A world wide symbol of both Paris and France, construction on the tower began in 1887, and was completed in 1889. The tower was originally built as one of the exhibits in the Paris World Fair of 1889.
The man behind the tower was Alexander Gustave Eiffel. It was originally built for and entered into a contest that had been organized by the French Government. The Eiffel Tower won the contest with over more than 700 other entries. Upon completion, the Tower was not universally popular. In fact, there were many who were opposed to it and considered it be an eyesore. Among those who felt this way were, Alexander Dumas, Charles Garnier, Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier and Charles Gounod.