Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
This is a fun souvenir from France, a keychain depicting the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is one the most well-known monuments in the world visited by more than 5 million people each year. The tower rises 300 meters tall (984 ft) and when it was completed at the end of the 19th century it was twice as high as the Washington Monument, at the time the tallest structure in the world. It was built for the World Exhibition in 1889, held in celebration of the French Revolution in 1789. The construction was only meant to last for the duration of the Exposition, but it still stands today, despite all protests from contemporary artists who feared the construction would be the advent of structures without 'individuality' and despite the many people who feared that this huge 'object' would not fit into the architecture of Paris.
The man behind the Eiffel Tower was Gustave Eiffel, known from his revolutionary bridge building techniques, as employed in the great viaduct at Garabit in 1884. These techniques would form the basis for the construction of the Eiffel Tower. He was also known for the construction of the Statue of Liberty's iron framework. The structure took more than two years to complete. Each one of the about 12,000 iron pieces were designed separately to give them exactly the shape needed. All pieces were prefabricated and fit together using approx. 7 million nails. The total weight of the structure is 10100 ton. The Eiffel Tower was the highest structure in the world from 1889 until 1930 when it was eclipsed by the Chrysler Building in New York City. There are 1652 stairs to get to the third level and an elevator can take you higher if you are dining at one of the restaurants.