Tour Eiffel

The Garabit Viaduct

Wednesday 23 June 2010

Modified the 18/05/21

The Garabit Viaduct was built by Gustave Eiffel in the Cantal region (south-west of France) a few years before the Eiffel Tower. This construction allowed him to increase his reputation and to experience a technique he will use for the Tower. 

During his career as a constructor, Gustave Eiffel took a giant step forward in 1880. Renowned engineer since 1860, he founded his own company in 1867, he devoted himself to the construction of viaducts and structures or metal frame buildings in France and in Europe. Great achievements ensured him an international reputation : the Budapest railway station in 1875, the Maria Pia bridge (353 meters) on the Douro in Portugal in 1876 or the Ponte Eiffel also in Portugal, known for its length (736 meters).

In 1880, he starts the construction of a « small » viaduct, the Garabit Viaduct. This construction, completed in 1884, increased Gustave Eiffel’s reputation because of its parabolic shape and its height (122 meters). Once again, he experienced and perfected his technology of metallic structure assembled by rivets, used for the Eiffel Tower on a larger scale.

This summer, the Eiffel Tower puts the spotlight on another architectural masterpiece by Gustave Eiffel, the Garabit Viaduct located in the Cantal region.

A 32-photo exhibit outdoors on the first floor of the monument provides a look at this 19th century construction, enriched with news and anecdotes, both unusual and hardly known to the greater public.

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