For a while, it was the tallest manmade structure in the world. Built in the 1880s by Gustav Eiffel (the bridge-building engineer who had recently built the framework for the Statue of Liberty), the Eiffel Tower was intended as a temporary entryway for the 1889 World’s Fair. (Apparently World’s Fairs were a big deal back in those days). The plan was to take it down 20 years later, but by then the radio had been invented, and having a very tall tower for radio antennas came in pretty handy, so it stayed up. The rest is history — literally. The French at least cut the elevator cables on the tower before the Germans took over Paris in 1940, so Hitler never got to the top when he visited Paris.
Since it went up in the late 19th Century, the Tower has been visited by about 250 million people — now including my sister Jana Parker, and my niece Caitlin. I was lucky enough last week to get to take Jana and Caitlin to Paris for a few days of post-Christmas sightseeing. Here’s the first batch of pictures — all of these are shots of, including, and/or from the Eiffel Tower. Thanks to Caitlin for some nice, impromptu work as a Parisian model. More pictures from Paris still to come when I get organized.