The Eiffel Tower is a world icon in so many ways. As an architectural achievement, a cultural icon and the prominent symbol of the city of romance, it is an image which needs no explanation to the majority of people.
If you’re booking a hotel room or serviced apartments in Paris, ideally you’d like them to have a view of the French icon.
When it was unveiled in 1889 for the World’s Fair in Paris, it was actually the tallest man-made structure in the world, surpassing the Washington Monument. Although it wasn’t embraced by everyone at the time.
Artists, intellectuals and architects criticised the design as ugly. None of them would have envisaged what it has become.
It remained the tallest freestanding structure in the world for forty one years, until the Chrysler Building was completed in 1930.
The Eiffel Tower is still one of the tallest freestanding buildings in Europe even though it is a dwarf in comparison to the current record holder. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai stands at a huge 829.8 metres, compared to 324 metres of the Eiffel Tower.
Tall buildings have come a long way over the years. The first structure to hold the record as the largest in the world was the Tower of Jericho. This stone monument held the record for the tallest man-made structure for over 4000 years. Incredible when it was thought to be just 8.5 metres tall.
There are plenty of buildings around the world which now look down on the Eiffel Tower. Interestingly enough, when you look at the sixty five tallest buildings in the world, eight are in the USA, two are in Russia and a whopping fifty-five are in Asian and Middle East countries.
Here are a few examples.
Shanghai Tower – Shanghai
After the Burj Khalifa (some 196 metres after) the Shanghai Tower is the second tallest building in the world.
It was completed in 2015 after construction started in 2008. The look is striking with nine cylinders stacked on top of one another surrounded by a twisting glass shell.
The tower also comes second in terms of having the fastest elevators in the world but thankfully comes out on top with the highest hotel!
Lotte World Tower – Seoul
Standing at 554.5 metres the Lotte World Tower is the tallest building in South Korea and the fifth tallest in the world. It is also the first building with over one hundred stories to be built anywhere in Korea.
Interestingly, the original design of this building envisaged an almost identical structure to the Eiffel Tower!
One World Trade Center – New York City
This is a building which needs very little introduction. It is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and was constructed on the original World Trade Center site which was destroyed in the 11 September 2001 attacks.
It actually shares its name with the original North Tower.
Along with its spire, the building stands at a height of 1,776 feet (541 metres). This is significant as it was purposely achieved to match the year 1776, the year that the Declaration of Independence was signed.
International Commerce Centre – Hong Kong
This hotel and office building has been the tallest building in Hong Kong since it opened in 2010. It is the world’s twelfth highest building by height and the ninth tallest by the number of floors.
The amenities include The Ritz-Carlton Hotel and Sky100, a 360 degree observation deck and cafe situated on the one hundredth floor of the building.
Jeddah Tower – Jeddah
Including this building is a little bit of a cheat as it is yet to be completed. It is due to be unveiled in 2021.
The significance of this building is that when it is completed it is expected to be the tallest building in the world. Standing at 1km tall it would look down on the Burj Khalifa from an increased height of 180 metres.
It would be the world’s first man-made structure of one kilometre or more. Which is actually smaller than the first conceived idea. The initial plans stated that the tower would stand at a height of one mile. Unfortunately, the geology of the area prevented this feat.
Three Sixty West (Tower B) – Mumbai
The Three Sixty West project in Mumbai is primarily two towers. Tower A will be a hotel and will rise to a height of 260 metres. Tower B will be private residences and will stand at 372 metres, making it the tallest structure in India.
The two towers will be joined at the bottom by a podium which will contain facilities such as ballrooms and restaurants, open to hotel guests and residents alike.