The Inspiration of the Eiffel Tower

Posted by // October 9th, 2012 // Architecture 3 Comments »

The Eiffel Tower is one of the most instantly recognisable buildings in the world and has grown to become a symbol of not just Paris, but France as a nation. It is the world’s most visited (paid) tourist destination and has attracted over 200 million people.

Eiffel Tower lit up with the beacon
Source: Joshua Veitch-Michaeli

Eiffel Tower (day and night)
Sources: J.M. Schomburg and Stefan Krause

Taking just over two years to build, the tower was completed in 1889 for the World’s Fair and is still the tallest building in Paris standing at 324 metres. This imposing height means it dominates over the city-scape and led to criticism even before construction started. Parisian artisans considered it ‘monstrous’ and ‘useless’ with Gustave Eiffel reacting by comparing the tower to the Great Pyramids of Egypt.
As a result of it becoming one of the world’s most iconic structures, a number of tributes and imitations having been erected in its honour. Here are some of our favourites…

Tokyo Tower

The Tokyo Tower
Source: Wilhelm Joys Andersen

With the advent of television broadcasting in the 1950s, Tokyo required a large structure to transmit communications across the Kanto region. Built in 1958 in the Minato district, Tokyo Tower was the answer. Its distinctive white and orange colour is to ensure it complies with international air safety regulations.

Originally designed to be the tallest structure in the world (surpassing the Empire State Building), financial constraints meant the tower eventually topped out at just slightly higher than the Eiffel Tower. It has since shrunk to 315 metres due to antenna equipment damage.

Blackpool Tower

Blackpool Tower and Illuminations

Opened just five years after the Eiffel Tower, Blackpool Tower rises to 158 metres and helps it stand out from across the seaside city.

At the top of the tower are four levels which include two outdoor floors and the main enclosed area where a glass floor is located. It differs from the Eiffel Tower in that it is not a free-standing structure. Occupying the base building is the world famous Blackpool Tower Circus.

Petřín Lookout Tower

Petrin Lookout Tower
Source: Ralf Roletschek

Built in 1891, the Petřín Lookout Tower stands at only 60 metres but is located on the Petřín hill giving it impressive views over Prague from its highest observation point.

At first glance one could mistake the tower for being a miniature replica of the Eiffel Tower but closer inspection reveals two key differences. Firstly, the structure is octagonal in shape rather than having a square base. Also, the base is home to the tower’s entrance hall which takes up the entire floor space.

Are there any we may have missed? Which tower is your favourite? Let us know below!

3 Responses

  1. Hank

     (post author)   says:

    Is the Tokyo Tower supposed to be an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower?

  2. cinderella384

     (post author)   says:

    Tokyo Tower looks good but the other two look rubbish. They aren’t very tall or impressive. The one in Las Vegas is cool!

Leave a Reply to Hank