11 Interesting Facts About The Iron Lady of Paris
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, is one of the most well-known structures in the world. Designed as the centerpiece of the 1889 World's Fair, the Tower has come to be a popular tourist attraction that attracts approximately seven million visitors each year. Here are some interesting facts about this world famous attraction.
Interesting Facts about Eiffel Tower
1. The Tower Wasn’t Made to Stand Forever
The Eiffel Tower was built as a temporary display for the 1889 World Fair in Paris, which commemorated the French Revolution's 100th anniversary. In an attempt to extend the Tower’s life, Gustave Eiffel erected a radio antenna and wireless telegraph transmitter in the Tower. The French government decided that the tower was too useful to be dismantled. The Eiffel Tower is still used to broadcast radio and television programmes around the world today.
2. The Eiffel Tower Changes In Size
The tower's metal contracts in the winter and expands in the summer allowing the tower to change in size throughout the year.The Eiffel Tower's height can change by up to 15 cm. This happens because puddled iron, which the Tower is made out of, is sensitive to the variations in temperature. So, when temperatures rise, the Tower increases in size, thanks to thermal expansion and during winter the structure contracts.
3. The Tower Can Move
The tower was crafted to resist gusty winds. However, it does sway during a storm and if the weather conditions worsen you can see it move. It’s not the only weather phenomenon that makes the tower move. Apart from making it expand, the sun also causes the tower to tilt away from it. Since the sun hits only one out of the four slides, the Eiffel Tower tends to lean. On a clear dat, the top of the tower can move in circular curve of 15 centimeters in diameter.
4. There’s a Secret Apartment at the Top
At the top of the tower, Architect Gustave Eiffel built a private apartment where he could conduct experiments and entertain distinguished visitors. One of the more notable of his guests was Thomas Edison. The office offering one of the best vantage points from the tower, but is closed off to visitors for many years. However, you can view lifelike wax figures of Eiffel, his daughter Claire and Thomas Edison conversing in the room.
5. Gustave Eiffel wasn't the Designer of the Eiffel Tower
Despite the fact thatthe Eiffel Towerwas named after Gustave Eiffel, he is not the one who was responsible for designing the structure. The Tower was actually designed bytwo senior enginners who worked for his company—Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier. The two engineers teamed up with French architect, Stephen Sauvestre to make the the structure more aesthetically pleasing. However, Mr. Eiffel contributed majority of the funds to build the tower and later purchased the patent rights.
6. The Tower Served during WW1
Many innovations took place at the Eiffel Tower in the early 20th century. In 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, German troops advancement into Paris was hindred by a radio transmitter located in the tower that jammed German radio communications. This is believed to have had a significant role in the Allied victory at the First Battle of the Marne. Using the tower's wireless station, the French troops intercepted enemy signals from Berlin.
7. Hitler Ordered the Destruction of the Tower
In 1944, when the Allies were ready to liberate Paris, in a last ditch effort, Hitler ordered the destruction of the entire city, along with the Tower. Hitler sent a message to Field Marshal Walther Model and von Choltitz demanding that Paris be held at all costs, and that if it could not be held it should be turned into a field of ruins. The destruction of Paris would be the destruction of France, he believed. Thankfully, Choltitz was shocked by the order and never carried it out.
8. The Tower is Actually Married!
No, don’t be surprised! Erika Aya (or Erika Eiffel), an American competitive archer, “married” the Tower in 2007. She encountered the tower for the first time in 2004 and claims that she felt an instant attraction. Medical experts have classified this attraction as a form of paraphilia, a disorder in which people establish strong attachments to inanimate items. She also runs the support website Object Sexuality Internationale, an organization for those who develop significant relationships with inanimate objects.
9. 20,000 Bulbs Illuminate the Great Monument
336 sodium floodlights installed in the joists of the tower is what gives the tower its beautiful golden light. The twinkle of the Eiffel Tower, which allows it to look glitzy against the Parisian landscape is the result of the flashing of 20,000 6W LED light bulbs in fast succession.The effect was inspired by camera flashes. The monument lights up every house, for 5 minutes, from dusk until 1 AM.
10. It’s Illegal to Photograph the Tower at Night
According to European Copyright Law, monuments like the Euffel Tower are protected during the lifespan of the work’s legal creator plus 70 years. While the Eiffel Tower became public domain in 1993, the lights installed by Pierre Bideau didn’t ignite until 1985. According to La Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), these lights are copyrighted and hence, those wishing to publish a photo need to request permission, pay for rights, and then credit the artist appropriately. So you may face a fine if you photograph it and share it on any social media account.
11. It's Painted in a Variety of Colours
Constructed using puddle iron, the has been given several coats of paint to protect it from oxidation. In order to ensure its long life, the tower is repainted every seven years. Even today, the painting is done by hand, after stripping, cleaning and rust-proofing the whole 300 meters. The colour of the tower is made of three brown shades, the darkest at the top and lightest at the bottom. The shade is meant to hide air haze and give the structure a uniform appearance from top to bottom.
Combo: Eiffel Tower Summit Guided Tour + Louvre Museum Skip-the-Line Ticket
Frequently Asked Questions About Eiffel Tower
A. The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, is a wrought-iron lattice tower that has become a world-famous attraction.
A. The Effiel Tower is in Champ de Mars, 5 Av. Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France.
A. The Eiffel Tower was designed by Gustave Eiffel's senior engineers in his company who were Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier.
A. The Eiffel Tower is 130 years old.
A. The Eiffel Tower is divided into three levels: the first, second, and topmost. On the first floor, there are museum exhibits, a glass floor, changing exhibitions, souvenir shops, and restaurants. More restaurants and shops, as well as the Jules Verne restaurant and an observation area, can be found on the second floor.
A. Yes, it is true that it is illegal to photograph the Eiffel Tower at night. It is because the government of France considers that the Eiffel Tower light show is an art work and thus copyrighted, so you may face a fine if you photograph it and share it on Facebook or any other social media account.
A. Yes, Eiffel Tower has an apartment at the top of the tower. It was set up by architect Gustave Eiffel so he could conduct experiments and entertain distinguished visitors.