“Look, object, symbol, the Tower is all that man puts in it, and this all is infinite. A spectacle looked at and looking, a useless and irreplaceable building, a familiar world and heroic symbol, the witness to a century and an always new monument, an inimitable and endlessly reproduced object, it is the pure sign, open to all times, all images and all senses: the unbridled metaphor; through the Tower, men exercise this great faculty of the imagination, which is their freedom; since no history, however dark it may be, has ever been able to take theirs away.”

Roland Barthes


On May 15th 1889 the Eiffel Tower opened its doors to the public, several days after the inauguration of the Universal Exhibition, of which it was the undisputed star and the most spectacular attraction. 120 years later the City of Paris authorities and SETE * are marking this anniversary with a series of inter-related events that will punctuate 2009.

 “The Eiffel Tower Saga”**, an exhibit-visit from May 15th to December 31st 2009 on the 1st floor and the stairways of the Eiffel Tower

“The Eiffel Tower Saga” offers the vast number of people who come from all over the world to visit the monument the opportunity to discover the origins of the Tower, its successful image, its highlights, its “lineage”, from ornaments to the great contemporary towers, what goes on behind the scenes. It invites visitors to explore the Tower, to complete their knowledge of it and take a look at it from another perspective by means of objects, posters, photographs, engravings, drawings and also interactive devices and films. Over 100 illustrated panels, some complete with screens, games or interactive devices, present a real itinerary in the heart of the monument, displayed in the passageways and stairs of the Tower. On the platform overlooking the Champ de Mars, a large tent hosts a cinema and its bar. The Ferrie Pavilion presents a cabinet of curiosities spotlighting over 300 reproductions of the Tower in all its forms, while in a special setting the exhibition space will present the works of the many artists inspired by the iron lady. The exhibition will be organised around eight themes, each designed to be an independent mini-exhibition, forming an integrated whole.

 “Gustave Eiffel, the magician of iron” at City Hall from May 7th  to August 29th  2009

The show traces the immense career of this outstanding engineer and his brilliant research work through a rich collection of original documents.

 The July 14th  spectacle

The traditional firework show of the City of Paris, celebrating the French national holiday, will honour Gustave Eiffel and his tower. Exceptionally, they will be fired from the monument.

 120 classes for 120 years

With the ‘120 classes for 120 years’ operation, in partnership with the EIFFAGE corporate foundation, the Eiffel Tower will welcome almost 3,500 children from Paris and suburban schools for a VIP visit of the monument.

 “Rispal, a collector’s passion”**, exhibition from July 20th  to August 23rd  2009 in the Gustave Eiffel Room – 1st  floor of the Tower

Presentation of objects, works and engravings on the theme of the Eiffel Tower and Universal Exhibitions from the collection of Antonin Rispal (1920 – 2003).

 Meeting of the Great Towers of the World in September at the Eiffel Tower.

From September 28th to October 1st, on the occasion of its 120th anniversary the Eiffel Tower will welcome representatives of some twenty towers from all over the world for a conference devoted to the challenges of sustainable development for the great towers of the world.

** Exhibition free for visitors to the monument.

The Eiffel Tower is open 7 days a week,

from 9:30 AM to 11:45 PM and from 9:00 AM to 0:45 AM
between June 12th and August 29th

Access to the 1st and 2nd floors:

– Lift: Adults: 8 € / Youths 12-24: 6.40 € / Children under 12: 4 €
– Stair Adults: 4.50 € / Youths 12-24: 3.50 € / Children under 12: 3 €

*The Eiffel Tower belongs to the City of Paris, who sub-contracted the operation and maintenance operations for ten years to SETE (Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel) at the end of 2005 as part of a public service delegation. SETE is a semi-public company of which the City of Paris is a majority shareholder with a 59.9% holding; its president is Jean-Bernard Bros, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Tourism and new local media, and its director is Nicolas Lefebvre. It employs 300 staff and in 2008 it realised a turnover of 64 million Euros Its missions are maintaining the monument and its installations, ensuring the quality of the services and the safety of the visitors, improving the quality of its facilities, access to the structure and visitor flow management, carrying out the plan to renovate and modernise installations and equipment, creating events enhancing its fame and prestige, the tourism and cultural promotion of Paris and boosting the exploitation of the Tower’s image.


A huge exhibition organised around 8 themes to discover and relive 120 years of the life of the monument that symbolises Paris and France throughout the world.


SOUTH stairs

Gustave Eiffel, engineer and builder of iron structures: his major works, which culminated in the design of the Tower, the initial drawings and the proposal for the threehundred metre Tower.

Eiffel obt ain ed his en g i nee r’s d iplo m a in 1855. He started his career by directing the building site for the Bordeaux railway bridge before creating his company at the age of 32. He quickly became a leading builder of metal frameworks. With the viaducts over the Douro in Porto and Garabit he confirmed his ability to construct big bridges, which would inspire the design of the Eiffel Tower. The structure of the Statue of Liberty, offered to America by the French republicans, stands out amongst the remarkable works of the 1880s. Then came the 300- me te r Tower. St arting a s a pylon design drawn by the engineers Koechlin and Nouguier in 1884, the Tower became a monument in the hands of the architect Sauvestre before being simplified in its final form. Even before construction started, it already bore the name of Eiffel. Eiffel retired from business in 1893 to concentrate on scientific experiments, mainly aerodynamics, and his family.


1st floor, outside gallery

An incredible building site in the centre of Paris : the “ film” of the construction, illustrated by photos and engravings of the day. The major projects of the last thirty years.

To build the Tower, Eiffel assembled an experienced team of engineers, draughtsmen, carpenters and workers. The parts were designed and manufactured in his factory at Levallois-Perret, next to Paris. The Tower was design ed in several steps: overall blueprints enabling t he necessary calculations to be performed , and then detailed blueprints for each part. In addition to the technical difficulties, Eiffel also had to face the protests that rang out as soon as work began. At the beginning of 1887 works tarted on the foundations on which the 16 iron frameworks would be constructed. The 4 pillars were started simultaneously, withouts caffolding , by means of small steam cranes. Building the metal structure would only take 21 months. On March 31st 1889, t he French flag could finally be hoisted to the summit of the Tower. Almost a hundred years aft er i t was built, the Tower underwent a complete makeover,

all the way to a new lighting system inaugurated on December 31st 1985 and a new restaurant inaugurated on the first floor in 2009. To prot ect the Tower from corro sion, the Tower is repa i nted ev ery 7 years on average. The 19th re-pa inting job will take from Ma rch 2009 to the end of 2010.


1st floor Ferrie Pavilion

The Ferrie Pavilion presents a cabinet of cur iosit ie s s howcasing s cale mode ls, or naments, souvenirs, cha rms, and more than 300 reproductions of all sorts, which have made the tower one of the most

popular objects in the world. The Tower is a unique and singular object, which hadn’t stopped it from

being multiplied to infinity, reproduced in thousands of copies in a multitude of for ms: medallions , scale models, toys,

scissors, penknives, postal scales, papercutters, boxes, buttons, spoons, table mats, napkin rings, pepper mills, candles ticks, barometer s, plates, glasses, bo ttles, cups, lamp bases, ink wells, clocks , scarves, dresses, shoes, handbags , etc . Holding the Tower in your hands is to tame this impressive colossus, make a friend that you can take home with you. A selection of anc ient and contemp or ar y objects illustrates th is tran sposition of the Tower into multiple forms.


1st floor, central passageway

The Tower’s inauguration for the 1889 Universal Exhibiti on , the Tower among the Universal Exhibition’s buildings and at the he art of Paris’s o the r world and international fairs (1900, 1925, 1937…), the fireworks, thelightingandthe illuminations… The flags hip monument of the 1889 Universal Exhibition, the Eiffel Tower was designed from the very beginning to be a prestigious tower. The high est tower ever built in its day, it would be the most spectacular attraction. It would remain one of the high point s of the big Parisian exhibit ions: 1 900, the Decorative Arts exhibition of 1925, the Arts and Techniques in Modern Life exhibition in 1937. Inaugurated on December 31st 1985, the Tower’s new lighting system illuminated it from the inside. Then its centennial in 1989 was the excuse for a magnificent party accompanied by spectacular fireworks. Since 2003 , the Tower has been dressed up in a sparkling dress made of 2 0,000 flashing lights that go off for a few minutes every hour, a scintillating colour display for special occasions: red for China, blue for
Europe, etc.


1st floor Ferrie Pavilion, exhibition area

The Tower as a source of inspiration for generations of artists, who have pictured it in drawings, eng ravings, paintings, photographs, posters, di fferent media… And a special focus on the illustrators who created film posters.

From its construction, the Eiffel Tower has be en a sour ce of inspiration for ar tists, anonymous as well as famous. Illustrators, painters and photographers to ok thi s giant sculpture and made it the subject of their work. Thus transfigured by the eyes of artist s, the Eiffel Tower seems even bigger, a symbol of modernity, the symbol of Paris, which lends itself to every metamorphosis and every interpretation.


1st floor, tent area

A large number of film s have featured the Tower, the photogenic location par excellence. A presentation in a large tent transformed into a cinema to show a montage of extracts from fiction films featuring the tower, from its beginnings to the current day. From Zazie In The Métro to Ja m es Bond, from Paris Qui Dort to Superman, the Eiffel Tow er has star red in ma ny fictio n films. Whether as a cameo role or as the location for ins an e exploits or poetic discoveries, it ha s played its part to perfection . It has featured in dozens of films and every part of the tower has been the setting for action, from its underground machinery to its very summit. Vertigo and surprises guaranteed in the programme of chosen clips presented in the exhibition!


EAST staircase, from the 1st floor to the ground floor

The Tower has been copied in different places throughout the world; take a look at the great towers of the 20th century contemporary towers and towers under construction.

Even while the Eiffel Tower was being designed , there was al ready a host of rival projects . Th e characteristic shape of th e Eiffel Tower, curved for better wind resistan ce, has been the inspiration for many towers through out the world. The parallel development of metallic structures and the lift encouraged the builders to race for the sky. First New York and then Chicago vied to have the highest tower, overtaken today by their Asian and Middle-East ern counterparts. Nevertheless, the Eiffel Tower remained the tall est monument in the world for a long time, towering far above the pyramids of Egypt and the spires of the Cathedrals. But today’s great towers are a great d eal taller than it. Though it seems small next to its descendants, it will always be a unique monument, an unequalled reference.


EAST staircase, from the 1st floor to the 2nd floor

The monument’s identity card in key figures: 1 ,665 steps; 32 4 metres; 10,100 tonnes; 2,5 00,000 r ive ts ; 60,000 kilos of paint; 336 projectors; 20,000 flashing light bulbs; 120 antennae; 620 employees working on the Tower; 7 million visitors a year; 236,445,812 visitors since it opened.

“A true icon of progress and modernity as well as a symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower is already celebrating its 120th anniversary after knowing huge popular success since its inauguration in 1889. Its dimensions, its spectacular aspect, never seen before, symbolised the culmination of technique in the modern world. It should first be seen as its contemporaries found it: a colossal construction on a par with the challenges of the 19th century and a fitting way of glorifying, spectacularly and universally, the idea of material, and thus social, progress. Though the Tower is the child of its era and the genius who constructed it, it still retains its festive seduction, where you come seeking vertigo and surprises, panoramic views and one-of-a-kind sensations. Its abstract and non-practical character, the purity of its lines, the graphism of its structure: all these elements have made it the favourite medium for a contemporary vision of built spaces. Beyond the city that is its base, and of which it has become the paradoxical symbol, its uniqueness and its worldwide fame now designate it as a meeting point and a reference structure for all the world’s inhabitants. People have always been fascinated by towers, but through its eternal modernity the Tower embodies a certain forward-looking vision for the whole of humanity.”

Bertrand Lemoine

Carat Culture

Design and orchestration of the exhibition

Carat Culture, a subsidiary of the Aegis Média group and world no. 5 communications group, was created in 2001. As a consultancy and cultural engineering agency, it initiates and accompanies cultural events, from advice to brands on partnerships, including consultancy in the field of project engineering. Carat Culture has become known and respected in the world of large exhibitions with, in particular: Photoquai (2007 and 2009), Estuaire (2007), Les Etés Culturels de Saint-Tropez (2007), Les Trésors Engloutis d’Egypte at the Grand Palais in 2007 (more than 740,000 visitors) and Madrid in 2008, Dans la Nuit des Images, December 2008, etc. In addition, Carat Culture is currently developing the Seine Arche urban development project with the City of Nanterre. Carat Culture also, in the context of the policy of supporting the private funding of culture, conceives pairings between cultural events, brands and sponsorship, mainly in the cinema field. Carat Culture has designed the entire ‘The Eiffel Tower Saga’ exhibition and its emphasis on the theme of interactivity with the spectator. The general orchestration spotlights the Tower’s historical heritage through photos and works of art, unusual objects, archive and fiction films, exhibition panels and their interactive inserts with a real graphical commitment, thus communicating not only the external glory but also a part of the soul of the Iron Lady.

Bertrand Lemoine

Science Commissioner for the exhibition

Bertrand Lemoine is an architect and engineer, a research director at CNRS and a specialist in the history of architecture and construction in the 19th and 20th centuries, in particular the history of iron and steel. He is the author of a number of works about the Eiffel Tower. He was the commissioner for many exhibitions and has published many articles and forty works on the history and the current state of architecture in Paris, especially Gustave Eiffel (Hazan, 1984), L’architecture du fer (The architecture of iron, Champ Vallon, 1986), La Tour de Monsieur Eiffel (Mr. Eiffel’s Tower, Gallimard, 1989), La fantastique histoire de la tour Eiffel (The fantastic story of the Eiffel Tower, Ouest-France, 1998), La Tour Eiffel (Mengès, 2004), La Tour de trois cents mètres (The three-hundred-meter Tower, Taschen, 2006). He is also the director of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’architecture at Paris La Villette and of the magazine Architecture ACIER Construction.

Agence NC – Nathalie Crinière

Scenography of the exhibition

The Nathalie Crinière agency works for big cultural institutions and at the same time develops relationships with private customers. Its field of activity mainly involves scenography and museography, and also interior architecture in France and abroad. In scenography, its credits include the Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé collection for Christie’s in the nave of the Grand Palais, the redevelopment of the Cité des Enfants for 5/12 year-olds at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie at La Villette, Dennis Hooper – the new Hollywood at the French Film Archives, Grace Kelly at the Paris City hall then at the Ekaterina Foundation in Moscow. Recently it won the Louvre Abu Dhabi competition: developing the interior spaces of the permanent collections.


120 classes for 120 years

In partnership with the EIFFAGE Foundation, 120 Paris-area classes or groups of children, from Priority Education Areas (Zones d’Education Prioritaire) in the City of Paris or surrounding communities, are invited to take a specially-designed complete guided tour of the Tower. Between April and December 2009, a total of nearly 3,500 children will be welcomed for a real VIP visit of the monument.

“Rispal, a collector’s passion”**,

exhibition from July 20th to August 23rd

The Gustave Eiffel room on the 1st floor will receive part of Joséphine Rispal’s donation, encompassing objects, works and engravings on the theme of the Eiffel Tower and Universal Exhibitions, collected by her dead father. Antonin Rispal (1920 – 2003) was a collector, shopkeeper and Art Nouveau enthusiast. Over the years he assembled an impressive collection in which the Eiffel Tower and the Universal Exhibitions (1889 and 1900) are recurring themes. The exposition will reveal the technological and industrial effervescence of the day through photos, engravings, plates, posters, etc.

Meeting of the Great Towers of the World

in September at the Eiffel Tower.

From September 28th to October 1st, on the occasion of its 120th anniversary the Eiffel Tower will welcome representatives of some twenty towers from all over the world for a conference devoted to the challenges of sustainable development for the great towers of the world.

“Eiffel Tower Magazine”

A 52-page magazine, sold since February 2009 in the Eiffel Tower’s shops and in the

Relay shops at Paris’s airports and stations.

Special 120th anniversary access ticket

The access ticket to the Tower given to visitors will be in birthday colours all year, beginning on May 15th.