THE EIFFEL TOWER

THE EIFFEL TOWER | IELTS Academic Reading Sample Question

The passage contains the following question types from IELTS Reading Question Types:

  • Identifying information
  • Summary Completion
  • Multiple Choice Question

THE EIFFEL TOWER

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on Reading Passage below.

High above the city of Paris the Eiffel Tower looks over the thousands of tourists that visit her each day. One of the greatest sites in Paris, the Eiffel Tower was erected in 1889 for the great Paris Exposition.

Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, who also designed the Statue of Liberty, put his design forward amongst 700 other designs and Eiffel’s design was chosen collectively without any further thought. The decision was made to build this radical creation and two years later it was completed. Eiffel had originally decided to build the tower in Barcelona, for the Universal Exposition of 1888, but organizers and planners in Barcelona thought it was a bizarre and expensive construction, which did not fit into the design of the city.

After the design and build of the Eiffel Tower was confirmed for Paris, a petition was signed by over 300 names to fight against the building of this project. These names included Parisian architects, engineers and famous citizens of Paris. Eiffel was heavily castigated for his design and was accused of designing something for its appearance and artistic appeal with no regard to engineering; opponents to the building claimed that the design did not have sufficient stability to withstand the high winds its height would be exposed to. But Eiffel and his team of ex bridge builders understood the importance of wind forces, and the shape of the tower was largely decided by a mathematical calculation involving wind resistance.

French painters, sculptures and writers did not see the beauty in the tower and referred to it as useless and monstrous. However, the Eiffel tower was admired by many notable people (Rousseau was particularly impressed) and construction began in 1887 and was soon completed by the end of 1889. In 1909 it was almost demolished because of the expiration of its 20 year lease but was saved due to its antennas used for telegraphy at the time, With such a difficult beginning to the Tower. It is now internationally recognized and is a symbol of Paris completely accepted and valued by its French Citizens.

It took 300 workers and 15,000 pieces of iron to complete this massive landmark which now stands at 320 metres tall. With three different levels, the third and highest level offers panoramic views of the City of Paris and sits 276 metres above the ground. Today all three levels of the Eiffel Tower are observatory platforms. The first level offers a souvenir kiosk, gallery and restaurant. The second level offers telescopes, shops and another restaurant with even more spectacular views, the third offers a gallery featuring the history of the Eiffel Tower; a wax reproduction of Gustave Eiffel and his original office restoration. Although stairs are still available, lifts commonly take passengers to all three of these levels.

On a dear day you can see as far as 67 kilometres across Paris. More than 300,000,000 people have visited the Tower since its completion in 1889 making it one of the most visited monuments in Europe.

Every seven years, the Eiffel Tower is repainted with 50 to 60 tonnes of paint to protect its framework from rust. So that the Eiffel Tower appears the same colour at each level when viewing it from the ground up, the Tower is painted in three different shades of the same colour. The bottom painted with the darkest brown and the lightest at the top of the tower. At the time of its completion, the Eiffel Tower was the world’s tallest structure until New York’s Chrysler building was completed in 1930.

Today more than 500 hundred people operate the day to day running of the Eiffel Tower. Each and every day the Eiffel Towers 335 spotlights and 20,000 bulbs create a glistening affect and at night the Eiffel Tower lights up the city of Paris and is a sight not to be missed by anyone. The Tower lights up every evening from sunset to lam, coupled with the light house on the top that sends out its light beams during the same hours. As recognisable as a night time picture of the Tower is, rulings made in the early 1990s actually made copyrighted the illuminated image, Unless it is taken as part of a wider panoramic view, the image is protected under French law. The argument is that the arrangements and display of the lighting constitutes an original visual creation, much as a major work of art, and thus should be entitled to the same degree of protection, The ruling was and remains highly controversial, with concerns that an innocent tourist taking a photograph of the tower at night is potentially breaching copyright.

Questions 1 –  3

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.
Write your answers in boxes 1 – 3 on your answer sheet

1)    The Eiffel Tower was
A.
first built in Barcelona.
B. the only design considered.
C. selected by one man.
D. built in time for an exposition.

2)    In Paris, some people
A.
argued that it was too expensive.
B. wrote letters against the project.
C. thought it would not last in the environment.
D. believed there was not enough room for the design.

3)    The Eiffel Tower
A.
is 276 metres tall.
B. has a souvenir shop on the third floor.
C. has two restaurants.
D. is the oldest monument in Europe.

Questions 4 – 6

Complete the summary using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from Reading Passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 4 – 6 on your answer sheet

Despite some opposition, construction of the tower was concluded by 4) _______________ . It was almost dismantled in the early 1900s as its 5) ______________ had expired, but was kept because of an 6) ______________ used for telegraphic transfers.

Questions 7 – 13

Answer the questions below using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS AND/OR A NUMBER from the passage for each answer.
Write your answer in boxes 7 – 13 on your answer sheet.

7)    Which famous person championed the construction of the Eiffel Tower?
8)    On what floor of the tower can gifts be bought?
9)    What is the most common way of accessing the three floors?
10)    Protection from what requires the tower to be painted so often?
11)    The Tower is painted using three shades of brown so that it appears what?
12)    What was taller than the Eiffel Tower in 1930?
13) When are the illuminations switched on?

Answers for IELTS Reading Sample Question

1)    D
‘the Eiffel Tower was erected in 1889 for the great Paris Exposition.’

2)    C
‘…opponents to the building claimed that the design did not have sufficient stability to withstand the high winds its height would be exposed to’

3)    C
‘The first level offers a souvenir kiosk, gallery and restaurant. The second level offers telescopes, shops and another restaurant.’

4)    1889
‘More than 200,000,000 people have visited the Tower since its completion in 1889,’

5)    Lease (NOTE: 20-year lease would be acceptable, but 20 year lease would not because of the number of words)
‘In 1909 it was almost demolished because of the expiration of its 20 year lease’

6)    Antennas
‘…but was saved due to its antennae used for telegraphy at the time’

7)    Rousseau
‘the Eiffel tower was admired by many notable people (Rousseau was particularly impressed)

8)    1st
‘The first level offers a souvenir kiosk’

9)    Lift
‘Although stairs are still available, lifts commonly take passengers…’

10)    Rust
‘Every seven years, the Eiffel Tower is repainted with 50 to 60 tonnes of paint to protect its framework from rust’

11)    The same colour
‘So that the Eiffel Tower appears the same colour at each level when viewing it from the ground up, the Tower is painted in three different shades of the same colour’

12)    Chrysler Building
‘…the Eiffel Tower was the world’s tallest structure until New York’s Chrysler building was completed’

13)    Sunset
The Tower lights up every evening from sunset to 1 am

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