Sunday, February 21, 2010

Viewed from beneath

Do you know what this is?

No? Okay, let me change the angle slightly.

You still have no idea? Okay, see this.

Now you should know what this is.

When viewed from beneath, the Effel Tower is still beautiful. The last time I was in Paris, I just watched it from Palais de Chaillot across the Seine. The beauty of perfect symmetry in a metropolis (which is usually associated with chaotic landscape) impressed me greatly. This time, I wanted to see the Tower more closely.

And I'm impressed again. What amazes me is the design of the tower that allows visitors to see it from directly beneath it. As the elevators climb up the tower along the four legs, there is vast open space below the tower, decorated by eight iron arches (two in parallel in each side). Not only does this allow the view of Palais de Chaillot or of Ecole Militaire to be seen below the arch when the tower is viewed from a distance, it also allows visitors to look up in awe while they are standing directly beneath it. As far as I remember, there is no other soaring tower in the world that has an open space beneath it. Although French people (and Europeans in general) are not a big fan of high-rise buildings (in stark contrast to Americans and East Asians), they accept the Eiffel Tower. I now understand why.

(This is the fifth blog post on the weekend trip to Paris. Click here to the next post.)

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