The Eiffel Tower, one of the most distinguished structures in the world, is reckoned to be the iconic landmark of France. It was the world’s tallest structure at a height of 1,063 ft. (324 meters) when built-in 1889. It held this title for 41 years until the construction of the Chrysler Building in New York City, which was completed in 1930. However, in 1957, an additional broadcasting aerial was constructed at the top of the Eiffel tower, making it taller than the Chrysler Building. Currently, the Eiffel Tower is the second-tallest structure in France after the bridge, Millau Viaduct.

Eiffel Tower
Woman tourist selfie near the Eiffel tower in Paris under sunlight and blue sky.

Here are a few facts to make your visit to one of the most iconic landmarks of France, the Eiffel Tower, more meaningful:

The Eiffel Tower was built to celebrate the 100th centenary of the French Revolution

 When Paris hosted the world fair in 1889, this tower was built as the prime exhibit of the fair. This further served as the main entry point to the fair on Champ-de-Mars, which occupies the centre of Paris. In a bid to be part of the creation of this high-profile structure, many renowned artists from across the nation showcased their plans.

The Eiffel Tower wasn’t designed by Gustave Eiffel

The structure was actually designed by two engineers of Gustave Eiffel’s company, Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier. The two engineers then collaborated with French architect, Stephen Sauvestre, to complete the planning of the structure and entered the contest with an immaculate design for the world fair.

The Eiffel Tower was supposed to be dismantled after 20 years of its construction

Mainly built to showcase the French industrial prowess, the tower was meant to be temporary. However, it was never taken down, owing to the additional construction of a radio antenna and a wireless transmitter on top that received signals. This made the tower functional as well. The tower played a pivotal role during the Battle of Marne in 1914, as it directed French troops to move towards the front line with the help of the signals received from the Tower.

The Eiffel Tower was initially hated by the people of Paris

 Many artists and eminent intellectuals including, Alexandre Dumas, Jr., author Guy de Maupassant, signed a petition opposing the design of the tower. The tower was considered monstrous without any aesthetic appeal and was termed useless. Many also believed that the beauty of Paris would be marred with the ‘gigantic black smokestack’.

The Tower was visited by Two Million people during its inauguration

 The not-so-famous Eiffel Tower, nevertheless, had a grand reception and was visited by innumerable dignitaries and tourists, during its inauguration in 1889. The inauguration was an instant hit and fetched huge profit from tickets to the tower during the Fair. The Eiffel Tower has had a record 300 million visitors since then and is termed the most sighted and visited attraction globally, with approximately 7 million paid visitors a year.


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Hitler had ordered the demolition of the Eiffel Tower

 In fact, Hitler ordered the demolition of the entire city of Paris along with the Eiffel Tower, when he feared losing Paris to Allied forces in 1944. Luckily, the military governor who was in charge at that time did not follow his command.

The Tower has three levels

 The first level is stationed at a height of 189 feet. It consists of a reception room, an observation area, an art shop, souvenir shops, a restaurant and a see-through floor. The second level, at 379 feet, has another observatory area and a restaurant. The top-level, at 905 feet, offers stunning panoramic views, housing a champagne bar. One has to climb 1665 steps to reach the top, however, most people prefer to take the lift.

The Eiffel Tower moves

 The iron structure could be swayed during a storm as it is wind resistant. It can also move during bad weather. Moreover, since metals expand when heated, the sun’s heat impacts the tower, causing it to expand by approximately 7 inches and contract as well by 6 to 7 inches during cold weather.

The Eiffel Tower has an ice rink, a post office and a Science Lab

 The ice rink is a recent addition that is open during the winter months. It is built 200 feet above the ground with some mesmerizing views of Paris.

There is a tiny post office on the first floor of the Eiffel tower next to the gift shops. One can pick a postcard and a stamp from the post office and have it mailed from there, which is delivered to the recipient with a unique postmark. Moreover, on the third floor, there is a meteorology lab where Mr Eiffel performed his research in physics and aerodynamics (building a wind tunnel). The lab was open for other scientists as well, and interestingly, cosmic rays were discovered in the lab.

Apart from these, Gustave had smartly included a reserved apartment for himself to host famous guests such as Thomas Edison and his close friends. The apartment is currently open for a public tour. The tower also has a secret military bunker underneath.

Kids skating on ice rink near Eiffel tower
PARIS, FRANCE: Kids skating on ice rink at Christmas market near Eiffel tower.

The Eiffel Tower is hand painted every six to seven years

 There are no mechanical techniques used to paint the tower. Repainting of the Eiffel tower is done by traditional methods using a paintbrush and a bucket. About 60 tons of paint is utilized to paint the tower. This helps keep the tower (also termed Iron lady) looking good and away from rusting.

The Eiffel Tower has witnessed some weird events

 Some daredevil stunts have taken place in the tower. In 1923, a guy called Pierre Labric, who later became the mayor of Montmartre, in a bid to impress his peers, cycled down the stairs of the tower and was arrested for the same. A stair climbing championship was organized in 1905 at the tower. In another weird instance, an American woman named Erica Aya, who had a fascination for structures, married the landmark, thus changing her name to Eirka La Tour Eiffel.

The iconic building is adored by filmmakers

 Most celebrated movie scenes have been filmed in the Eiffel Tower. James Bond’s, ‘A View to a Kill’, a murder mystery, ‘The Man on the Eiffel Tower, and the ‘The Lavender Hill Mob’ are a few to name. Additionally, hundreds of movies have used the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop or a prop.

These interesting facts are sure to win all those who had the faintest of desires to visit the Eiffel tower. The iconic landmark is sure to make your visit a memorable one!

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