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Happy 125th Birthday, Eiffel Tower!

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La Tour Eiffel turns 125 today, so we thought we would share a few fun facts about one of the most iconic buildings in the world.

1. Completed in 1889, it was the tallest structure in the world until 1930 when the Chrysler Building was completed.

2. There was a good deal of opposition to the tower when it was being planned:

“We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects and passionate devotees of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris, protest with all our strength, with all our indignation in the name of slighted French taste, against the erection…of this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower…To bring our arguments home, imagine for a moment a giddy, ridiculous tower dominating Paris like a gigantic black smokestack, crushing under its barbaric bulk Notre Dame, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Louvre, the Dome of les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, all of our humiliated monuments will disappear in this ghastly dream. And for twenty years…we shall see stretching like a blot of ink the hateful shadow of the hateful column of bolted sheet metal.”

3. Built as a centerpiece for the 1889 World Exposition, it was meant to be dismantled after 20 years. The city had begun using it for communication purposes (the addition of an antennae eventually made it taller than the Chrysler Building) so it was saved.

See photos over the years on CNN and read more about Paris on our website.

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