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15 Monumental Facts About The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower

On March 31, 1889, The Eiffel Tower opened up to the public. Since then, it has become one of the most popular tourist spots in the world. Even if you have been to the Eiffel Tower 100 times and you think that you are an expert, there are 15 monumental facts about the Eiffel Tower that you may not know.

The Tower Was Built As An Entrance Arch For the World’s Fair

To mark the 100the anniversary of the French Revolution, Paris hosted the World’s Fair in 1889. They wanted to make the entrance of the fair in a grand way, and the Eiffel Tower built.

A Firm Called Eiffel Et Compagnie Designed and Built It

The commission of the project given to the consulting and construction firm owned by Gustave Eiffel, who was a bridge builder, metals expert, and architect. In the early 1880s, Eiffel also worked on the Garabit Viaduct, which is a bridge in the Massif Central region, that is popular as the highest bridge in the world. He also helped to design the Statue of Liberty.

Gustave Eiffel Rejected the Original Design

One of Eiffel’s employees, senior engineer Maurice Koechlin was the tower’s main designer. After reviewing the original sketches, Eiffel felt that they were too minimalist. He asked that more details and flourishes included in the design. In 1884, the changes made, and they approved by Eiffel.

The Project Required Plenty of Metal and Manpower

It took 300 steelworkers two years, two months, and five days to build the Eiffel Tower. Between 1887 and 1889, they used over 18,000 individual metallic parts, 205 million rivets, and 40 tons of paint.

The Original Height Was 985-Feet

When the tower finished, as 985-feet high. Over the years, the cold weather has caused it to shrink. Now it is six inches shorter than it was when it was built.

Up Until 1930, It Was The Tallest Structure In the World

For 41 years, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure in the world. In 1930, when the Chrysler Building built in New York, it took over the title. It stands at 1,045 feet. A year later, the Empire State Building became the tallest in the world at 1,454 feet with the spire. In 1957, an antenna added to the Eiffel Tower, that increased its height by 67 feet, which makes it 6 feet taller than the Chrysler Building.

A 300-Member Committee Protested the Tower

Guy de Maupassant, Alexandre Dumas Jr. and hundreds of other artists and intellectuals signed a petition opposing the project and sent it to the Parisian government. They called the plans for the tower useless and monstrous. Their protest fell on deaf ears, which is great since the Eiffel Tower is such a huge part of the Paris landscape.

The Tower Was An Instant Hit

Despite the protests, the 1889 World’s Fair was a great success, mostly due to the Tower. Its imposing presence brought close to 2 million people to the fair, and over $1.4 million made n ticket sales. This made the 1889 fair one of the few that turned a profit.

It Was Only Meant To Stand For 20 Years

The Eiffel Tower means to stand permanently. In 1909, it scheduled to dismantled. When someone realized that it is the perfect place for a telegraphy antenna, the dismantling canceled. During World War I, the wireless telegraph transmitter helped to jam the German communications.

It Moves

Eiffel was an expert in aerodynamics. He and his team designed the Tower to withstand the strongest winds, and sway no more than 4 ½ inches.

There Are Three Levels

The Eiffel Tower separated into three sections. The first is 189-feet high and has an observation area. The second is 379-feet, ad houses the Le Jules Verne restaurant. The top-level is 905-feet tall and houses a champagne bar.

Strange Events Have Taken Place There

In 1923, a daredevil named Pierre Labric, who would one day become the mayor off Montmarte, was arrested for cycling down the stairs of the Eiffel Tower. In 2007, a woman with an objectum sexual married the Eiffel Tower, and she changed her name to Erika La Tour Eiffel.

Fresh Paint Every 7 Years

A fresh coat of paint is applied to the Eiffel Tower every seven years, and it takes about 60 tons of paint to get the job done. There are over 500 people who work in the Eiffel Tower, including tour guides, security, in the restaurants, shops, boutiques, and in the post office.

The Tower Was Closed During the German Occupation

The French resistance fighters cut the cables for the lifts so that Nazi officers and soldiers would have to climb the monument. It was closed during the occupation from 1940 until 1944. Hitler ordered the Tower to be destroyed, and fortunately, that order was never carried out.

Filmmakers Love the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower was the setting for many movies including A View To A Kill, The Man On the Eiffel Tower, and The Lavender Hill Mob. Hundreds of other films have used the Tower as a prop or backdrop.

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