Saturday, March 31, 2012
On March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower is officially opened by designer Gustave Eiffel. The 984-foot wrought-iron structure, the tallest in the world at the time, serves as the main entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris that opens in May. The tower is scheduled to be torn down 20 years later after its lease expires, but is kept for experiments in radio transmission and telecommunications.
Today, at precisely 8:30 p.m. local time, the Eiffel Tower will extinguish its iconic gold lights and stand in darkness for 60 minutes to mark Earth Hour 2012. Landmarks around the world doing the same include Sydney’s Opera House, England’s Buckingham Palace, Italy’s Tower of Pisa, Tokyo Tower, Las Vegas Strip, and the Empire State Building. In front of the Eiffel Tower people will gather by candlelight in a symbolic gesture to reduce our resource strain on the planet. The Eiffel tower is the most visited paid monument in the world with about 7 million visitors per year.