1889 – The Eiffel Tower is officially opened to the public at the Universal Exposition in Paris
. The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It was named after the engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.98 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010. The tower is 1,063 feet tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building. Its base is square, 410 feet on a side. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Because of the addition of the aerial atop the Eiffel Tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 17 feet. Not including broadcast aerials, it is the second-tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct. The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second. The third level observatory's upper platform is 906 feet above the ground, the highest accessible to the public in the European Union.