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 was built.
A Firm Called Eiffel Et Compagnie Designed and Built It
The commission of the project was 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 was known 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 would be included in the design. In 1884, the changes were made, and they were 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 part6s, 205 million rivets, and 40 tons of paint.
The Original Height Was 985-Feet
When the tower was finished, it was 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 was 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 was 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 was 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 was not meant to stand permanently. In 1909, it was scheduled to be dismantled. When someone realized that it was the perfect place for a telegraphy antenna, the dismantling was canceled. During World War I, the wireless telegraph transmitter helped to jam the German communications.
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 is 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.