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Eiffel Tower celebrates 120th birthday

May 19, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
France's most prominent landmark, the Eiffel Tower, turned 120 on Tuesday.More than 1,000 balloons floated up around the tower and filled the skies over Paris to mark the tower's opening on this date in 1889.

The tower is one of the world's most popular tourist attractions, drawing an average of 18,000 visitors each day.

In all, more than 200 million people have visited the tower since its construction. At 986 feet, it stood as the world's tallest tower for more than three decades until being surpassed by New York City's Chrysler Building in 1930.

The tower, designed by Gustave Eiffel, was originally constructed as the entrance arch for a World's Fair marking the 100-year anniversary of the French revolution.

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