Ever heard of a monument that is legally married to a human being? The Eiffel Tower is!
I bet you that there are a lot of facts and information about this famous Paris landmark that you definitely do not know about.
So, if you’re looking to discover what makes the Eiffel Tower a major highlight of the City of Paris, or why the measurement of the building has not been static since it was first constructed in 1889, then this fact-packed article is for you to read!
1. The Eiffel Tower is not a regular tower complex. It houses restaurants, shops, museums, a science laboratory, and even a military bunker!
2. After it was built, the tower was the tallest building in the world for 41 years until 1930 when it was surpassed by the Chrysler Building in New York.
3. For such an architectural masterpiece as the Eiffel Tower, it took only 300 workers to get the job done.
4. The outstanding tower was built in speed as it took only two years, two months, and five days to construct.
5. The Eiffel Tower is also the most visited paid monument in the world, with over 7 million annual visitors.
6. It was built grace Paris during the 1889 World’s Fair, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.
7. The Eiffel Tower is named after Gustave Eiffel, the owner of the firm that designed and built the tower.
8. Gustave Eiffel did not actually design the Eiffel Tower. The initial design was sketched by Maurice Koechlin, a senior engineer who worked for Gustave’s firm at the time.
9. The original design of the tower was rejected by Mr. Eiffel because he felt it was just too simple. He further made some modifications and embellishments on the drawing to suit his taste.
10. There is a customized paint used for the tower, called the “Eiffel Tower Brown” paint. It consists of three colors that are usually painted on different levels of the building.
11. During the First World War, the French military used the tower’s antenna for radio purposes and for intercepting enemy transmitters.
12. In the beginning, most creatives did not consider the Eiffel Tower to be a work of art because it was the work of architects and engineers.
13. The Eiffel Tower actually moves with the wind, but it was built to never sway more than 4.5 inches.
14. From dark red to yellow and bronze paints, the Eiffel Tower has seen multiple color variations since it was built in 1889.
15. The tower is also repainted every 7 years, and to date, the tower has been repainted 19 times.
16. Engraved on the Eiffel Tower are 72 names of French scientists and engineers who worked in the 19th century.
17. The tower has been sold twice by a con artist named Victor Lustig. He had sold it to a junkyard as scrap metal!
18. When the tower was newly built, a lot of Parisians criticized and hated the structure, such that over 300 artists and intellectuals signed a petition against the project.
19. The Eiffel Tower is made up of more than 18,000 individual metallic parts, 2.5 million rivets, and 60 tons of paint!
20. Over 20,000 light bulbs are used to light up the tower every night.
21. To mark its 125th anniversary in 2014, the British Virgin Islands launched a special tower-shaped $10 coin.
22. The tower was meant to be built in Spain but the Spanish rejected the project and it came to France instead.
23. When Hitler visited Paris during WW2. the French people cut the lift cables so that he would have to climb the stairs of the tower if he wanted to reach the top. No wonder he hated the building!
24. The Eiffel Tower has also been featured in lots of famous films, including ‘A View to a Kill’ (James Bond), ‘Superman 2’, ‘Hugo’, ‘Armageddon, to name just a few.
25. Gustave Eiffel had a secret personal apartment built on the 3rd floor of the tower. It was off-limits to the public for years but can now be looked at through a window by ticket holders.
26. There is a free entrance into the Eiffel Tower for children up to the age of 4.
27. When the sun comes up, the tower expands up to 6 inches due to the high quantity of metal in it. At night when the metal cools, the tower shrinks.
28. As can be seen in the margin of the first drawing of the tower by Maurice Koechlin, the Statue of Liberty and the Arc de Triomphe were used for inspiration and comparison.
29. The Eiffel Tower was once used as a giant advertising billboard for the French car manufacturer Citroen. The advert was listed as the biggest advertisement in the Guinness Book of World Records.
30. There is also a post office in the building, from which one can mail out letters with the Eiffel Tower’s unique postcard, stamp, and postmark.
31. Gustave Eiffel had signed the contract for building the tower as a personal project, and not on behalf of his company. As such, he funded 80% of the cost of the construction.
32. In the tower’s secret apartment, you’ll find wax figures of Gustave Eiffel and Thomas Edison installed as an homage to a meeting the two men had there once.
33. To date, the painters of the Eiffel Tower still use the old method when workers use a paintbrush and a bucket. No mechanical painting is allowed there.
34. There are 54 replicas of the Eiffel Tower building in the world. The one in Paris is the authentic one and the only one of it that is marked by UNESCO as a Heritage Site.
35. In 2007, the tower was officially married to Erika Aya, an American lady who is now known as Erika Eiffel!
36. It is illegal and highly prohibited to commercialize a night image of the Eiffel Tower without permission from the Paris authorities. However, this rule does not apply to tourists.
37. In 1923, Pierre Labricentered into a bet and garnered the boldness to cycle down the stairs of the Eiffel Tower. Although he won the bet, he was later arrested for the act.
38. The tower has previously been used as a popular suicide spot. But in recent times, the installation of preventive barricades has made suicide more difficult in the Eiffel Tower.
39. Though most people prefer to take the lift, the Eiffel Tower is actually climbable, as it has only 1,665 steps!
40. To assert the exceptional nature of his structure, Gustave compared the Eiffel Tower to the Great Pyramids of Egypt. To him, they equaled in magnificence.
41. 2010 marks the celebration of the 250 millionth visit to the Eiffel Tower.
42. It took 3 years of persuasion before the Eiffel Tower project was approved in 1886.
43. Gustave Eiffel’s firm produced over 5000 drawings of the tower, during the course of the planning towards its construction.
44. Despite the high probability rate of death due to the large scale of the construction project, only one person died during the entire construction of the Eiffel Tower.
45. Charles De Gaulle had proposed for the tower to be moved to Canada in 1967, but the French government vetoed and overruled his decision.
46. London had tried to create a replica of the Eiffel Tower, but the project failed. The building called the Watkins Tower did not make it past stage one before it was demolished.
47. Two of the original lifts of the Eiffel Tower are still in service to this day.
48. Although the Tower belongs to the Paris government, its operations are managed by a development company named The Sociétéd’exploitation de la tour Eiffel (SETE).
49. The Eiffel Tower was initially meant to be a temporary exhibit that was scheduled to be disassembled in 1909. Luckily, it was saved by its relevance during the World War.
50. In 1912, Austrian-French inventor Franz Reichelt killed himself while trying to test his design for a parachute, by jumping off the Eiffel Tower.
51. As part of the contract agreement, Gustave Eiffel had received all income accruing from the commercial use of the tower during the exhibition and for the next 20 years after.