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Eiffel Tower illuminated in blue for French E.U. presidency
The Eiffel Tower is illuminated in blue with yellow stars symbolizing European Union colors at a ceremony in Paris on June 30, 2008. France formally takes the rotating E.U. presidency from Slovenia on July 1. (UPI Photo/ David Silpa)
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The Eiffel Tower (French: La Tour Eiffel, , nickname La dame de fer, the iron lady) is an 1889 iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris that has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tallest building in Paris, it is the most-visited paid monument in the world; millions of people ascend it every year. Named for its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair.

The tower stands 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. It was the tallest man-made structure in the world from its completion until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Not including broadcast antennas, it is the second-tallest structure in France after the 2004 Millau Viaduct.

The tower has three levels for visitors. Tickets can be purchased to ascend, by stairs or lift, to the first and second levels. The walk to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. The third and highest level is accessible only by elevator. Both the first and second levels feature restaurants.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Eiffel Tower."
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