The Eiffel Tower officially opened on March 31, 1889 at the Exposition Universelle, which celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the French Revolution. I can’t imagine Paris without La Tour Eiffel, but it was originally built as a temporary structure for the Exposition. The Eiffel Tower website writes that the structure was only meant to remain standing for 20 years, but its use as a radio transmission tower, among other scientific experiments, saved it from demolition. Gustave Eiffel’s engineering feat was the tallest building in the world until the Chrysler Building was erected in 1930 in New York City.
I took this while we were waiting for the Olympic Torch go by; you can see the police vans lined up along the street. We ended up being in the middle of a protest for Tibetan independence. For footage of the protest, including an elderly woman whacking a police officer who’d grabbed her Tibetan flag, see Todd’s YouTube video.