ago) And of course, Amanda had to visit it as well, except she was only 12 years old. I loved your history of it and the delightful clip! Thanks.

Liked by 1 person

Amanda has the best adventures, Darlene. There is so much history embedded in this tower. I read that in WWII, Hitler ordered that the Eiffel Tower be dismantled, but the order, thankfully, was never carried out. The French resistance cut the Tower’s elevator cables so that Nazis were forced to climb he stairs to hoist their flag.

Liked by 1 person

Thank you Dan for joining me virtually in Paris and for your lovely comment. There is a great deal of history associated with this building. I read that every every 7 years, the Eiffel Tower gets a paint job. It takes about 60 tons of paint to cover the tower. I cannot imagine what it would be like to paint at the top of the tower. YIKES!

Liked by 1 person

I am delighted that your travelled with me to Paris, John. It is hard to imagine Paris without the Eiffel Tower. There was much criticism when it was begin constructed but Gustave Eiffel was unfazed. He wrote: “My tower will be the tallest edifice ever erected by man. Will it not also be grandiose in its way? And why would something admirable in Egypt become hideous and ridiculous in Paris?”

Liked by 1 person

Many thanks for joining me virtually in Paris, Jennifer. Paris is unforgettable. As Victor Hugo wrote, “He who contemplates the depths of Paris is seized with vertigo.
Nothing is more fantastic. Nothing is more tragic. Nothing is more sublime.”

Liked by 1 person

That’s so clever that he installed a radio antenna at the top. And Thank Goodness. Can you imagine if it had been torn down? When I think of Paris, the vision that pops into my head is the Eiffel Tower. It’s fascinating how it’s become the symbol of a city and country. Great share, Rebecca. 🙂

Liked by 1 person

I agree, Diana. I always thought that the Eiffel Tower was designed by Gustave Eiffel alone, but two engineers who worked in his company played an important role in its design: Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin. I also found out that the City of Paris owns the Tower. Gustave Eiffel enjoyed a temporary concession that allowed him to make back the money he had expended, but he never owned it because the land beneath the Tower was land that he did not own. But in the end, Gustave Eiffel’s name will always be associated as the person who held the leadership position, even though many people worked together to make this amazing structure.

Liked by 1 person

Thank you for joining me virtually in Paris, Robbie. You may be surprised to know (as I was) that the Eiffel Tower’s lighting and sparkling lights are protected by copyright. Professional photographers must obtain prior authorization to take images of the Eiffel Tower at night. I continue to learn!

Liked by 1 person

I am delighted that you joined me at the Eiffel Tower, Carol. I wanted to feel what it was like back in Gertrude Stein’s time, so I created the photos in black and white. What I love about photos is that they crystallize time.

Liked by 1 person

The music, the video, the history, certainly took me back to another time, Rebecca!
It is a fascinating tale; the reason it was built, and why it still stands today. I can remember being so impressed that a structure, meant only to last a short time, was built as though, like the pyramids of Egypt, was to adorn a landscape for many, perhaps centuries to come. Such is its strength; and dare I say, its beauty!
Eating in its restaurant overlooking the city of Paris is a memory to adore. Such is the city of Paree…

Liked by 1 person

Thank you for this history, Rebecca!
I knew some, but you have put it into a clearer perspective.
What a spectacular structure!
Your video presentation is wonderful.
Merci Beaucoup!!

Liked by 1 person

I am delighted that you joined me virtually in Paris, Res. There are so many stories connected to creative endeavours. The back stories add a deeper understanding of the human experience. The Eiffel Tower reminds me that creativity is peering through a lens of history, culture, and social values. I wonder what the “artists against the Eiffel Tower” would think if they could see how history has evolved.

Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Carol Balawyder Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.