The Eiffel Tower, named after the French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, is one of the most famous structures in the world. It is the most visited monument in the world, where there is an admission charge.
Estimates indicate that more than 6 million people visit it each year. It is also the tallest built structure in all of Paris. There are stairways and lifts available to allow access to different levels of the Eiffel Tower. There are observation platforms allowing a clear view to the surrounding area beneath the tower itself. It is now considered as an invaluable symbol representing the city of Paris.
It was built in 1887 for the World's Fair, an exhibition celebrating the French revolution. It was at first thought to be a highly unusual structure, leading to it being built in its current location instead of Barcelona City. When construction was originally finished, many complaints arose regarding the tower. Some claimed that it was not pleasant to look at due to its unusual look.
The strange design of the structure can be attributed to the factor of wind resistance. Initially planned to be one of the tallest structures in the world, Eiffel and his team of engineers took many precautions to ensure that the structure could withstand substantial amounts of wind resistance. Drawing upon their previous experience as bridge designers, they developed a mathematical calculation with the wind resistance being a major part of the equation.
The tower was slated to be demolished in the early 1900's. However, it proved useful for communication purposes leading to the abandonment of that idea. The tower has been used since the 20th century for radio transmissions of different kinds. An underground radio center is located near the southern pillar of the tower. It was used by the Paris Observatory as an antenna to exchange wireless signals.
There are two restaurants in the tower. One of which is the Altitude 95. It is located on the first floor of the tower. The Jules Verne is the other restaurant, which is located on the second floor. It is a gastronomy themed restaurant with several expensive dishes. A popular chef, Alain Ducasse was hired to run the restaurant. Popular French cuisine can be sampled from these two restaurants. The top platform of the tower has a bar and a souvenir shop. The old office of Gustave Eiffel was recently restored and is another attraction in the tower.
In the year 2000, various lights were added to the tower. There is a light show held every night using these modern lights. There is also an ice skating rink installed on the first floor of the tower during the winter seasons.
There have been many strange events that have occurred related to the tower. One such event was when the tower was scaled by a mountaineer in 1954. Another such event occurred in 1984 when two Englishmen parachuted off the tower. A journalist once rode a bicycle down from the first level of the tower.
France is one of Europe’s most popular destinations for a wide range of holidays for the whole family to enjoy.
France has tens of thousands of hotels and B&B’s in fact there are more hotels in Paris than any other city in France, as this is such a popular destination for a short weekend break. But for a break with a difference, how about staying in one of the many chateaux that has been converted into a prestigious hotel with the ultimate in luxury or perhaps you would prefer a travel inn near to one of the attractions like Disneyland Paris or Futurescope.
There are also absolutely thousands of camping sites all over France, where you can pitch your own tent, go touring with a caravan or motor home, but for more convenience you could even hire a chalet already on site.
You can normally find campsites with excellent facilities that include swimming pools, shops, clubs, bars, entertainment, playgrounds, etc and are ideal for a family holiday. Some even offer other activities such as tennis, fishing, French boules, cycles for hire, and even games rooms with pool, snooker, etc, which can make for an ideal self-catering holiday at very little expense.
However, for those that are into adventure, you will not be disappointed with the range of activities on offer in France, such as canoeing, paragliding, abseiling, kayaking and rafting, horse riding, hiking, etc.
France is also a country that is extremely enthusiastic about cycling and they have made it ever so easy to explore the countryside and cities on two wheels.
For a cycling holiday, France is a great location for people with all levels of ability. Gentle rolling lanes and dedicated cycle paths for family cycling holidays, along with mountains for the cycling enthusiast and those that require a bit more strenuous activity whilst on holiday.
With all the rich heritage, extraordinary landscapes and the gastronomic delights you can really appreciated these more whilst cycling, especially because of the extensive national network of veloroutes, which will take you along canal towpaths, quiet country lanes and converted railway lines as well as getting you into the heart of the countryside by using voies vertes, also known as green ways, which are specially designated tracks that are completely shut to motorised traffic.
France also has two main ski areas, the Pyrenees and the Alps, both with many ski resorts and without a doubt, some of the best and most extreme ski areas in the world. It also has some of the biggest ski resorts such as Les Trois Vallees, which is made up of three valleys and includes resorts like Courchevel and Meribel. There are well over 1000km of pistes for skiers of all abilities and experience, so there is enough choice for everyone.
France has everything you could possibly wish for in a holiday, and forgetting things like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, there are numerous other landmarks to experience, such as the Canal du Midi, which is the oldest canal in Europe, thermal springs, National Parks and wildlife reserves, caves, the Millau Viaduct, which is the tallest traffic bridge in the world, The Dune de Pilat, which is the largest sand dune in Europe, plus the Cirque of Gavarnie in the Hautes-Pyrenees that surprises all by its colossal size and its cascade, and being the highest in Europe you will not fail to be impressed!
So for your next holiday to France why not start planning to see more of the real France, with all of its history, culture, landmarks and heritage, you will not want to go home!
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