The Eiffel Tower is the most famous and recognizable landmark in France and can be seen from almost anywhere in Paris. However, initially the French met the creation of Gustave Eiffel with hostility, demanding to demolish the “ridiculous” iron structure.
The tower was built by the engineer Eiffel in the 1880s, and was timed to coincide with the 1889 World’s Fair. At the same time, the tower was conceived as a symbol in honor of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.
Currently, about seven million tourists every year visit the landmark, which has become a symbol of France, especially since the observation decks from different floors of the Eiffel Tower allow travelers to enjoy unrivaled views of Paris. And the Eiffel Tower itself is visible from many other iconic places in Paris, for example, from Montparnasse, the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees.
But how much do you know about this iconic landmark? Here are 10 unusual and interesting facts about the Eiffel Tower, some of which you probably haven’t heard of:
- The Eiffel Tower is 324 meters high. Originally, the Eiffel Tower rose 300.65 m above ground level, and an additional 24 places were added to it by modern antennas. For over 40 years, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure in the world: almost 2 times taller than the tallest building of that time – the Cheops pyramid (146.6 m). Only in 1930 it was not surpassed in height by the New York skyscraper Chrysler Building. The weight of the metal structure of the Eiffel Tower is approximately 7’300 tons, and the total weight, including equipment, is about 10’100 tons.
- When the Eiffel Tower was built, it was assumed that it would be open for a maximum of 20 years. However, over the years, the opinion of Parisians about the tower has changed dramatically, and the tower itself has become a symbol of Paris, as a result of which the city authorities changed their minds to dismantle it.
- The tower is covered with 20’000 light bulbs, which light up for five minutes every hour for an hour for world famous light shows. What most tourists don’t know, however, is that there is one special show that only happens once during the day.
- Gustave Eiffel’s tower design was selected from 107 other designs for the 1889 World’s Fair.
- The entire tower took two years, two months and five days to build.
- Initially, the tower was not called in any way, and the Eiffel himself called it simply “the 300-meter tower”. And only then the Parisians named the tower after its creator.
- When the tower was opened in 1889, it received two million visitors during the World’s Fair.
- The Eiffel Tower has five elevators, including two of the original elevators designed by the Eiffel himself. Each year, these five elevators travel together a distance of 2.5 trips around the Earth.
- Since its initial construction, the Eiffel Tower has been repainted 18 times – a process that takes a long time. painters need to paint approximately 250’000 square meters of surface. At the same time, the original red-brown color was changed several times: to yellow-ocher, then to chestnut, and in recent decades, the tower appears to tourists in a bronze color, which is called “brown-eiffel” – this is an officially patented color.
- The Eiffel Tower is considered the most visited paid and most photographed attraction in the world.
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