Cover photo via Randy Pertiet, FlickrCC
Much is being made of the 125th anniversary of the The Eiffel Tower’s construction. It’s one of Paris’ most famous landmarks and has received over 250 million visitors since it opened to the public in 1889. Designed by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built to be the entrance to the World’s Fair, an exposition of world culture. The tower was met with much scorn by Parisians of the era, who couldn’t see how such a monstrosity could fit into their picturesque city. A sizable group of artists created a petition against the construction of the tower. Their petition began: ‘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’.
The tower has certainly seen a lot over the past century and has witnessed countless political, social and economic changes and 2 World Wars shape Paris into what it is today. Nowadays, questions over the tower’s design are long forgotten and the Eiffel Tower is as a much a part of Paris as the winding streets of the Montmartre district and the historic Notre Dame Cathedral.
The iconic design has been a favourite of architects and many have used it as inspiration (or just simply copied the design) and throughout the world you can find a variety of structures bearing a striking resemblance to the Eiffel Tower. To celebrate 125 years of this remarkable design, here are 10 of the world’s most infamous Eiffel Tower replicas…
1 – Monte Gorbea, Northern Spain
Here’s a countryside copy of the Eiffel Tower, located in the Basque Country in Northern Spain. This steel construction is located almost 1,500 metres high up on the peak of Monte Gorbea. Since 1994, the mountain has been designed a natural park to preserve the amazing variety of flora such as beech trees and fauna such wild boar.
2 – Paris, USA
The motive behind the construction of this Eiffel Tower rip-off is perhaps as simple as this – ‘every place called Paris must have an Eiffel Tower. The inhabitants of Paris, Texas built this tribute to their big brother in 1993 and your eyes really aren’t deceiving you – that actually is a cowboy hat perched on top of it!
3 – Prague, Czech Republic
Whilst heated discussions still raged in Paris over the newly opened Eiffel Tower, the Czech people got to work constructing a similar tower in Prague which was completed just 2 years after the original was. Although it’s much small, the location of the Petrin Lookout Tower (originally built as a radio tower) on Petrin Hill makes it fairly impressive and there are excellent views to be enjoyed over the River Vlatva.
4 – Las Vegas, USA
In true Vegas style, this Eiffel Tower knock-off is by far the most impressive and realistic tribute to the real deal. Located at the Paris Hotel, home to nearly 3,000 rooms, was created on a scale of 1:2. There are replicas of the Paris Opera and Louvre Museum near by too…
5 – Tokyo, Japan
The Japanese version of the Eiffel Tower has become something of an urban landmark in its own right! The Tokyo Tower measures an impressive 333 meters tall and was built in 1958. It’s received over 150 million visitors to its observation desk since construction. It was painted red and white to make it standout from the skyline and prevent aircraft collisions!
6 – Sucre, Bolivia
You can find the ‘Little Eiffel Tower’ in the Bolivian town of Sucre. Gustav Eiffel designed several buildings in the Bolivian capital of La Paz including the central train station. This tower can created just 20 years after the original was built and was commissioned by the Bolivian government. The design is significantly smaller than the original but does boast being actually designed by the great man! It was used for some users by the meteorological service.
7 – Alsace, France
The most recent copy of the Eiffel Tower can also be found on French soil. Built in 1997, the Belvedere Tower is used exclusively for broadcasting services and sadly isn’t intended as a tourist attraction. Standing proudly at 194 metres tall, this is France’s largest transmission tower.
8 – Brasilia, Brazil
The Brazilians have built a version of the Eiffel Tower in the capital, Brasilia. At around 224 meters high there is a viewing platform at 74 metres that attracts up to 300,000 visitors annually. Despite being not as big as the original, the Brasilia TV Tower towers over every other building in the city.
9 – Riga, Latvia
This is a fairly free interpretation of the Eiffel Tower, located in the Latvian city of Riga. It stands at just under 369 metres tall and is the tallest free-standing broadcast tower in the EU! The futuristic building has an observation desk boasting stunning views of the surrounding area.
10 – Sydney, Australia
The AWA Tower in Sydney is an office complex that was built in 1939. To get around the maximum height restrictions for buildings in Sydney and taking inspiration from the Eiffel Tower, the owners chose to erect a massive transmitter on top. It was Sydney’s tallest structure for many years before several skyscrapers overtook it!
…and if you’d like a remind of what the real deal looks like – here you go!