Modern Marvels: Eiffel Tower [DVD]
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This documentary tells the story of the world's most famous tower and the technological challenges and breakthroughs its construction entailed. When the French government was organizing the Centennial Exposition of 1889 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, the noted bridge engineer Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel was asked to design and build a structure to symbolize the occasion. His finished product aroused praise, criticism, and amazement. The controversial project drew opposition from such notables as Maupassant and Émile Zola. Ridiculed as ugly, the design was a masterpiece of engineering, 984 feet high, consisting of four semicircular arches, inspired by both artistic design and weight-bearing engineering considerations. The view from the top platform extends for 50 miles, and the structure continues to dominate the Paris skyline. After the 1889 fair closed, Eiffel realized the only way to save his monument would be to find new uses for it. The film follows the story of the Eiffel Tower's various incarnations, from meteorological station, telegraph station, and television station, to its modern-day use as a museum and tourist attraction. ~ Rose of Sharon Winter
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