The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic and well-known structures in the world. It is located on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France and known as La Tour Eiffel in French. Its construction in 2 years, 2 months and 5 days was a demonstration of excellent French Engineering. Let’s go through some Eiffel tower facts you will be surprised to know.
1. Why was the Eiffel tower built? The Eiffel Tower was originally built as the entrance arch for the “Exposition Universelle” World’s Fair in 1889. The fair was held to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French revolution. The tower was never intended to be permanent.
2. The Eiffel Tower is named after Gustave Eiffel. His company “Compagnie des Etablissements Eiffel” was in charge of the project.
3. The construction of the Eiffel tower was started on 28 January 1887. It was completed on 15 March 1889 and it was opened on 31st March 1889. It was the same year when Adolf Hitler was born. As of 2018, The Eiffel tower is 131 years old.
4. The Eiffel tower had a permit to stand for 20 years. It was to be demolished in 1909 when its ownership changed to the City of Paris. However, it was saved and repurposed as a giant radio antenna.
5. The Eiffel Tower is 324 meters (1063 feet) in height and it was the tallest man-made structure in the world for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York was completed in 1930. If we don’t include the broadcast antennas at the top, The Eiffel tower is 984 feet tall.
6. The Eiffel tower is made of Iron and weighs around 10,100 tons. Around 300 workers were involved in the construction and 18,038 pieces of wrought iron and 2.5 million rivets were used.
7. There are 1,665 steps to climb to the top of the Eiffel tower. Most people take the lift.
8. The Eiffel tower is the most visited paid monument in the world. Around 6.21 million people visited the Eiffel tower in 2017. It has been visited by more than 250 million visitors since its opening.
9. During world war 2, the lift cables of the Eiffel tower were cut by the French so that German soldiers would have to climb the steps if they wanted to reach the top. When Hitler visited Paris, He chose to remain on the ground because lift cables were cut. In 1944, Hitler ordered General Dietrich von Choltitz, the military governor of Paris, to demolish the tower along with the rest of the city. However, General did not follow the order.
10. Victor Lustig, a con artist, “sold” the Eiffel tower to scrap metal dealers on two different occasions.
11. There are 20k flashing light bulbs on the Eiffel tower which give its sparkling appearance in the night. The Eiffel Tower is not fully illuminated all the time. Since 2013, it started shutting off the lights from 1AM-7AM to conserve power.
12. The height of the Eiffel Tower varies as per the temperature. The height of the Eiffel Tower increases by up to 6.75 inches (17 cm) during summer as iron expands in hot weather.
13. Franz Reichelt died while jumping from the Eiffel tower. He was testing a wearable parachute of his own design.
14. An American women Erika Eiffel married the Eiffel tower in a ceremony in 2007.
15. The Eiffel Tower was originally proposed to the city of Barcelona, Spain but they rejected the project.
16. There are more than 50 replicas of the Eiffel tower around the world. In 1891, Watkins’s tower was started in London which was designed to surpass the height of the Eiffel Tower. The tower was never completed and later demolished in 1907.
17. The Eiffel Tower is painted every 7 years to protect it from rust. Around 50-60 tons of paint are added every time, it is painted. The paint on the Eiffel Tower weighs as much as 10 elephants.
18. Gustave Eiffel had designed a private apartment for himself at the top of the Eiffel tower. The secret room is located on the third level of the Eiffel tower. Did you know, Gustave Eiffel also contributed to the design of the Statue of Liberty.
19. There was a plan to relocate The Eiffel Tower in 1967. The idea of bringing the Eiffel tower to Montreal, Canada for expo 67 was followed seriously. Many studies were conducted to check the feasibility of dismantling the tower. However, the whole idea was scrapped later.
20. The Eiffel Tower gets struck by bolts of lightning around 10 times a year, according to Meteo France. In 1902, a lightning strike damaged the top portion of the Eiffel Tower which was later repaired.
21. Guy de Maupassant, a French writer did not like the Eiffel tower. He used to call it a useless and monstrous structure. He used to eat his lunch at the tower’s restaurant because this was the only place he did not have to look at the tower.
22. This may seem very weird but it is true. It is Illegal to take photographs of the Eiffel Tower at Night. The lights display of Eiffel tower is considered an artistic work and thus copyrighted. Reproducing photographs of the night-lit Eiffel Tower is considered a violation of the artist’s copyright.
23. The construction of the Eiffel Tower cost about $1.5 million. If the Eiffel tower is built now in 2018, It will cost around $39 million as per inflation calculator.
24. In 1891, French Inventor Carron planned a ride that would drop passengers in a device from the top of the Eiffel tower to the pond at the bottom.
25. Alberto Santos-Dumont was a Brazilian inventor who designed, built and flew hot air balloons. On 19 October 1901, he circumnavigated the Eiffel tower and won the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize. His flight took off from Saint-Cloud, rounded the Eiffel tower and returned to the same point in less than 30 minutes.
Do you know any fun facts about the Eiffel tower? Let us know in the comment section.