The Eiffel Tower – pronounced “EYEfull” – lives up to its phonetic name. An iconic gem on the Champ de Mars, it is at once strong and delicate with its wrought iron latticework.
Designed by engineers at Eiffel’s firm, it generated vast controversy prior to its construction. Protestors objected on both logistical and artistic grounds. A petition was published by Le Temps on Valentine’s Day of 1887 calling the proposed design:
“a useless and monstrous tower… dominating Paris like a gigantic black smokestack… a hateful column of bolted sheet metal.”
However, Eiffel persisted and got some seed capital to launch construction in time for the 1889 World’s Fair, to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution.
Nowadays, Paris and the Eiffel Tower are as inseparable as all of the great pairs – peas and carrots, Simon and Garfunkel, hip and hop. It is the most-visited paid monument in the world, and added a broadcasting aerial to the top in 1957 so as not to be outdone by New York’s Chrysler tower in height and prominence.
Paris is the Eiffel Tower… Paris would never be Paris without it. ~Lyrics from Paris Tour Eiffel
She is a beauty, so you will doubtlessly want to photograph her several times on your trip to Paris. Here are the best spots to capture this engineering feat of iron and lace.
1. Go underneath and look straight up her skirts.
2. Find yourself a bench along the Champs de Mars to take in her beauty straight on, just southeast of the tower.
3. Take in the Eiffel, ideally at sunset, from the Montparnasse Tower. You will overlook the Champs de Mars and all of Paris’ grandeur.
Photo Credit: Montparnasse Tower
4. Climb the stairs or take the lift to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It won’t technically be in your photo, but you can take in the views of Paris with champagne in hand, from inside the monument itself.
5. Set your alarm, kiss your jet lag goodbye, and admire the Eiffel from Place du Trocadéro at sunrise.
6. April in Paris is one of the truest joys of life. Photograph the tower from behind a tree blossom — you will have white, yellow, and pink to choose from.
Photo Credit: Instagram @SincerelyJules
7. Position the Eiffel Tower as a large speck in your shot of Paris, shooting from uphill at Sacre Coeur.
8. See her sparkle! Every night, on the hour, she sparkles for five minutes. Video or boomerang the magic.
9. Get a shot of the Eiffel over the Seine from the bridge Pont Alexandre III. The gold statues accented in black provide an ornate setting reminiscent of Narnia.
If you want to read more about the history of the Eiffel Tower, check out these 11 Eiffel Tower Facts You Didn’t Know.