THE EIFFEL TOWER. HOW DOES THIS LANDMARK REPRESENT THE FRENCH NATION?
Being a landscape that reflects social, political, economic and cultural relationships, this topic will be discussed in the context of cultural geography. It will enable the investigation of the changes in perceptions surrounding the design, construction, as well as the continued existence of the tower. This paper will deal with all aspects of this structure and how they reflect the perception of France as a nation and the city of Paris. As a city landmark, the tower has been exaggerated to communicate social messages in the loudest way possible (Riggs 2009, p. 6).
In particular, this essay will attempt to explain the true definition of a landmark and the representation a particular landmark (Eiffel Tower) has on a particular nation (France). Using the reference of the Eiffel Tower, I will further attempt to explain the architectural attributes and perception of this landmark by its nation. Further, I will analyze ‘why’ the Eiffel Tower is a representation of France, taking into accounts such aspects as structure, building materials used in relation to the rest of the country and the history and intentions of the building. This essay will be a critical analysis of the perception of the Eiffel Tower and how different groups (locals and visiting tourists) each encounter different experiences of the landmark. Finally, it will analyze whether the Eiffel Tower is truly an expression of France. According to Arnold and Ballantyne, “We are interested in the ways in which places are perceived and appropriated across intervals of time or culture landscapes. Buildings and urban environments are reconfigured in incommensurable ways by different groups with their own particular identities, concepts and preoccupation” (Arnold & Ballantyne 2004, p. 1).
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The questions will be answered by drawing upon a range of methodologies and philosophies. For many, the essence of France is its capital city and in particular its iconic structure of the Eiffel Tower, thought by many to be a beautiful timeless masterpiece. However, is this the universal perception of the Eiffel Tower or is there a great divide between what the locals of Paris think and the rest of the world looking in through the eyes of a tourist? It is a fundamental question, which I will attempt to examine and analyze.
As quoted by the Oxford English Dictionary, a landmark is “An object or feature of a landscape or town, which can be seen easily and be recognized from a distance, especially one that enables someone to establish the location” (Oxford English Dictionary 2013, p. 1). Landmarks are used to express and define a particular era and the surrounding area. It was originally used as a geographical tool to navigate explorers through an area landmark. Nowadays, they have come to mean so much more. Now they not only navigate through a city, but encase a plethora of history, heritage and memories. A survey devised by the Getty Institute (1997) states that landmarks unite young people, families, and communities with a common feeling (The Getty Conservation Institute 1997, p. 1).
Landmarks become more distinguishable and substantial, when they have a clear structure, if they are distinctive with the surrounding area as well as whenever they are prominent within a large area. The context, against which a component stands out, should not be restricted to its immediate background. Examples include the steeples of the Los Angeles City Hall and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, which are the landmarks distinctive against the backdrop of the entire city. Spatial prominence establishes elements as landmarks in one of two ways: either by enabling the landmark to be noticeable from various view points or by creating an antithesis between proximate elements. An example is a deviation between the exterior surroundings and elevation (Lynch 1960, p. 78).
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Thus, this essay will focus on the Eiffel Tower. The structure is qualified as a landmark in a number of ways. France has had its important matters commemorated and celebrated here. Though the installation of its lighting system was done in 1900 for the then exposition, the tower got established as broadcasting beacon from 2000, when the millennium celebration has been conducted. Even after this, there was an installation of a new projector, whose two beams of light could go up to 80 kilometers. With the 1999’s unavailing of new light sets, which could glitter as midnight was approaching, the tower gained its intended status as a universally accepted symbolic landmark (Carr 2014, p. 1).
The new century saw the landmark being illuminated by different colors and patterns. It has been done to mark a number of past celebrations and anniversaries, which were of great importance to French people. The year 2004 saw the red lights being used in oneness during celebration of Chinese New Year. On the other hand, it was lit in blue in the year 2006 in marking the twentieth anniversary of the Europe’s day. The year 2007, the gold and green colors were used together with rugby posts and ball in celebration the hosting of Rugby World Cup by France. This representation makes the symbolic connotation of the tower obvious to the world Carr 2014, p. 1).
In the context of this paper, a landscape encompasses both the physical places as well as their artistic representation. In fact, the places of the statuses, such as that of Eiffel Tower, are never simply seen as a cultural landscape. They have continuously been seen as including the surrounding people and the way in which they interact and interrelate. Today, landscapes represent symbolic systems, which take the shape of the inhabitants’ beliefs as well as the meanings the landscape is attributed to. It means that the way such landscapes are shaped do express the represented social ideologies as is communicated by a given landscape. According to Crowley and Jobling (1996, p. 87), the landscapes, which humans inhabit and thus continuously modify, speak people’s geographical interest making them cultural landscapes. However, landscapes can have different meanings to various people. The perceptions they attract can also change over time. However, the majority of cultural landscapes merely represent people’s values symbolically. In essence, cultural landscapes represent a system, which allows people to communicate, explore, reproduce and experience their social order.
The Eiffel Tower replaced Gothic cathedral as the major landmark before the tower’s construction. However, they shared a familial affinity since they had similar construct ideologically. That is, the Eiffel Tower later embodied the ideals of the republicans, which had initially been attributed to the cathedral (Petersen, 2004, p. 469). It was later replaced as the world’s tallest building by Chrysler Building in New York City, which was completed in 1930.
Background Information on the Eiffel Tower
The Republican France in the early 1880s was dealing with an economic crisis and suffering great political instability. The idea of building the tower was first formed to celebrate the first centenary of the French Revolution by designing a monument to mark this occasion. The World’s Fair inspired the idea to create a monument to boost the economy and celebrate the occasion of the World’s Fair. Edouard Lockroy, the then minister of trade, decided to create a competition which would specify the detailing of the monument (Bolloch 2005, p. 9).
Bidding for the project soon began, and over 100 projects were received for Lockroy to choose from (Harris 1976, p. 11). One of the projects submitted was created by Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin, who at the time were senior engineers of Eiffel’s company. Later the project was bought out by Gustav Eiffel. Nouguier and Koechlin’s initial proposal was “large pylon made up of four latticework beams spread at the base and meeting at the top, held together by metal beams at regular intervals” (Bolloch, 2005, p. 9). This idea was expanded upon by Stephen Sauvestre, who was the architect attached to Eiffel’s firm. After this the planned proposal has been displayed on the Decorative Arts Exhibition. At that time Eiffel himself became actively involved in the project and made some technical changes to the initial proposal. From 1886, the concept, planning and construction of the monument began to quickly form (Bolloch, 2005, p. 9).
The monument was constructed on the Left Bank of the Seine river, at the northwestern extreme of the Parc du Champs de Mars, the surface of which was similar to the rest of Paris: “Grey, plastic clay, about 50 feet deep, resting on a solid foundation of chalk” (Harriss 1976, p. 55). The first part of erecting the tower began with its excavations and masonry foundations, outlining the base of four feet of the tower, each supporting a pillar aligning to the four points of the compass. Once it was completed, it was followed by a construction of diagonal pillars, along with the horizontal beams, assembled from puddled iron, which would together make the lower half of the tower (Bolloch 2005, p. 11). In 1888, the second phase began, which was constructing the monument past the second platform and glass cage machines, designed by Otis Elevator Company were implemented in the tower. The tower was eventually completed by 31st of March, 1889, weighing a total of 7,300 metric tons, and standing at 1069 feet (320.75 meters). It still remains the tallest structure in Paris by a clear definition (Engineering.com Library, 2006, p. 1). The image of the tower is shown on the picture below.
Perception and Representation
The perception of the tower in the city, its influence and grandeur has evolved from the initial conception to its completion and development. Initially, when the tower was in the concept and assembly stages, many individuals signed a petition to the Minister of Works to oppose it. The most felt petition was written by the ‘Committee of Three Hundred’. This petition stated, “We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects and passionate devotees of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris, protest with all our strength, with all our indignation in the name of slighted French taste, against the erection of this…useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower…” (History, 2013 p. 1).
In fact, even immediately after its completion in the year 1889, the majority of Paris dwellers did not like what they saw. Gazing at its majesty, most Parisians literary moaned because of the hatred they had for “the huge, shitty eyesore”. They saw it as a metal tower monster with a spoiling effect on the skyline of Paris, which was so precious to them.
To the advantage of the opponents was the fact that the tower was not meant to be permanent, it was only to take 20 years after its use for the 1889 International Exhibition in Paris. That is, Gustave Eiffel gave in to the rules of the 1889 World’s Fair. The rules required that all structures, which were built for the World’s Fair, were to be constructed in a way that they could be easily demolished after a period of 20 years. Thus, the Parisian had known that its demolition was obvious since the land was leased for 20 years. Moreover, based on this fact, Eiffel had used a metric shit ton from iron, which is said to be the cheapest. It is what he used to come up with the world’s tallest structure at the time (Symon 2012, p. 1).
Irrespective of the fact that the landmark was initially to be brought down, many people, both citizens and non-citizens of France, have come to appreciate its importance. It was boosted by the fact that even some individuals who had signed petitions in court later changed their viewpoint. Example is Sully Prudhomme, who admitted that the tower was “Judged and condemned only by default” (Bolloch, 2005, p. 20). Eiffel himself declared, “I believe it is fair to say we are showing the world that France continues to be the leader of progress and that she is realizing a project which has often been tried or dreamed of” (Bergdoll 2003, p. 12). Though Eiffel faced much criticisms and judgments during his construction as many local Parisians believed the tower to be more monstrosity, grotesque, the perception has changed (Harris, 1976, p. 76).
Over the years, the tower has become a symbol of Paris and the French nation and now it is one of the most visited landmarks in the world. The Eiffel Tower represents a passage and evolution from the renaissance era through to the industrialized future. Constructed to celebrate the commemoration of the French Revolution, it has adapted over the years to represent the nation, its people and culture of a particular era (Sutcliffe 1993, p. 106).
The tower later became common with expositions, slowly winning support of its detractors. However, the critics revived their call for its demolition towards the end of the tower’s twentieth year, in the beginning of 1909. Though it was destined for destruction, a number of reasons enabled a change in the perception of Parisians towards the tower leading to its survival (Symon 2012, p. 1).
First was the invention that the tower would be used to support the projected radio communication system. Eiffel projected that in future radio was destined to be the major device for communication. It was an indication of the need for a high place that would help in sending the long range messages. Though hated, being the world’s tallest tower of the time, it could not be denied that Eiffel Tower was going to grant the world that needed spot. Eiffel went ahead and erected the radio transmitter right at the top of the tower. The most significant was the fact that he willingly gave it out to the French Ministry of War to be used as the communication base. It enabled the ministry to pass messages across all the channels that were broadcasting in English at the time. The Parisians realized its usefulness during the war with Italy and Germany, when radio was widely used as a tool of transmitting instant message concerning the war (Symon 2012, p. 1).
Thus it is its usefulness as the radio messaging system that seemed to have saved the tower. It was even more evidenced, when the tower was used as the main transmission point by German radio communications. The station installed its advance on the northern part of Paris. Though the call for its demolition was revived in 1967 by the Mayor of Montreal, Eiffel Tower has remained to date. Since then it has been used by Hollywood producers to a wide extent. In fact, almost all the scenes of France-based movies are making use of the tower as their background since it forms a good cue to their audience. One is looking at most of the Paris-based movies; another would literally see that the city of Paris is simply the Eiffel Tower and a number of cafés (Symon 2012, p. 1).
Later, a number of metrological-related experiments were carried out on it. For instance, Eiffel studied various effects of wind as well as air resistance. It has grown to be known as aerodynamics, a technology which has been very instrumental to the military and aviation departments. It has been equally embraced in the rocket technologies. It saw the tower being spared after the expiry of its permit as the military could not do without the use of its antenna. A good example can be its utilization in capturing of Mata Hari, who was the infamous spy during the First World War. The tower intercepted communications of the enemies’ radio besides being used to relay zeppelin alerts. It was also useful in the dispatch of reinforcements of troops during emergencies. It is this role that made the tower gain so much significance to the people of France erasing the initial thought of having it demolished. It was known to be the backbone of French telegraphy (Kingston Technical Software 2012, p. 1).
The importance of the tower in nationhood later increased as the tower was integrated into the International Time Service making the people of France feel important at the international level. It has also been the case both with the French radio, which has utilized it since 1918, as well as French television, which has, on the other hand, utilized it since 1957 (Kingston Technical Software 2012, p. 1). Since then most tourists have visited the city of Paris to take food in one of the restaurants built in the tower to enable them have a clear view of the city.
Eiffel Tower as Representation of the French Nation
Equally, landscapes do give people a sense of loyalties and places. Thus they affect national identities, which are very deliberately constructed and dependant on these landscapes and not naturally dictated. It is the landscape’s influence on the people’s heritage, which is constructed socially and which make their history. It is our heritage that enables us to connect to our past easily. Both the sense of nationality and identity obtain the construction through communities which are imagined. Imagined to represent the belief by people, which is never possible for a person or the entire group, whether a nation or a race, which people have been aligning themselves to it. However, irrespective of this fact, people of the same nationality, race or any other grouping always feel that they share a kindred bond (Jackson 2010, p. 470).
The importance of Eiffel Tower as a heritage of determining French identity is explained by the fact that people mostly treasure what sets them apart. French people have always felt that the magnificent structure sets them apart from the rest of the world since it is among the most visited landscapes across the world (Crowley & Jobling 1996, p. 86). Equally, the very landscapes are also impacted on by our identity and heritage. It is always visible through the way in which the construction of the said landscapes had been done. Apart from its impacts on the landscape, identity can also be embodied within the landscape physically. In fact, it is the portrayal by French people of their heritage and identity within Eiffel as a cultural landscape, which has seen a high number of tourists visiting it. It has coincided with the role of the landscape in how France, as a space, has undergone commodification.
Though the tower had been constructed as a way of spectacularising Paris, it has steadily gained the fame to a point that it embodies the image of France as a nation worldwide. It draws millions of visitors from across the world by its physical domination of the Parisian skyline. Just like any other renowned monuments in Paris, the tower has gained more value as well as meaning associated with it. The tower has produced and still holds social meaning while providing identity to both Parisians and France as a nation. Though national identities are normally a result of constructions made deliberately, it had not been true in the case of Eiffel Tower (Barthes 2013, p. 1)
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The tower can also be taken as a representation of the nation (France) taking off to modernity. Because of its complexity in design, the tower has been seen from across the world as a symbol that France is modernized. It is said that even the part of Parisians who have been opposed to the structure were simply shocked by its bold modernity. In fact, since its construction Paris has been referred to as an elegant and modern city. Since then, those visiting Paris for whichever reason have shown a great desire to see the tower to seal their visit to this city. Since then it has been known to be one of the major world icons providing endless fascination to the world and the cliché of choice for its representation of Paris. Apart from the fact that the structure is fascinating, many of its visitors are those who would like to get a good view of Paris. The tower gives away the visitors of Paris at a glance. It has since been described as Paris or French ‘Iron Lady’. The structure has been literary having pride of the place whenever any report is being written on Paris. It has revolutionized photography in the country. Today, those coming up with films in France have a magnificent backdrop. It is evident in the film La Fin du Monde, produced by Abel Gance in 1931 (Barthes 2013, p. 2).
Through its structure, the tower has all that would be required to have a glance at Paris or even France. The structure emerged as an unordinary monument with boasting attractions and restaurants. The way in which Eiffel Tower is constructed makes it an imposing feature. It is raised to 303 metres, which is the measurement that excludes its antennae. Its weight is over ten thousand tonnes, while it also has eighteen thousand individual sections made of metal, the assemblage of which took 2.5 million rivets. Those who aspire to access its first two levels, have to use lifts or climb all the 704 steps. Its ascent gives people the unique view of the capital of France, making people identify the tower with France (Billington 1985, p. 92).
It is also identified with Paris since it gives tourists a view of Paris as the whole, as well as the view of other symbolic monuments right from its second level. Parisian, and therefore French major attractions, such as Notre-Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and the Cahteau de Versailles can be viewed from this structure. It gives the visitors the real taste of France’s major attractions. Moreover, the second level enables visitors to have a broad range of the taste, cultural and visual experiences. Such restaurants as Jules Verne, located on the tower’s level two, as well as the vertiginous champagne bar located at the tower’s very top part, enable visitors to have a taste of French people’s culture and lifestyle (Billington 1985, p. 92).
The tower in itself is a theatre of outstanding events and spectacular lighting made possible through the Champ de Mars and its Parisian park which is equally very magnificent. Some of the events, which have since been identified with France, include the July 14th fireworks on the Bastille Day; Blue Tower, which came at the time when France offered the president for the EU; the 2000 firework display, as well as the multi-coloured display done in marking the country’s 120th anniversary. Equally, most of the country’s artists, writers, painters, as well as singers have testified of having drawn their inspiration from the tower. The influence saw Robert Delaunay, one of the renowned cubist painters, dedicating most of his works to Eiffel Tower. Mistinguett, who was the cabaret artist, also expressed great amazement at the continued existence of the tower during the La Belle Epoque. The tower’s influence on the singers can be seen from the works of Jacques Dutronc. He had a feeling that the tower has had cold feet. It greatly impacted on the kind of songs he composed (Beca 2006, p. 5).
Just like in the case with other landmarks in other countries around the world, France has been identified with Eiffel Tower in various dimensions. Though the design of the tower was widely criticized by Paris writers and artists, its beauty, wizard engineering, and originality won the nationwide affection and praise. Of particular national importance about its design was the fact that it exalted French national flag singling out as the only flag with a pole measuring up to 300 metres. The country also made history as the host of the world’s tallest structure for a 30-year period. The structure has also made Paris and its environs unfold in the form of a giant map. The perception that the tower is the great scenery is universal. It can be seen based on its ability to draw tourists who are attracted to see the global famous symbol of Paris in their millions (Dunn, 2013, p. 1). In fact, it attracts such a great number of visitors, much more than any other world’s paid monument; at least seven million every year. Equally, the country boasts of a singly tourist structure giving employment to over 500 people. The site has also attracted various high profile stunts, scientific experiments and ceremonial events. For instance, the country boasts of the invention of cosmic rays, which was first done on the tower by Theodor Wulf, a German Physicist. Equally, it is the step taken by France that seems to have triggered other country to come up with the common similar structures that have now been erected in a number of world’s major cities (Barthes 2013, p. 1).
The tower has also brought the country together at the consulate of Cape Town. It was during a season described to be the South African’s in France. The season saw Eiffel Tower being lit up with the South African national flag’s colours for a number of days. The illumination formed an attractive and powerful way to begin the season of South Africa in France. It was done for an event attended by over eight hundred South Africans. French citizens came together to enjoy events performed by South African’s best artists, academicians, and sportsmen, too (French Consulate of Cape Town, 2013, p. 1).
This way France has been able to strengthen its relations with other nations as the people of different nations are brought together by the urge to see the world’s once tallest structure and interact with one another. Such international activities have also given French artists and sportsmen the opportunity, which they can use to learn from other nations as they work together. This way, the country has greatly developed its creative industry and thus promoted its culture, heritage and arts. It leads to the creation of more jobs, opening up of new markets, as well as building sustainable livelihoods among French citizens serving in the creative industries (Barthes 2013, p. 1).
Harris and Ezra (2000, p. 170) refer to the tower as the universally symbolizing Paris and France. According to their work, the tower has greatly impacted on the France’s contemporary culture. It is its exposition that was used as a mark of the country’s revolution. Different from other Paris-based commemorative monuments, what the tower symbolizes is not presented outwardly. It simply represents that the country unifies as one nation after its revolution. Though many monuments have intentionally been used in cultivating national identity since the dawn of 19th century, it was never intentional in the case of the Eiffel Tower. Its major aim was to give the exposition a monumental entrance and not to give France a representation as a unified whole as has been the case. However, it is a clear show of the kind of advancement the country has made in its industrialization and design (Hebert 1998, p. 27).
The Intention of the Tower
Equally, the very intention of the structure also leaves no doubt about its representation of France as a nation. One of the reasons why the tower has been constructed was to mark 100 years since France was revolutionized. It means that the tower brought the nation together in this celebration. Equally, it has given the world another way of identifying France as a nation (Delaney & Kaspin 2011, p. 256).
It was seen immediately after it has been constructed since it was used for the 1889’s world’s exposition, which was one of the reasons why it was built. In fact, the period of Revolution, from 1789-1799, has been dominating in the country’s history. It was a period of political upheaval leading in to the French monarchy being abolished. It was then replaced with an ideal democratic republic, which has remained radical since then. It saw France enduring a continued political unrest culminated by the first and the second World Wars. From this period, France joined the major leading nations in the European Union. Over time, the construction of country’s identity has been involving the complex process, which includes assigning some level of significance to its people’s cultural practices, events, historical places and people. When put together, everyone is able to have informed opinion of the country. Landscapes of this importance can form a symbolic representation site (Jackson 2010, p. 470)
Representation of Transition to Modernity
World’s fairs represented spectacular articulations of the modern way of life. As the centre of modernity, the city’s (Paris) major concern was to impress the world. In fact, the 1889 exposition itself was an extension of the tussle that London and Paris had been having. They were both vying to be positioned first in Europe. London had benefited from hosting the industrial World’s Fair that preceded the Fair of 1889. Its main attraction was the vast Crystal Palace constructed by Joseph Paxton. It had showcased the ways, in which iron could be used innovatively. The spaces within the city had been commodified to have their nation represented in the ways which enable citizens to give an expression of their power (Crowley & Jobling 1996, p. 86).
However, the exposition of 1889 went beyond being a London-Paris affair. Rather, it brought the whole continent together in celebrating French Revolution. The construction of the tower was a form of landscape manipulation aimed at making the exposition a great success. It was also aimed at helping to avoid unnecessary unrest. The tower was therefore a symbol of the country’s commitment to the growing economy and overall development, while easing the political temperature on the continent. Though a number of monarchies like Holland, Belgium and Britain refused to officially participate in the event, the aim was achieved (Prost 2002, p. 317).
Significance of the exhibition saw Eduoard Lockro, who had newly been appointed to head the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and also head the team responsible for the building of the tower. He aspired to have a 1000-foot tower constructed in Paris. Besides the need of winning its associated engineering race, he wanted the structure to feature a symbol, which would represent the faith that had been responsible for shaping the Parisians and French identities. Making efforts to deliberately shape people’s identity and representation is a shift to the establishment of new modern form of memory. That is the era, in which nations create their identity and are not waiting them to occur naturally (Prost 2002, p. 317).
Equally, Eiffel, who constructed the tower, had gained a status as the premier constructor of France following his building of a number of bridges among other metal structures. His thirty years’ experience worked well with the fact that the design he came up with was in line with the required criteria, which led to the acceptance of proposal. His presentation saw that the country was committed to inventions and technological advancement. Equally, the construction of the tower was done in two years compared to the Washington Monument, which had taken the country 36 years to construct (Taylor-Battly 2013, p. 3).
The structure’s three-dimensional nature and its modern engineering feat was clearly a symbol of modern Paris, as it was intended to be by the government. The work was meant to give a picture of French industrial strength through attesting to the kind of progress the country had made in as far as its metal structures’ arts is concerned. It was also done in celebration of the progress the country had achieved in its civil engineering in the said century. It also aimed at attracting the highest number of visitors to the country ever to enable it to be a sign of peace as the continent and the world commemorate the 1889 centenary. With the reasoning behind its construction as the real construction being done in a period that was characterized by political upheavals is an indication that even in such early times people could embody such significance and meaning (Lebovics 2004, p. 1).
The tower was a presentation of the kind of advancements that France had made as a society in the early years. However, this concept can be bizarre due to the fact that the inspiration of its construction took a similar form to that of the biblical tower, which was built on the heaven. It may raise a question of how something should qualify to be modern. However, in this context, modernity will simply represent a given mental attitude. It occurred during industrialization characterized by crave for and domination over the nature and existence of order. Put together with the progress notion, it was accurately the intention behind the construction of the tower. The biblical ties of the tower signified that the country had not forgotten religious morality despite the progress people achieved. It saw the citizens of France acquiring and accepting new perception of themselves and their group as French citizens (Harris & Ezra 2000, p. 170).
Europe of the 19th century had its modernity-centred architectural advancements, especially functional aspects and design of structures. The leadership of Eiffel Tower in this modern domain cannot be questioned. Its design made it very unique besides being taller than any other world structures of the time. Together with its role in the creation of a commodifiable landscape, the tower hosted restaurants with the best food and kind of service at the time (Prost 2002, p. 317).
Instead of lasting just for a short time as was intended, Eiffel Tower has attracted such attention to become the soul of Paris, also known as ‘the City of Light’. It has dominated Paris skyline and the Seine. It is not a mere achievement, especially noting that the tower was once seen as absolutely useless and dangerous building. It has attracted much attention from all over the world to become a heroic world symbol.
Equally, irrespective of the fact that there are a number of other more advanced architectural projects in Paris and across the world, the tower is still receiving the highest number of visitors than all other monuments in Paris. It has an unprecedented presence in tourists’ maps and guidebooks. Besides selling of cultural food in the restaurants, souvenir shops located right at the towers’ pillar entrances of the first two floors do offer several cultural items, which represent Paris as well as the tower as their theme. Some of the bestselling items are tower key rings and headscarves.
Finally, though it has not retained its status as the world’s tallest building, there has been a shift of priority of its visitors with most people visiting it now focusing on the values and meanings that the structure has come to embody. That is, its significance as a universally accepted symbol in a cultural landscape. Thus, other more sophisticated architectural designs have not overshadowed it and the structure’s future as a tourists’ destination is still promising.