There are few buildings in the world more instantly recognisable, more iconic, than La tour Eiffel.
It doesn’t matter if it is summer or winter, day or night, twilight or sunset, it’s a beautiful place to visit.
Seeing it on the horizon instantly reminds you that you are in Paris, with all the emotions and possibilities that city’s name conjures up.
It is the most visited tourist attraction in the world.
And yet it was originally intended to be only a temporary structure after its design was criticised as a blight on the city’s skyline.
It remains – 126 years later – as a testimony to the fact that we cannot always imagine what something will be until it is fully realised and appreciated over time.
What do I love about the Eiffel Tower?
Oh, the views.
The views of it …
… the views from it,
… the views through it,
… and the views within it.
The Eiffel Tower gives the opportunity to see Paris from so many different perspectives.
To look down and watch the world go by.
To look around and see the other architectural delights of this incredible city.
To look across and imagine the hidden treasures waiting to be discovered in neighbourhoods on the horizon.
What have I learned from the Eiffel Tower?
The tower, built for a World Fair, is named after its designer and so it reminds me of the limitless possibilities of human ingenuity and creativity.
But at 324 metres, the Eiffel Tower is nowhere near the tallest structure in the world today, yet it continues to be the most visited. And so it reminds me that you don’t have to look like the biggest or the brightest to capture the world’s imagination.
This structure has also witnessed history. For four years a Nazi flag flew at its top as the city was under occupation. Apparently Hitler ordered the tower to be destroyed in August 1944 but the order was defied and the French Tricolore raised again on August 25.
Most of all, trying to capture this iconic structure in photographs is an exercise in looking at the same thing from different perspectives.
Depending on the time of day (or year), where you are standing, and how you choose to tilt you head, it can look so recognisable and yet ever so slightly unique.
Today it challenges me once again to consider how a small change in my perspective can help me to see things in a completely new way.
And perhaps you too might be surprised by the beauty and imagination you can find when you look at even the most familiar things from a new angle.