The Eiffel Tower, or “Tour Eiffel” as it’s known in French, celebrates its 125th birthday (or is it anniversary…it doesn’t seem like inanimate objects are “born”) today. Either way, happy 125 years of existence, Eiffel Tower!
The Eiffel Tower opened in 1889, and immediately became the iconic symbol of Paris, and a tourist destination for anyone visiting the city. It beacons from just about anywhere in Paris, and has a sleek, elegant look that is the perfect physical manifestation of the romantic atmosphere for which Paris is known.
Though its design plans were initially criticized as being gaudy and too ostentatious by some French scholars and artists, it was a hit with the public from the day it opened, and is now widely beloved by the French (despite the touristy feel of the area). In fact, it is now the most popular paid monument in the world, and the most popular attraction based on Instagram postings. This is no surprise given how photogenic the Eiffel Tower is, and because of that, it only seemed fitting to sharing a few of my favorite photos that I’ve taken of the Eiffel Tower in honor of the 125th Birthday of Tour Eiffel.
If you’re visiting Paris and want to take some photos of your own, check out our Paris, France Photo Spots & Tips post for my other recommendations beyond the Eiffel Tower! For those who want to read some other fun facts about the Eiffel Tower, check out this post.
I took this photo across the street from the Eiffel Tower in the Champ de Mars. This is the largest public park in Paris, and I think this park is great. It offers a great area to relax with a view of the Eiffel Tower, and its own public art displays are gorgeous. for this photo, its trees offered me a great way to frame the Eiffel Tower. It took some effort to find the right “arrangement” of trees to achieve this framing, though!
I like this one because it doesn’t romanticize the Eiffel Tower, but instead juxtaposes it against the less pretty, urban side of Paris. Here I used a tripod and neutral density filter to blur traffic, clouds, and the RER line below. In hindsight, I think this photo might work better in black and white. The color doesn’t add a ton, and black and white might give it an even grittier feel.
This is probably my favorite that I’ve taken of the Eiffel Tower. Taken from the far side of the Pont d’Iéna Bridge on a little walkway overlooking the River Seine. This is a heavily trafficked river for industrial boats and romantic cruises, and I spent a lot of time trying to time my shots so I got no boats in the frame. Later, when I reviewed the photos, I ended up liking this photo the best (of course it was the first photo I took before going on to spend another 15 minutes here…isn’t that how it always works?!). To me, the way the boat illuminates the underside of the bridge embodies the “City of Lights.”
For this photo, I did elect to go black and white. It was a mostly overcast day with cloud-cover obscuring the top of the Eiffel Tower, so the conditions sort of called for it. Plus, I think black and white gives the right “feel” to how I remember the day. It was a cold, wintry day, which comes across whenever I look at this photo.
This photo was taken during the nightly Eiffel Tower Light Show. Being a crazy photographer, I wanted even more lights in my photo of this show, so I stood in the median on the Pont d’Iéna Bridge with my tripod waiting for the perfect moment when just the right assortment of cars passed for light trails and the Eiffel Tower was twinkling just right. Well worth the effort, I think.
To get some more Paris, France photo ideas, check out my Paris photo gallery.
What do you think of the Eiffel Tower? Do you have a favorite view of it? Please share your thoughts in the comments!