April 27th, 2013| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


The 1,050 foot-tall Eiffel Tower (La Tour Eiffel) is the iconic lattice structure on the Champ de Mars in Paris, designed and erected by Gustave Eiffel in 1889. One of the most recognizable edifices on earth, the Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world (and I, too, shelled out my €14.00 earlier this year). In 2010, the Tower welcomed its 250 millionth visitor.

All kinds of fun (and weird) things have happened in this symbolic piece of construction.

In 1912, Austrian tailor Franz Reichelt died after jumping off the first deck with a home-made parachute.

A con artist, Victor Lustig, managed to “sell” the tower for scrap metal on—get this—two separate occasions.

In 1910, Father Theodor Wulf incidentally discovered cosmic rays by noting that radiant energy was different at the top and bottom of the Tower.

In 1940, the lift cables were cut to prevent Hitler from finding an easy way to get on top. He chose to remain on the ground. Within hours of the liberation of Paris in 1944, the lifts were working normally!

In 1984, Robert Moriarty flew a Beechcraft Bonanza through the Tower’s arches.

Many have successfully, but illegally, bungee-jumped from the top.

In 2007, Erika, an American woman, “married” the Eiffel Tower, to become Erika Eiffel!

But I like this the best:

On Sep 10, 1889, Thomas Edison visited the Tower and left a message in the guestbook:

To M Eiffel, the Engineer, the brave builder of so gigantic and original specimen of modern Engineering, from one who has the greatest respect and admiration for all Engineers, including the Great Engineer, the Bon Dieu.”

How true!

O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
… Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained.
Psalm 8:1, 3

Despite all the accolades the Tower has received, when it was being designed a petition was sent to the administration by a “Committee of Three Hundred” (one member for each of the Tower’s meters of height), including Adolphe Bouguereau, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Gounod, Jules Massenet, etc.

We, writers, painters, sculptors, architects and passionate devotees of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris, protest with all our strength, with all our indignation in the name of slighted French taste, against the erection…of this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower … [I]magine for a moment a giddy, ridiculous tower dominating Paris like a gigantic black smokestack, crushing under its barbaric bulk Notre Dame, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Louvre, the Dome of les Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, all of our humiliated monuments will disappear in this ghastly dream.”

They were dead wrong!

Sounds to me like the petulant voice of Richard Dawkins describing God (the “Great Engineer”) in The God Delusion:

[A] petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

I’m not sure what Bible he was reading. Mine says:

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing,
will be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38–39

This Engineer, I trust, for He is the One who

… so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall … have eternal life.
John 3:16





Share Your Thoughts

Copyright © 2012 Homiletix  |  Blog theme by ThemeShift customized by Gurry Design  |  Full sitemap