The Eiffel Tower, symbol of Paris. In 1889, the Ministry of Commerce organised an architectural competition to create an exceptional building for the Universal Exposition taking place in Paris. Out of 700 entrants, it was Gustave Eiffel's project that was selected, an incredible 300-metre high tower. It was on the Champ-de-Mars, near the Seine, that it was decided to build the Eiffel Tower. It took no less than 250 workers on site for over 2 years to complete this immense steel tower. Initially intended to stand 300 metres high, finally it reached 325 metres. This height was spectacular for the time and the Eiffel Tower was the highest tower in the world for 40 years. In spite of the considerable criticism it attracted during its construction, the Eiffel Tower was a great success when it was inaugurated. Unfortunately, once the Universal Exposition had ended, interest dropped off and the Eiffel Tower was threatened with demolition. It was the installation of transmission antennae, originally used by the armed forces and later by television and radio that saved this great symbol of France. Today, the Eiffel tower can still be visited and lifts serve its three platforms. The most courageous visitors can climb the innumerable steps that lead to the second platform.