Imposing and awe-inspiring, the Eiffel Tower has fascinated visitors from all over the world for more than 130 years. While its construction is at the heart of the Eiffel drama, discover the true story of the Iron Lady in two documentaries to see on madelen.
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An emblematic monument of the French capital and a real movie star, the Eiffel Tower bursts the screen with each of its appearances: romantic setting for Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas in Ninotchka, the scene of a thrilling chase for Roger Moore’s James Bond in Dangerously Yours, and more recently symbol of greatness destroyed by Roland Emmerich in Independence Day: Resurgence.
In 2021, the iconic Dame de Fer is back in theaters in a feature film dedicated to its creator Gustave Eiffel (played by Romain Duris), but do you know the real history of the Eiffel Tower? Discover the secrets of this impressive Parisian monument and exceptional archive footage in two documentaries to see on the platform madelen.
MADEMOISELLE EIFFEL REWIND
From the top of its 312 meters (324 if you count its antennas), the Eiffel Tower tells you its own eventful history in the documentary Mademoiselle Eiffel rewinds. In voice-over (that of the journalist Mademoiselle Agnès) and through impressive archive images, she looks back on the different stages that have made her one of the essential cultural sites in France.
First essential phase: its construction of course, which we do not owe to Charlemagne, or to Napoleon, or even to Louis XIV, as some visiting tourists think. Imagined by Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, then redesigned by architect Stephen Sauvestre, engineer Gustave Eiffel will tackle the hard task of erecting this tower for the Universal Exhibition of 1889.
Despite its current popularity, the Iron Lady was not unanimous during its construction: a petition signed by Guy de Maupassant and Charles Garnier is published in the newspaper Le Temps to protest against it.
The documentary also reveals surprising sketches of the “competitors” of the Eiffel Tower, which could have seen the light of day in its place, as well as transformation projects, each more astonishing than the next. Destined to be dismantled and resold by weight, the monument is nevertheless saved thanks to the many uses it offers to science.
“Deep down, Mademoiselle Eiffel is immortal,” as the historian Bertrand Lemoine reminds us. Quickly discover its history in this documentary by Philippe Tourancheau.
THE EIFFEL LABORATORY
The report The Eiffel Laboratory takes spectators behind the scenes of the aerodynamics laboratory, built by Gustave Eiffel at the foot of the tower and then moved to the XVIth arrondissement afterwards. At the end of the visit, the journalist meets Mr. Legrain-Eiffel, grandson of the engineer.
Follows a portrait of Gustave Eiffel, who looks back on the main lines of his life, from one of his most beautiful memories (his trip to Paris in a stagecoach at the age of 12) to his many achievements, such as the Bordeaux railway bridge, the Garabit and Neuvial viaducts and even the framework of the Statue of Liberty, among many others.
One quality of the engineer is particularly emphasized: his stubbornness in imposing strict safety rules on his workers during the construction of the Eiffel Tower. No fatal accident will be deplored among the latter (with the exception of one of them, who died outside his working hours while visiting the site with his family).
The tour of the Eiffel laboratory concludes with research that will make today’s spectators smile, such as the model of a potential bridge over the Channel, which will unfortunately never see the light of day!
On the Madelen platform, you can also find many fictions that put the Eiffel Tower in the spotlight.
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