12 exciting facts about the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is one of the world’s most famous architectural projects ever.
It is an icon of France and attracts millions of tourists to Paris every year.
Have you ever wondered why build something so big? Or who designed it?
Here are 12 exciting facts about the Eiffel Tower that will leave you in awe of its invigorating history.
It was the tallest man-made structure in 41 years.
The Eiffel Tower rises to 312 meters (1,024 feet).
Completed on March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower has become the tallest man-made structure in the world.
41 years later, the Chrysler building in New York was built and surpassed the height of the Eiffel Tower.
An antenna was added to the Eiffel Tower, which raised the height of the structure to 1,063 feet (324 meters), meaning it once again passed the Chrysler Building.
Other buildings were soon constructed in the United States, which meant that the Eiffel Tower was once again pushed back to second place.
Although it became the second tallest building in the world at the time, the Eiffel Tower remained the tallest in France until 1973.
It was then that a military transmitter was built and its height exceeded the Eiffel Tower.
In 2021, the Eiffel Tower is still one of the largest structures in France other than military transmitters and a viaduct.
There is an apartment inside the tower!
On the third floor of the Eiffel Tower, there is a secret apartment.
Although Gustave Eiffel did not design the tower, he had an influence on what was to be included in the design.
One feature was for him to have his own private apartment inside the tower which had its own living room, bathroom, kitchen and separate toilet.
He used it as a place to welcome guests like Thomas Edison and he was often approached by wealthy Parisians who wanted to rent the apartment to him.
The apartment is open to the public but as a museum room, where there is a wax figure of Gustave Eiffel and Thomas Edison.
The Eiffel Tower was only supposed to last 20 years.
The Eiffel Tower was originally built by Eiffel to commemorate 100 years of the French Revolution.
It was registered with the Universal Exhibition also known as the Universal Exhibition.
The tower was designed to stand for 20 years, then deconstructed after the fair was over and people would have lost interest, but it stayed.
The tower has generated a lot of scientific interest for its height and the possibility of it becoming a transmission tower.
As a result, the tower remained and became an important part of radio transmission.
The first public radio program was broadcast from the Eiffel Tower in 1925.
There was a post office at the Eiffel Tower.
On the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, there used to be a small post office.
Unfortunately it is no longer there, but back then you could mail your Eiffel Tower postcards and letters.
The novelty allowed visitors to post the tower to their friends and family from a single location.
Letters and postcards received a special stamp from the Eiffel Tower as they were posted from there to their current destination.
The very first French illustrated postcard of the Eiffel Tower was printed on site and then sent from this letterbox.
The Eiffel Tower was once yellow.
Over the years, the Eiffel Tower has been painted in many colors to keep up with fashion trends in Paris.
When the Eiffel Tower opened in 1889, it was red / brown in color.
Ten years later, a coat of yellow paint was added which created a yellow / brown color.
The Eiffel Tower was then a chestnut brown before being painted the color it is today.
The color of the Eiffel Tower today is a paint that was specially mixed in 1968 and called Brun Tour Eiffel.
The Eiffel Tower is repainted every seven years and around 60 tonnes (61,099 liters) of paint are used.
There is a bunker under the Eiffel Tower.
Under the south pillar of the Eiffel Tower is an old military bunker.
It is said that the bunker was built with a secret tunnel connecting it to the Ecole Militaire de Paris.
Although the bunker remains a mystery to the public, it is open to small groups for pre-booked tours.
Part of it has been turned into a museum where visitors can learn more about the Eiffel Tower.
It contains unique photographs of the early stages of the construction of the Eiffel Tower.
The weather influences the changes on the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower is made of iron, which means that when the temperature changes, the tower changes too.
In cold weather, the iron may shrink by about 6 inches (15 centimeters) in height, which means the tower becomes slightly smaller.
When it’s hot, the heat causes the iron to expand and records show it has expanded up to 18 centimeters in the past.
The Eiffel Tower was designed with a hollow structure to resist the wind.
However, the tower will move approximately 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 centimeters) from side to side in strong winds.
It will also move more if it’s hot and the iron has expanded and become more flexible.
The Eiffel Tower was once the largest billboard in the world.
You might not think of the Eiffel Tower as an advertising structure, but throughout her life she had many purposes.
From 1925 to 1936, the Eiffel Tower was illuminated with 250,000 bulbs that spelled “Citroën”.
The French automaker used the Eiffel Tower as a billboard to promote their company, Citroën.
Covering a range of 100 feet (30.5 meters), each letter of the mark was illuminated from top to bottom.
The advertisement was so bright that it could be seen from a distance of 20 miles.
In 1927, Charles Lindbergh used the bright lights as a beacon to land after this solo transatlantic flight.
The Nazis tried to take over the Eiffel Tower.
During World War II during the German occupation of Paris, an attempt was made to place a swastika flag.
The tower was already closed to the public and the elevator cables had been cut to ensure reduced access to the tower.
The Nazis attempted to attach a large swastika flag to the top of the Eiffel Tower to show their takeover of Paris.
The flag was so large that it immediately flew off and had to be replaced with a smaller flag.
2,500,000 rivets hold the Eiffel Tower together.
This may sound like a lot, but for a structure that weighs a total of 10,100 tonnes (9,162,565 kilograms), it is not surprising.
18,038 iron pieces were used in the construction and the frame alone weighs 7,300 tons (6,622,448 kilograms).
The hold of these parts together was 2,500,000 rivets.
The tower was a historical piece that demonstrated the ability to build incredible iron structures in a very short time.
The construction only took two years, two months and five days, which was revolutionary at the time.
It is one of the most visited monuments in the world.
The Eiffel Tower is known the world over and is an emblematic monument of France.
The Eiffel Tower receives around seven million visitors each year.
About 75% of visitors are foreigners, which makes the Eiffel Tower the most visited paid monument in the world.
The remaining 25% of visitors are French, which means that just under two million visitors came to see one of their own national monuments.
Taking a picture of the Eiffel Tower at night is illegal.
The Eiffel Tower is considered a work of art, and with works of art comes copyright law.
Copyright law in the European Union states that if someone owns the copyright in something, it is valid for life and for 70 years after death.
This means that when the creator of the Eiffel Tower died in 1923, the tower would become copyright free after 70 years.
Thus, from 1993, the image of the Eiffel Tower became copyright free and that is why the replica was allowed to be built in Las Vegas.
However, it was not until 1985 that decorative night lighting was installed.
This means that copyright is still very current, so it is illegal to take pictures of the Eiffel Tower after dusk.
While it is highly unlikely that you will be sued for taking a night photo of the Eiffel Tower for personal use, it is possible to be sued for a commercial photo.
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most famous monuments in the world and it will most likely remain a must-see place to visit for many years to come.
Paris has the reputation of being a romantic city and the Eiffel Tower has become one of the building blocks of this image.
Although the Eiffel Tower was not designed for long-term attraction, it has drawn people from all over the world to explore its vast structure.