It has been 129 years since French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel began to build what was to become one of the most iconic monuments in history, the Eiffel Tower. Built for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, a 'worlds fair' which would celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution, the Eiffel Tower took only two years to build. Having discussed at great length what would be a suitable structure for the event, the French government held a design competition for a concept for a open lattice wrought iron tower. Over 100 designs were submitted but Gustave's was unanimously chosen.

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1889: The Eiffel Tower and the Exposition Universelle in ParisGetty Images

The design was originally the product of Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, who were two senior engineers working for the Compagnie des Eiffel. However, when they showed Eiffel a sketch, he initially showed little interest. Koechlin and Nouguier then asked their head of the company's architectural department, Stephen Sauvestre, to contribute to the design. Eiffel accepted the changes Suavestre made, which were decorative arches to the base of the tower and a glass pavilion to the first level. Eiffel bought the rights to the design, which eventually went under the company name in 1884 and was submitted into the design competition in 1886.

The tower opened on 31 March 1889, in time for the Exposition Universelle, of which the Eiffel Tower was the entrance. IBTimesUK takes a look at the Eiffel Tower throughout its history.

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1880: French engineer Alexandre Gustave EiffelSpencer Arnold/ Getty Images
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1884: Blueprint of the Eiffel Tower by one of its main engineers, Maurice KoechlinWikiCommons/ the Koechlin Family
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1887: Workmen laying the foundations of the Eiffel Tower, ParisThree Lions/ Getty Images
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1887-1888: First three stages of the Eiffel Tower being builtGetty Images
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1888: Combination photo of the Eiffel Tower being builtGetty Images
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1888-1889: Last stages of the Eiffel Tower being builtGetty Images
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1889: A bird's eye view of the Paris Exhibition Buildings and Grounds near the Eiffel tower which was originally published in the Illustrated London NewsIllustrated London News/ Getty Images
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1889: The elevator at the first level of the Eiffel Tower, during its construction. The elevator is still used for conveying sightseers.Three Lions/ Getty Images
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1889: French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (L) stands on the steps of the completed Eiffel TowerGetty Images
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1900: View of the Eiffel Tower and the 1900 Paris Exhibition on the bank of the SeineGetty Images
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1900: The Trocadero seen through the base of the Eiffel Tower during the Paris exhibitionGetty Images
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1900: Visitors to the Paris Exhibition crossing the Iena Bridge with the Eiffel TowerGetty Images
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1925: The Eiffel Tower in Paris, as seen from the TrocaderoGetty Images
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1926: The Eiffel Tower illuminated at nightGetty Images
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1931: Paris and the Eiffel Tower from the Arc de TriompheGetty Images
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1937: Two electricians work on the lights on the Eiffel Tower which were put in place to illuminate the Paris Exhibition at nightHorace Abrahams/ Getty Images
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1940: Air raid shelters are built at the foot of the Eiffel TowerThree Lions/ Getty Images
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1940: German dictator Adolf Hitler walks away from the Eiffel Tower with his generals during the German occupation of FranceGetty Images
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1955: Jack the sailor, one of Paul and Peta Page's hand-made marionettes attracts a young audience during a street performance in front of the Eiffel TowerSerge Berton/ Getty Images
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1955: Paris street performers Jean Louis Bert and Grethe Bulow playing leap-frog in front of the Eiffel TowerJean Berton/ Getty Images
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1955: English actor Jack Buchanan drives past the Eiffel TowerWerner Rings/ Getty Images
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1959: Tourists queue up at the east leg of the Eiffel Tower on the Champ-de-MarsGetty Images
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1965: Empty advertising hoardings near the Eiffel Tower, ParisGetty Images
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1965: A group of tourists having their photograph taken in front of the Eiffel TowerGetty Images
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1977: Parisian children playing with water jets near the Eiffel Tower during the hot weatherGetty Images
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1992: Fireworks explode behind the Eiffel Tower during the Bastille Day celebrationsPatrick Hertzog/ AFP
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1994: Members of Tradicao Samba School perform on a float with the French Eiffel Tower during the Carnival Parade at the SambodromeJulio Pereira/ AFP
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2000: Fireworks burst from the Eiffel Tower as part of festivities in the French capital to mark the new millenniumReuters
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2000: Upwards shot of the Eiffel TourManoocher Deghati/ AFP
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2015: The Eiffel Tower is illuminated in Red, White and Blue in honour of the victims of Friday's terrorist attacks on November 20, 2015Pascal Le Segretain/ Getty Images